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Journal: Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases


Background: There are no studies on clinically significant transaminase elevation due to rotavirus gastroenteritis in the literature. Also, there are significant discrepancies among previous studies regarding the prevalence of increased serum transaminase levels in rotavirus infection. Methods: Patients investigated for rotavirus by stool antigen testing, who were followed between January 2005 and May 2012, were retrospectively enrolled in this study. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to their rotavirus results: rotavirus-positive acute gastroenteritis (RPAG) and rotavirus-negative acute gastroenteritis (RNAG) groups. Results: A total of 4317 children who presented with acute gastroenteritis were assessed. The study was completed with 642 patients who met the inclusion criteria. In the RPAG group (n = 272), elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was found in 42 (15.4%) patients and elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in 69 (25.4%), while in the RNAG group (n = 370), these numbers were 25 (6.8%) and 44 (11.9%), respectively. The elevated ALT and AST levels were found to be significantly higher in the RPAG group than in the RNAG group (both p < 0.001). The prevalence of elevated transaminase levels was found to be similar with respect to gastroenteritis severity score (p > 0.05). The high serum transaminase levels normalized uneventfully in all patients in the RPAG and RNAG groups during follow-up. Conclusions: In this study, our results clearly signify a liver influence in rotavirus infections. Therefore, rotavirus infections should be kept in mind when evaluating the aetiology of transaminase elevation in patients with acute gastroenteritis.

Concepts: Liver function tests, Oral rehydration therapy, Elevated transaminases, Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Rotavirus, Aspartate transaminase, Alanine transaminase


Background: Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is the main typing method used for the molecular typing of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm). However, more rapid and unambiguous typing methods are needed. DiversiLab, a repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR), offers an alternative method for strain typing. Methods: Thirty-nine VREfm isolates with known epidemiological relationships were characterized by semi-automated rep-PCR (DiversiLab), PFGE, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Results: The DiversiLab results were analysed in 2 ways: first relying solely on the DiversiLab software, and second by DiversiLab analysis combined with manual interpretation. The analysis with interpretation yielded more DiversiLab profiles, correlated better with PFGE and MLST, and grouped the isolates better according to their relatedness in time and space. However, most of the DiversiLab groups also included isolates with different PFGE and MLST types. Conclusions: DiversiLab provides rapid information when investigating a potential hospital outbreak. However, the interpretation of E. faecium DiversiLab results cannot be fully automated and is not always straightforward. Other typing methods may be necessary to confirm the analysis.

Concepts: Polymerase chain reaction, Electrophoresis, Capillary electrophoresis, Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, Enterococcus faecium, Gel electrophoresis, Molecular biology, Enterococcus


Background: Aeromonas species can cause various infections including bacteremia, gastroenteritis, cholangitis, and wound infections. To date, most studies on Aeromonas species have been reported from countries other than Japan. The aim of this study, therefore, was to evaluate Aeromonas bacteremia in Japan. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients with Aeromonas bacteremia from January 1994 to December 2010 in Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, and Toranomon Hospital Kajigaya, Kanagawa, Japan. Results: Thirty-six cases of Aeromonas bacteremia were identified. Of these 36 strains, 18 were Aeromonas caviae, 13 were Aeromonas hydrophila, and 5 were Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria. The underlying diseases were solid tumor (21 cases), chronic hepatic disease (13 cases), diabetes mellitus (9 cases), hematological malignancies (4 cases), autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (2 cases), and aplastic anemia (2 cases). Patients with a solid tumor more frequently presented with A. caviae bacteremia than non-A. caviae bacteremia (14/18 vs 7/18; p = 0.041). Additionally, 16 of the 36 episodes were polymicrobial, and of these, 12 had stenosis or stasis of the bile duct or pancreatic duct (75%). The overall 30-day mortality was 19%. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to identify A. caviae as the most frequent causative pathogen of Aeromonas bacteremia in Japan. Additionally, compared with previous studies, most patients in our study had solid tumors. These findings suggest that the characteristics of Aeromonas bacteremia vary among study populations.

Concepts: Aeromonas hydrophila, Liver, Neoplasm, Oncology, Tumor, Polycystic kidney disease, Aeromonas, Cancer


Background: Extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) constitutes about 10% to 20% of all cases of tuberculosis in immunocompetent patients and more than 50% of the cases in HIV-positive individuals worldwide. Little information is available on the clonal diversity of Mycobacterium species in Ethiopia from EPTB. Methods: This study was carried out on smear-negative EPTB patients to molecularly characterize Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains. A questionnaire, smear staining, culture, deletion typing, and spoligotyping were employed. Results: The proportional distribution of EPTB and isolates did not vary substantially (p > 0.05) amongst the socio-demographic parameters considered in the current investigation. Out of 98 fine needle aspirates processed for culture, 36.7% (36/98) were positive for mycobacterial growth. Further speciation of those culture-positive isolates showed that 88.9% were M. tuberculosis and the remaining could be non-tuberculous mycobacterial species. Spoligotyping revealed 16 clusters out of which 2 were new to the SITVIT database. The most dominant spoligotypes were SIT54, SIT53, and SIT149 in decreasing order. SIT54, SIT134, SIT173, SIT345, SIT357, SIT926, SIT91088, and SIT1580 were reported for the first time in Ethiopia. The family with the highest frequency identified was M. tuberculosis family T1, followed by family 33. Most of the strains belonged to Euro-American (61.4%) and Indo-Oceanic (36.3%) lineages. Conclusions: The present study shows the importance of M. tuberculosis as a major cause of EPTB in the study area. Moreover, the majority of isolates of M. tuberculosis were found in clusters, suggesting the possibility of the existence of recent transmission. This warrants strengthening of the control programs for EPTB in the study area.

Concepts: Mycobacterium africanum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, Mycobacterium avium complex, Acid fast bacilli, Corynebacterineae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Tuberculosis, Mycobacterium


Background: Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common infectious disease in children, characterized by acute viral infection accompanying acute inflammatory responses. Circulating histones are leading mediators of the inflammatory processes. This study aimed to elucidate whether circulating histones play a contributory role during HFMD. Methods: We measured plasma levels of histones, myeloperoxidase (MPO), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and cytokines in HFMD patients (n = 126) and compared the results with those of a control group (n = 30). Results: Circulating histone levels were significantly increased in HFMD patients (3.794 ± 0.156 μg/ml) compared with healthy controls (0.238 ± 0.023 μg/ml, p < 0.0001). In addition, their levels were remarkably higher in severe HFMD (n = 38) than in mild HFMD patients (n = 88) (5.232 ± 0.246 vs 3.293 ± 0.161 μg/ml, p < 0.0001). As for other inflammatory markers, MPO, LDH, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, MIP-1, and TNF-ɑ were found to be significantly higher in HFMD patients than in healthy subjects. Of these, LDH, IL-6, and TNF-ɑ levels correlated with disease severity (all p < 0.05). In mild HFMD, circulating histones correlated positively with plasma IL-6 and IL-10, whereas in severe HFMD, histones were associated with elevated IL-6 and TNF-ɑ levels. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that circulating histones are excessively released in patients with HFMD, which may indicate disease severity and contribute to systemic inflammation by promoting cytokine production (e.g. IL-6). We suggest that in mild HFMD, circulating histones may originate largely from neutrophil activation, whereas in severe HFMD, dying tissue cells and neutrophil activation may be synergistically involved in the increased levels of histones.

Concepts: Medicine, Immune system, Lactate dehydrogenase, Cytokine, Disease, Infectious disease, Infection, Inflammation


The modern medical treatment of HIV with antiretroviral therapy (ART) has drastically reduced the morbidity and mortality in patients infected with this virus. ART has also been shown to reduce the transmission risk from individual patients as well as the spread of the infection at the population level. This position statement from the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Reference Group for Antiviral Therapy is based on a workshop organized in the fall of 2012. It summarizes the latest research and knowledge on the risk of HIV transmission from patients on ART, with a focus on the risk of sexual transmission. The risk of transmission via shared injection equipment among intravenous drug users is also examined, as is the risk of mother-to-child transmission. Based on current knowledge, the risk of transmission through vaginal or anal intercourse involving the use of a condom has been judged to be minimal, provided that the person infected with HIV fulfils the criteria for effective ART. This probably also applies to unprotected intercourse, provided that no other sexually transmitted infections are present, although it is not currently possible to fully support this conclusion with direct scientific evidence. ART is judged to markedly reduce the risk of blood-borne transmission between people who share injection equipment. Finally, the risk of transmission from mother to child is very low, provided that ART is started well in advance of delivery.

Concepts: Chlamydia infection, Antiretroviral drug, Sexually transmitted disease, Human sexual behavior, Infection, Medicine, HIV, AIDS


Rodents captured in a known tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) focus were serologically surveyed for 4 years, with 28 visits. The collected sera were analysed by virus neutralization test. Bank vole (Myodes glareolus) had a significantly higher incidence rate of antibodies to TBEV (20.5%) than Apodemus flavicollis (3.7%) and Apodemus agrarius (4.6%). In all species, rates were higher in adults (6.8%) than in juveniles (1.7%). A higher incidence rate was observed in female A. flavicollis individuals (6.7%) than in males (1.5%). Smaller bank vole population coincided with lower (1.2-4.8%) seropositivity in all small rodents, while more abundant bank vole population meant higher (17.9%) total seropositivity. The TBEV focus originally had only Apodemus mice, bank voles appeared later, reached 20.5% positivity and raised the positivity in small rodents from 4% to 10.2% in 3 years. The results highlight the role of M. glareolus and of adult rodents in maintaining the TBEV in nature.

Concepts: Apodemus, Voles and lemmings, Tick-borne encephalitis virus, Tick-borne encephalitis, Muroidea, Bank Vole, Rodent, Encephalitis


Background: The differential diagnostic utilities of the levels of soluble interleukin (IL)-12p40 and the IL-2 receptor in sera and pleural effusions were evaluated in patients with exudative pleural effusions. Methods: We enrolled a total of 120 patients with exudative pleural effusions. The clinical, radiological, and histopathological diagnoses were tuberculous pleurisy in 52, malignant pleurisy in 39, and parapneumonic effusions in 29 patients. Results: We measured serum IL-12p40 and adenosine deaminase (ADA) levels in patients with tuberculous pleurisy and in a control group treated for pleural effusion to determine if such levels were useful in the diagnosis of pleural effusion (p < 0.005). Definite microbiological or histopathological diagnoses of tuberculous pleurisy or pleural effusion were recorded, and we found that ADA and serum soluble IL-2 receptor levels aided in diagnosis (p < 0.001). The levels of ADA and soluble IL-2 in pleural effusions afforded sensitivities and specificities of 84.62% and 82.69% and of 70.59% and 80.88%, respectively. The soluble IL-2 receptor level afforded a sensitivity and specificity of 82.69% and 52.9%. IL-12p40 levels in pleural effusions and sera afforded sensitivities and specificities of 80.77% and 80.77% and of 60.29% and 39.71%, respectively. Conclusion: Soluble IL-2 receptor levels in patients with tuberculous pleurisy serve as markers of disease in non-endemic countries, similarly to ADA levels.

Concepts: Positive predictive value, Type I and type II errors, Pleural effusion, Sensitivity and specificity


Background: Current guidelines for treatment of Candida osteoarticular infections (COAIs) recommend a prolonged course of antifungal therapy (AFT) of 6-12 months. Based upon strategies developed at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), we hypothesized that the duration of antifungal therapy may be substantially reduced for management of COAI. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of cases of COAI treated at the HSS for the past 14 years. COAI was documented by open biopsy and direct culture in all cases. The mean (95% confidence interval, CI) duration of documented follow-up was 39 (16-61) months. Results: Among the 23 cases of COAI, the median age was 62 years (range 22-83 years) with 61% having no underlying condition. Orthopedic appliances, including joint prostheses and fracture hardware, were present in 74% of cases. All patients had COAI as the first proven site of candidiasis. Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis were the most common species. Hip, knee, foot, and ankle were the most common sites. All patients received aggressive surgical intervention followed by AFT administered for a mean (95% CI) duration of 45 (38-83) days. Systemic AFT consisted principally of fluconazole alone (65%) or in combination with other agents (26%). Adjunctive intraoperative amphotericin B irrigation was used in 35%. Among eight cases of CAOI that required placement of a new prosthetic joint, all were successfully treated. There were no microbiologic failures. Conclusions: Candida osteoarticular infections may be successfully treated with substantially limited durations of AFT when combined with a thorough surgical approach.

Concepts: Flucytosine, Surgery, Yeast, Arithmetic mean, Candida albicans, Candida, Candidiasis


A wide clinical spectrum of bacteremic disease caused by Fusobacterium has been presented in this journal. We wish to extend this spectrum by presenting a case of myopericarditis resulting from a liver abscess caused by F. nucleatum. While F. nucleatum plays an important role in periodontal disease, and has been isolated from skin ulcers, liver abscesses, urinary tract infections, and endocarditis, a single case of F. nucleatum-induced pericarditis is documented in the literature.

Concepts: Urinary tract infection, Inflammation