Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Landscape Ecology and Epidemiology of Malaria Associated with Rubber Plantations in Thailand: Integrated Approaches to Malaria Ecotoping Mon, 09 Mar 2015 07:34:51 +0000 The agricultural land use changes that are human-induced changes in agroforestry ecosystems and in physical environmental conditions contribute substantially to the potential risks for malaria transmission in receptive areas. Due to the pattern and extent of land use change, the risks or negatively ecosystemic outcomes are the results of the dynamics of malaria transmission, the susceptibility of human populations, and the geographical distribution of malaria vectors. This review focused basically on what are the potential effects of agricultural land use change as a result of the expansion of rubber plantations in Thailand and how significant the ecotopes of malaria-associated rubber plantations (MRP) are. More profoundly, this review synthesized the novel concepts and perspectives on applied landscape ecology and epidemiology of malaria, as well as approaches to determine the degree to which an MRP ecotope as fundamental landscape scale can establish malaria infection pocket(s). Malaria ecotoping encompasses the integrated approaches and tools applied to or used in modeling malaria transmission. The scalability of MRP ecotope depends upon its unique landscape structure as it is geographically associated with the infestation or reinfestation of Anopheles vectors, along with the attributes that are epidemiologically linked with the infections. The MRP ecotope can be depicted as the hotspot such that malaria transmission is modeled upon the MRP factors underlying human settlements and movement activities, health behaviors, land use/land cover change, malaria vector population dynamics, and agrienvironmental and climatic conditions. The systemic and uniform approaches to malaria ecotoping underpin the stratification of the potential risks for malaria transmission by making use of remotely sensed satellite imagery or landscape aerial photography using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), global positioning systems (GPS), and geographical information systems (GIS). Wuthichai Kaewwaen and Adisak Bhumiratana Copyright © 2015 Wuthichai Kaewwaen and Adisak Bhumiratana. All rights reserved. Variability Modeling of Rainfall, Deforestation, and Incidence of American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis in Orán, Argentina, 1985–2007 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:40:26 +0000 American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) is a disease transmitted to humans by the female sandflies of the genus Lutzomyia. Several factors are involved in the disease transmission cycle. In this work only rainfall and deforestation were considered to assess the variability in the incidence of ATL. In order to reach this goal, monthly recorded data of the incidence of ATL in Orán, Salta, Argentina, were used, in the period 1985–2007. The square root of the relative incidence of ATL and the corresponding variance were formulated as time series, and these data were smoothed by moving averages of 12 and 24 months, respectively. The same procedure was applied to the rainfall data. Typical months, which are April, August, and December, were found and allowed us to describe the dynamical behavior of ATL outbreaks. These results were tested at 95% confidence level. We concluded that the variability of rainfall would not be enough to justify the epidemic outbreaks of ATL in the period 1997–2000, but it consistently explains the situation observed in the years 2002 and 2004. Deforestation activities occurred in this region could explain epidemic peaks observed in both years and also during the entire time of observation except in 2005–2007. Juan Carlos Rosales, Hyun Mo Yang, and Orlando José Avila Blas Copyright © 2014 Juan Carlos Rosales et al. All rights reserved. Seroprevalence and Seroconversion of Dengue and Implications for Clinical Diagnosis in Amazonian Children Mon, 08 Dec 2014 00:10:13 +0000 This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of serum IgG dengue in children in an Amazonian population, to assess the seroconversion rate in 12 months, and to estimate how many seropositive children had a prior clinical diagnosis of dengue. We conducted a population-based study between 2010 and 2011, with children aged 6 months to 12 years that were living in the urban area of a small town in the Brazilian Amazon. The prevalence of IgG antibodies against dengue antigens was determined by indirect ELISA technique, and seronegative children were reexamined after 12 months to determine seroconversion rates. Results showed seroprevalence of IgG antibodies against dengue type of 2.9%, with no significant association between age, race, and sex. In seropositive children, only 8.4% had received a clinical diagnosis of dengue, and the ratio of clinically diagnosed cases and subclinical cases was 1 : 11. The seroconversion rate between 2010 and 2011 was 1.4% (CI 3.8% to 35.1%). The seroprevalence of dengue in this pediatric population was low, and the vast majority of cases were not clinically detected, suggesting a difficulty in making the clinical diagnosis in children and a high frequency of asymptomatic infections. Antonio Camargo Martins, Thasciany Moraes Pereira, Humberto Oliart-Guzmán, Breno Matos Delfino, Saulo Augusto Silva Mantovani, Athos Muniz Braña, Fernando Luiz Cunha Castelo Branco, José Alcântara Filgueira Júnior, Ana Paula Santos, Alanderson Alves Ramalho, Andréia Silva Guimarães, Thiago Santos de Araújo, Cristieli Sérgio de Menezes Oliveira, Benedito Antônio Lopes da Fonseca, and Mônica da Silva-Nunes Copyright © 2014 Antonio Camargo Martins et al. All rights reserved. Compliance of Healthcare Workers with Hand Hygiene Practices in Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units: Overt Observation Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:19:04 +0000 Background. The objective of this study was to assess the compliance of hand hygiene (HH) of healthcare workers (HCWs) in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit in a tertiary university hospital in Istanbul. Methods. An observational study was conducted on the compliance of HH for the five World Health Organization (WHO) indications. HCWs were observed during routine patient care in day shift. The authors also measured the technique of HH through hand washing or hand hygiene with alcohol-based disinfectant. Results. A total of 704 HH opportunities were identified during the observation period. Overall compliance was 37.0% (261/704). Compliance differed by role: nurses (41.4%) and doctors (31.9%) [, OR: 1.504, CI 95%: 1.058–2.137]. HCWs were more likely to use soap and water (63.6%) compared to waterless-alcohol-based hand hygiene (36.3%) []. Conclusion. Adherence to hand hygiene practice and use of alcohol-based disinfectant was found to be very low. Effective education programs that improve adherence to hand hygiene and use of disinfectants may be helpful to increase compliance. Ayşe Karaaslan, Eda Kepenekli Kadayifci, Serkan Atıcı, Uluhan Sili, Ahmet Soysal, Gülcan Çulha, Yasemin Pekru, and Mustafa Bakır Copyright © 2014 Ayşe Karaaslan et al. All rights reserved. External Ventricular Drain Infections: Risk Factors and Outcome Mon, 17 Nov 2014 06:47:35 +0000 External ventricular drainage (EVD) is frequently used in neurosurgery to drain cerebrospinal fluid in patients with raised intracranial pressure. We performed a retrospective single center study in order to evaluate the incidence of EVD-related infections and to identify underlying risk factors. 246 EVDs were placed in 218 patients over a 30-month period. EVD was continued in median for 7 days (range 1–44). The cumulative incidence of EVD-related infections was 8.3% (95% CI, 5.3–12.7) with a device-associated infection rate of 10.4 per 1000 drainage days (95% CI, 6.2–16.5). The pathogens most commonly identified were coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (62%) followed by Enterococcus spp. (19%). Patients with an EVD-related infection had a significantly longer ICU (11 versus 21 days, ) and hospital stay (20 versus 28.5 days, ) than patients without. Median total duration of external drainage was twice as long in patients with EVD-related infection (6 versus 12 days, ). However, there was no significant difference in the duration between first EVD placement and the occurrence of EVD-related infection and EVD removal in patients without EVD-related infection (6 versus 7 days, ), respectively. Interestingly no risk factor for EVD-related infection could be identified in our cohort of patients. S. Hagel, T. Bruns, M. W. Pletz, C. Engel, R. Kalff, and C. Ewald Copyright © 2014 S. Hagel et al. All rights reserved. Incidence and Clinical Predictors of Ocular Candidiasis in Patients with Candida Fungemia Mon, 17 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Purpose. The aim of this study is to determine the incidence and the predictors of ocular candidiasis among patient with Candida fungemia. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients diagnosed with candidemia at the University of Kansas Medical Center during February 2000–March 2010. Data regarding patients’ demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory results, and ophthalmology examination findings were collected. Results. A total of 283 patients with candidemia were enrolled. The mean age (± standard deviation) was 55 ± 18 years; 66% were male. The most commonly isolated Candida species were C. albicans (54%), C. parapsilosis (20%), C. glabrata (13%), and C. tropicalis (8%). Only 144 (51%) patients were evaluated by ophthalmology; however, the proportion of patients who were formally evaluated by an ophthalmologist increased during the study period (9%in 2000 up to 73%in 2010; ). Evidence of ocular candidiasis was present in 18 (12.5%) patients. Visual symptoms were reported by 5 of 18 (28%) patients. In multivariable analysis, no predictors of ocular candidiasis were identified. Conclusions. The incidence of ocular candidiasis among patients with fungemia remains elevated. Most patients are asymptomatic and therefore all patients with candidemia should undergo fundoscopic examination to rule out ocular involvement. Ayesha Khalid, Lisa A. Clough, R. C. Andrew Symons, Jonathan D. Mahnken, Lei Dong, and Albert J. Eid Copyright © 2014 Ayesha Khalid et al. All rights reserved. Non-albicans Candida Infection: An Emerging Threat Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:14:30 +0000 The very nature of infectious diseases has undergone profound changes in the past few decades. Fungi once considered as nonpathogenic or less virulent are now recognized as a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised and severely ill patients. Candida spp. are among the most common fungal pathogens. Candida albicans was the predominant cause of candidiasis. However, a shift toward non-albicans Candida species has been recently observed. These non-albicans Candida species demonstrate reduced susceptibility to commonly used antifungal drugs. In the present study, we investigated the prevalence of non-albicans Candida spp. among Candida isolates from various clinical specimens and analysed their virulence factors and antifungal susceptibility profile. A total of 523 Candida spp. were isolated from various clinical specimens. Non-albicans Candida species were the predominant pathogens isolated. Non-albicans Candida species also demonstrated the production of virulence factors once attributed to Candida albicans. Non-albicans Candida demonstrated high resistance to azole group of antifungal agents. Therefore, it can be concluded that non-albicans Candida species have emerged as an important cause of infections. Their isolation from clinical specimen can no longer be ignored as a nonpathogenic isolate nor can it be dismissed as a contaminant. Sachin C. Deorukhkar, Santosh Saini, and Stephen Mathew Copyright © 2014 Sachin C. Deorukhkar et al. All rights reserved. Influenza A/H1N1 Severe Pneumonia: Novel Morphocytological Findings in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:56:29 +0000 We present the results of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) performed in three patients with severe influenza A/H1N1 pneumonia complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Light microscopy analysis of BAL cytocentrifugates showed the presence of characteristic large, mononuclear, plasmoblastic/plasmocytoid-like cells never described before. Via transmission electron microscopy, these cells were classified as atypical type II pneumocytes and some of them showed cytoplasmic vesicles and inclusions. We concluded that plasmoblastic/plasmocytoid-like type II pneumocytes might represent a morphologic marker of A/H1N1 influenza virus infection as well as reparative cellular activation after diffuse alveolar damage. Paola Faverio, Stefano Aliberti, Clinton Ezekiel, Grazia Messinesi, Ambrogio Brenna, and Alberto Pesci Copyright © 2014 Paola Faverio et al. All rights reserved. Ecotope-Based Entomological Surveillance and Molecular Xenomonitoring of Multidrug Resistant Malaria Parasites in Anopheles Vectors Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:11:18 +0000 The emergence and spread of multidrug resistant (MDR) malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax have become increasingly important in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). MDR malaria is the heritable and hypermutable property of human malarial parasite populations that can decrease in vitro and in vivo susceptibility to proven antimalarial drugs as they exhibit dose-dependent drug resistance and delayed parasite clearance time in treated patients. MDR malaria risk situations reflect consequences of the national policy and strategy as this influences the ongoing national-level or subnational-level implementation of malaria control strategies in endemic GMS countries. Based on our experience along with current literature review, the design of ecotope-based entomological surveillance (EES) and molecular xenomonitoring of MDR falciparum and vivax malaria parasites in Anopheles vectors is proposed to monitor infection pockets in transmission control areas of forest and forest fringe-related malaria, so as to bridge malaria landscape ecology (ecotope and ecotone) and epidemiology. Malaria ecotope and ecotone are confined to a malaria transmission area geographically associated with the infestation of Anopheles vectors and particular environments to which human activities are related. This enables the EES to encompass mosquito collection and identification, salivary gland DNA extraction, Plasmodium- and species-specific identification, molecular marker-based PCR detection methods for putative drug resistance genes, and data management. The EES establishes strong evidence of Anopheles vectors carrying MDR P. vivax in infection pockets epidemiologically linked with other data obtained during which a course of follow-up treatment of the notified P. vivax patients receiving the first-line treatment was conducted. For regional and global perspectives, the EES would augment the epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of MDR falciparum and vivax malaria parasites in hotspots or suspected areas established in most endemic GMS countries implementing the National Malaria Control Programs, in addition to what is guided by the World Health Organization. Prapa Sorosjinda-Nunthawarasilp and Adisak Bhumiratana Copyright © 2014 Prapa Sorosjinda-Nunthawarasilp and Adisak Bhumiratana. All rights reserved. Effect of Different Terpene-Containing Essential Oils on the Proliferation of Echinococcus granulosus Larval Cells Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:00:18 +0000 Human cystic echinococcosis remains a major public health problem on several countries and the treatment strategies are not solved. The aim of the present work was to determine the in vitro effect of thymol and Mentha piperita, M. pulegium, and Rosmarinus officinalis essential oils on the proliferation of E. granulosus larval cells. Isolated cells and cellular aggregates were obtained from hydatid cyst’s germinal layer and exposed to 1, 5, and 10 μg/ml of thymol and the different essential oils for 7 days. Drug effect was evaluated using test viability and scanning electron microscopy. Control cell culture viability was 2.1 x 106 (100%) after 7 days of incubation. At day 7, thymol 5 μg/ml caused a reduction in cell viability of 63% and the essential oils of M. piperita 10 μg/ml, M. pulegium 10 μg/ml, and R. officinalis 10 μg/ml produced a reduction in the viability of 77, 82, and 71%, respectively. Moreover essential oils caused reduction in cell number, collapsed cells, and loss of normal tridimensional composition of the aggregates. Due to the inhibitory effect caused by essential oils on E. granulosus cells we suggested that it would be an effective means for suppression of larval growth. Clara María Albani, Guillermo María Denegri, and María Celina Elissondo Copyright © 2014 Clara María Albani et al. All rights reserved. The Prevalence of HIV by Ethnic Group Is Correlated with HSV-2 and Syphilis Prevalence in Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:41:03 +0000 Background. This paper investigates two issues: do ethnic/racial groups with high HIV prevalences also have higher prevalences of other STIs? and is HIV prevalence by ethnic group correlated with the prevalence of circumcision, concurrency, or having more than one partner in the preceding year? Methods. We used Spearman’s correlation to estimate the association between the prevalence of HIV per ethnic/racial group and HSV-2, syphilis, symptoms of an STI, having more than one partner in the past year, concurrency, and circumcision in Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Results. We found that in each country HSV-2, syphilis, and symptomatic STIs were positively correlated with HIV prevalence (HSV-2: Kenya rho = 0.50, P = 0.207; South Africa rho-1, P = 0.000; USA rho-1, P = 0.000, Syphilis: Kenya rho = 0.33, P = 0.420; South Africa rho-1, P = 0.000; USA rho-1, P = 0.000, and STI symptoms: Kenya rho = 0.92, P = 0.001; South Africa rho-1, P = 0.000; UK rho = 0.87, P = 0.058; USA rho-1, P = 0.000). The prevalence of circumcision was only negatively associated with HIV prevalence in Kenya. Both having more than one partner in the previous year and concurrency were positively associated with HIV prevalence in all countries (concurrency: Kenya rho = 0.79, P = 0.036; South Africa rho-1, P = 0.000; UK 0.87, P = 0.058; USA rho-1, P = 0.000 and multiple partners: Kenya rho = 0.82, P = 0.023; South Africa rho-1, P = 0.000; UK rho = 0.87, P = 0.058; USA rho-1, P = 0.000). Not all associations were statistically significant. Conclusion. Further attention needs to be directed to what determines higher rates of partner change and concurrency in communities with high STI prevalence. Chris Richard Kenyon, Kara Osbak, and Jozefien Buyze Copyright © 2014 Chris Richard Kenyon et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro Cestocidal Activity of Thymol on Mesocestoides corti Tetrathyridia and Adult Worms Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Nothing is known about the possible effect of thymol or other compounds of essential oils against the adult worms of cestodes. The aim of the present work was to determine in vitro cestodicidal activity of thymol against Mesocestoides corti adult worms. Moreover, the in vitro effect on tetrathyridia was also demonstrated. Tetrathyridia exposed to different concentrations of thymol showed a concentration and time-dependent effect. At lower concentrations, the main change observed was mainly in morphology, with larvae exhibiting an elongation of the body. When tetrathyridia were exposed to higher concentrations, increased surface alterations and damage were detected. The body appeared elongated and flattened, and a complete loss of morphology and microtriches was observed. Thymol was able to kill M. corti tetrathyridia, since following inoculation of treated parasites in mice no parasites could be recovered. The effect on M. corti adult worms was dose and time-dependent. Changes in motility coincide with the tissue damage were observed at the structural and ultrastructural level. Thymol caused severe damages to both developmental stages analyzed. Damages were more significant in fully segmented worms. The data reported in this paper demonstrate a clear in vitro effect of thymol against M. corti tetrathyridia and adult worms. M. Maggiore and M. C. Elissondo Copyright © 2014 M. Maggiore and M. C. Elissondo. All rights reserved. Antibiotic Resistance Profiling of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Clinical Specimens in a Tertiary Hospital from 2010 to 2012 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 MRSA infection can affect a wide array of individuals that may lead to treatment failure. Also, the infection has the potential to spread from one area to another particularly health care facilities or communities eventually causing minor outbreaks. With this premise, the study aimed to describe MRSA infections using the hospital-based data of a tertiary hospital in Bacolod City, Philippines, from 2010 to 2012. Specifically, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial resistance of S. aureus isolated from clinical specimens and to put emphasis on the prevalence of MRSA and Inducible Clindamycin Resistance. A total of 94 cases from 2010 to 2012 were diagnosed to have S. aureus infection using conventional bacteriologic methods. From these cases, 38 (40.6%) were identified as MRSA and 37 (39.4%) were inducible clindamycin resistant. Wounds and abscesses were considered to be the most common specimens with MRSA infections having 71.05% while blood was the least with 5.3%. For drug susceptibility, out of the 94 S. aureus cases, including MRSA, 100% were susceptible to linezolid making it the drug of choice for this study. It was then followed by tetracycline having a mean susceptibility of 95%;, while penicillin G was ineffective with 94 cases having 0% susceptibility. Alain C. Juayang, Gemma B. de los Reyes, April Joy G. de la Rama, and Christine T. Gallega Copyright © 2014 Alain C. Juayang et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Features and Outcome of Mucormycosis Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:38:34 +0000 Mucormycosis (MCM) is a life-threatening infection that carries high mortality rates despite recent advances in its diagnosis and treatment. The objective was to report 14 cases of mucormycosis infection and review the relevant literature. We retrospectively analyzed the demographic and clinical data of 14 consecutive patients that presented with MCM in a tertiary-care teaching hospital in northern Mexico. The mean age of the patients was 39.9 (range 5–65). Nine of the patients were male. Ten patients had diabetes mellitus as the underlying disease, and 6 patients had a hematological malignancy (acute leukemia). Of the diabetic patients, 3 had chronic renal failure and 4 presented with diabetic ketoacidosis. All patients had rhinocerebral involvement. In-hospital mortality was 50%. All patients received medical therapy with polyene antifungals and 11 patients underwent surgical therapy. Survivors were significantly younger and less likely to have diabetes than nonsurvivors, and had higher levels of serum albumin on admission. The clinical outcome of patients with MCM is poor. Uncontrolled diabetes and age are negative prognostic factors. Carlos Rodrigo Camara-Lemarroy, Emmanuel Irineo González-Moreno, René Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, Erick Joel Rendón-Ramírez, Ana Sofía Ayala-Cortés, Martha Lizeth Fraga-Hernández, Laura García-Labastida, and Dionicio Ángel Galarza-Delgado Copyright © 2014 Carlos Rodrigo Camara-Lemarroy et al. All rights reserved. Chest Radiographs for Pediatric TB Diagnosis: Interrater Agreement and Utility Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The chest radiograph (CXR) is considered a key diagnostic tool for pediatric tuberculosis (TB) in clinical management and endpoint determination in TB vaccine trials. We set out to compare interrater agreement for TB diagnosis in western Kenya. A pediatric pulmonologist and radiologist (experts), a medical officer (M.O), and four clinical officers (C.Os) with basic training in pediatric CXR reading blindly assessed CXRs of infants who were TB suspects in a cohort study. C.Os had access to clinical findings for patient management. Weighted kappa scores summarized interrater agreement on lymphadenopathy and abnormalities consistent with TB. Sensitivity and specificity of raters were determined using microbiologically confirmed TB as the gold standard . A total of 691 radiographs were reviewed. Agreement on abnormalities consistent with TB was poor; (95% CI: 0.10–0.18) and on lymphadenopathy moderate (95% CI: 0.18–0.36). M.O [75% (95% CI: 34.9%–96.8%)] and C.Os [63% (95% CI: 24.5%–91.5%)] had high sensitivity for culture confirmed TB. TB vaccine trials utilizing expert agreement on CXR as a nonmicrobiologically confirmed endpoint will have reduced specificity and will underestimate vaccine efficacy. C.Os detected many of the bacteriologically confirmed cases; however, this must be interpreted cautiously as they were unblinded to clinical features. G. Kaguthi, V. Nduba, J. Nyokabi, F. Onchiri, R. Gie, and M. Borgdorff Copyright © 2014 G. Kaguthi et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of Cooperative Social Organization on Reducing the Prevalence of Malaria and Intestinal Parasite Infections in Awramba, a Rural Community in South Gondar, Ethiopia Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:46:52 +0000 Introduction. Parasitic diseases are the major causes of human health problem in Ethiopia. The high prevalence of parasitic infections is closely correlated with poverty, poor environmental hygiene, and impoverished health services. Objective. The study was conducted to assess the impact of health-conscious Awramba cooperative community and its neighboring communities on the prevalence of parasitic infections in South Gondar, Ethiopia. Methods. Single stool specimens were collected from 392 individuals from Awramba and the neighboring communities. Specimens were examined microscopically for the presence of parasites using microscopy. Questionnaire was administered to determine the knowledge attitude and practice (KAP) of study participants. Results. Of the total 392 study participants examined, 58(14.8%) were positive for malaria and 173 (44.1%) for intestinal parasites. The prevalence of malaria in Awramba community (5.1%) was less than that in neighboring communities (24.5%). The prevalence of parasitic infections in Awramba (18.8%) was less than that of the neighboring communities (69.4%). Conclusion. This study showed that good household and environmental hygiene, good toilet construction and usage, and proper utilization of ITN in Awramba cooperative community have significantly contributed to the reduction of the burden of parasitic infections. Thus, the positive achievement in reducing parasitic infections in Awramba cooperative community could be used as a model for affordable health intervention in the neighboring communities, in particular, and the whole country in general. Gebeyehu Yihenew, Haileeyesus Adamu, and Beyene Petros Copyright © 2014 Gebeyehu Yihenew et al. All rights reserved. Performance of an ELISA and Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay in Serological Diagnosis of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Iran Mon, 11 Aug 2014 05:28:39 +0000 Serological assays have been extensively evaluated for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and considered as a routine method for diagnosis of VL while these methods are not properly evaluated for diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). This study aimed to assess the performance of indirect immunofluorescent-antibody test (IFA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for serodiagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. Sixty-one sera samples from parasitologically confirmed CL patients and 50 sera from healthy controls along with 50 sera from non-CL patients were collected. Antigen was prepared from promastigotes and amastigotes of Leishmania major. IFA was used to detect anti-Leishmania IgG while ELISA was used to detect anti-Leishmania IgM, total IgG, or IgG subclasses (IgG1 and 4). ELISA, for detection of total IgG and IgM, showed sensitivity of 83.6% and 84.7% and specificity of 62.7% and 54.6%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of ELISA for detecting IgG1 and IgG4 were 64%, 75% and 85%, 49%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of IFA were 91.6% and 81%. Conclusion. Findings of this study demonstrated that serological test, especially IFA, can be used for proper diagnosis of CL. Bahador Sarkari, Marzieh Ashrafmansouri, GholamReza Hatam, Parvaneh Habibi, and Samaneh Abdolahi Khabisi Copyright © 2014 Bahador Sarkari et al. All rights reserved. Efficacy of Essential Oils of Thymus vulgaris and Origanum vulgare on Echinococcus granulosus Sun, 10 Aug 2014 12:50:27 +0000 The aim of the present work was to determine the in vitro effect of T. vulgaris and O. vulgare essential oils against E. granulosus protoscoleces and cysts. Essential oils were added to the medium resulting in thymol final concentrations of 10 μg/mL. The essential oils had a time-dependent effect provoking the complete loss of protoscolex viability after 72 days of postincubation. The results were confirmed at the ultrastructure level. Loss of infectivity in protoscoleces incubated with O. vulgare after 60 days was observed. On the other hand, the weight of cysts recorded in mice inoculated with T. vulgaris treated protoscoleces was significantly lower than that obtained in control group. Gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase activity was readily detected in the culture supernatant of protoscoleces treated either with the essential oils or thymol. T. vulgaris and O. vulgare essential oils and thymol can induce cell apoptosis of protoscoleces after short incubation times. The efficacy of T. vulgaris and O. vulgare essential oils was also demonstrated in vitro on E. granulosus murine cysts. Our data suggest that essential oils of T. vulgaris and O. vulgare have anthelmintic effect against protoscoleces and cysts of E. granulosus. P. E. Pensel, M. A. Maggiore, L. B. Gende, M. J. Eguaras, M. G. Denegri, and M. C. Elissondo Copyright © 2014 P. E. Pensel et al. All rights reserved. Multidrug Resistance: An Emerging Crisis Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:52:34 +0000 The resistance among various microbial species (infectious agents) to different antimicrobial drugs has emerged as a cause of public health threat all over the world at a terrifying rate. Due to the pacing advent of new resistance mechanisms and decrease in efficiency of treating common infectious diseases, it results in failure of microbial response to standard treatment, leading to prolonged illness, higher expenditures for health care, and an immense risk of death. Almost all the capable infecting agents (e.g., bacteria, fungi, virus, and parasite) have employed high levels of multidrug resistance (MDR) with enhanced morbidity and mortality; thus, they are referred to as “super bugs.” Although the development of MDR is a natural phenomenon, the inappropriate use of antimicrobial drugs, inadequate sanitary conditions, inappropriate food-handling, and poor infection prevention and control practices contribute to emergence of and encourage the further spread of MDR. Considering the significance of MDR, this paper, emphasizes the problems associated with MDR and the need to understand its significance and mechanisms to combat microbial infections. Jyoti Tanwar, Shrayanee Das, Zeeshan Fatima, and Saif Hameed Copyright © 2014 Jyoti Tanwar et al. All rights reserved. ITS1 PCR-RFLP Diagnosis and Characterization of Leishmania in Clinical Samples and Strains from Cases of Human Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in States of the Mexican Southeast Tue, 01 Jul 2014 08:46:22 +0000 American cutaneous leishmaniasis includes a spectrum of clinical forms localized cutaneous, diffuse cutaneous, and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis which can be caused by different strains of Leishmania belonging to the L. mexicana or L. braziliensis complexes which may coexist in the same endemic area. We evaluated the PCR-RFLP assay of the ITS1 genes for direct identification of Leishmania species in 163 clinical samples and 21 Mexican isolates of Leishmania. In relation to the Mexican isolates of Leishmania 52% displayed a pattern similar to the L. (L.) mexicana, 5% showed a mixed pattern compatible with L. (L.) mexicana and L. (V.) braziliensis, eight with L. (L.) amazonensis and L. (L.) mexicana, and one to L. (V.) braziliensis. Most of the clinical samples, 109/116 (94%), gave a pattern similar to that of the L. mexicana, two clinical samples gave similar patterns to that of Leishmania braziliensis, and 5 samples gave patterns that suggest a coinfection of L. (L.) mexicana and L. (V.) braziliensis or L. (L.) mexicana and L. (L.) amazonensis. The ITS1 PCR-RFLP assay is a multipurpose tool for diagnosis of Leishmania from clinical samples and enables determination of the infecting species of New World Leishmania in the field in relatively short time and low cost. Amalia Monroy-Ostria, Abedelmajeed Nasereddin, Victor M. Monteon, Carmen Guzmán-Bracho, and Charles L. Jaffe Copyright © 2014 Amalia Monroy-Ostria et al. All rights reserved. HIV Risk Perception, Sexual Behavior, and HIV Prevalence among Men-Who-Have-Sex-with-Men at a Community-Based Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:41:08 +0000 We describe the HIV risk perception, sexual behavior, and HIV prevalence among 423 men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) clients who received voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services at a community-based center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The mean age was 29 years old. One hundred one (23.9%) clients rated themselves as low risk, 118 (27.9%) as medium risk, 36 (8.5%) as high risk, and 168 (39.7%) were unsure of their risk. Twenty-four (9.4%) clients tested HIV positive (4 (4%) low risk, 9 (7.6%) medium risk, 11 (30.6%) high risk, and 13 (7.7%) unsure risk). We found a positive correlation between risk perception and HIV infection in this study. Clients with high HIV risk perception have 17x the odds of testing HIV positive compared to low risk clients. High HIV risk perception was significantly associated with multiple sex partners, multiple types of sex partners, alcohol use before intercourse, unprotected sex beyond 6 months, and inconsistent condom use during anal sex compared to low risk clients. There were no statistically significant differences between medium risk and unsure risk clients compared to low risk clients. Strategies should be targeted towards change in sexual practices among those who are perceived to be at high risk. Kwee Choy Koh and Lit Sin Yong Copyright © 2014 Kwee Choy Koh and Lit Sin Yong. All rights reserved. Impact of Environmental Conditions on the Survival of Cryptosporidium and Giardia on Environmental Surfaces Tue, 17 Jun 2014 07:58:40 +0000 The objective of this study was to find out the impact of environmental conditions on the survival of intestinal parasites on environmental surfaces commonly implicated in the transmission of these parasites. The study was performed by incubating Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts on environmentally relevant surfaces such as brushed stainless steel, formica, ceramic, fabric, and skin. Parallel experiments were conducted using clean and soiled coupons incubated under three temperatures. The die-off coefficient rates () were calculated using first-order exponential formula. For both parasites, the fastest die-off was recorded on fabric, followed by ceramic, formica, skin, and steel. Die-off rates were directly correlated to the incubation temperatures and surface porosity. The presence of organic matter enhanced the survivability of the resting stages of test parasites. The decay rates calculated in this study can be used in models for public health decision-making process and highlights the mitigation role of hand hygiene agents in their prevention and control. Absar Alum, Isra M. Absar, Hamas Asaad, Joseph R. Rubino, and M. Khalid Ijaz Copyright © 2014 Absar Alum et al. All rights reserved. Cervical Infection with Herpes simplex Virus, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae among Symptomatic Women, Dubai, UAE: A Molecular Approach Tue, 27 May 2014 08:57:03 +0000 Tragically, genital tract infections are still a major public health problem in many regions. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of cervical infection with Herpes simplex virus (HSV), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) among married women referring to Iranian Hospital, Dubai, UAE. In a retrospective cross-sectional survey, 201 female patients aged 16–80 years who referred to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Iranian Hospital, Dubai, UAE, in 2010 were enrolled. The patients were categorized into three age groups: 15–30 (group I), 31–40 (group II), and 41 years old (group III). A cervical swab sample was collected from each woman and the prevalence of cervical infection with HSV, CT, and NG was determined by PCR method. HSV, CT, and NG were detected in 6.5%, 10.4%, and 5.5% of swab samples, respectively. Regarding age, a significant difference was noticed for prevalence of NG and HSV between groups I and III. Because of public health importance of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs), their long-lasting impact on quality of life, and their economic burden, preventing measures and education of women seem necessary. Davood Mehrabani, Mohammad Amin Behzadi, Saeed Azizi, Hamid Payombarnia, Ali Vahdani, Mandana Namayandeh, and Mazyar Ziyaeyan Copyright © 2014 Davood Mehrabani et al. All rights reserved. Iatrogenic Cushing Syndrome Secondary to Ritonavir-Epidural Triamcinolone Interaction: An Illustrative Case and Review Wed, 07 May 2014 15:15:39 +0000 HIV positive patients on ritonavir-containing antiretroviral therapy (ART) can develop iatrogenic Cushing syndrome (IACS) and adrenal insufficiency as a result of drug-drug interactions with inhaled or intranasal glucocorticoid therapy. Reports related to epidural triamcinolone injections are relatively uncommon but increasingly reported. We describe a 48-year-old woman with immunologically and virologically well-controlled HIV on ritonavir-based ART, who developed headache, dizziness, and candida and herpes simplex virus (HSV) ulcerative esophagitis 7 days after receiving an epidural triamcinolone injection for cervical radicular pain. Iatrogenic Cushing syndrome and relative adrenal insufficiency were suspected and proven. The patient’s ART was changed to a non-HIV protease inhibitor- (PI-) containing program, her symptoms improved, and she did not require hydrocortisone replacement. In this paper, we review the literature on IACS and relative secondary adrenal insufficiency from epidural triamcinolone injections in HIV patients on ritonavir-containing ART regimens. A high index of clinical suspicion is needed for diagnosis. Prevention of drug-drug interactions by taking a thorough medication history for patients on ritonavir-containing ART regimens before prescribing any form of corticosteroid is crucial and effective and sustained interdisciplinary communication in the care of such patients. Sapna Sadarangani, Melody L. Berg, William Mauck, and Stacey Rizza Copyright © 2014 Sapna Sadarangani et al. All rights reserved. Serotypes and Antimicrobial Resistance of Human Nontyphoidal Isolates of Salmonella enterica from Crete, Greece Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 We report on the serotype distribution and the antimicrobial resistance patterns to 20 different antimicrobials of 150 Salmonella enterica strains isolated from stools of diarrhoeal patients on the island of Crete over the period January 2011-December 2012. Among the S. enterica serotypes recovered, Enteritidis was the most prevalent (37.3%), followed by Typhimurium (28.7%) and Newport (8.7%). No resistance was detected to extended-spectrum cephalosporins and carbapenems. Rates of resistance to ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, and cotrimoxazole were 9.3%, 4%, 2%, 15.3%, and 8.7%, respectively. Resistance to ≥4 antibiotics was primarily observed for serotypes Typhimurium and Hadar. Enteritidis remains the predominant serotype in Crete. Although low resistance to most antimicrobials was detected, continued surveillance of susceptibility is needed due to the risk of resistance. Sofia Maraki and Ioannis S. Papadakis Copyright © 2014 Sofia Maraki and Ioannis S. Papadakis. All rights reserved. Thailand Momentum on Policy and Practice in Local Legislation on Dengue Vector Control Tue, 01 Apr 2014 07:50:33 +0000 Over a past decade, an administrative decentralization model, adopted for local administration development in Thailand, is replacing the prior centralized (top-down) command system. The change offers challenges to local governmental agencies and other public health agencies at all the ministerial, regional, and provincial levels. A public health regulatory and legislative framework for dengue vector control by local governmental agencies is a national topic of interest because dengue control program has been integrated into healthcare services at the provincial level and also has been given priority in health plans of local governmental agencies. The enabling environments of local administrations are unique, so this critical review focuses on the authority of local governmental agencies responsible for disease prevention and control and on the functioning of local legislation with respect to dengue vector control and practices. Adisak Bhumiratana, Apiradee Intarapuk, Suriyo Chujun, Wuthichai Kaewwaen, Prapa Sorosjinda-Nunthawarasilp, and Surachart Koyadun Copyright © 2014 Adisak Bhumiratana et al. All rights reserved. Frequencies of Blood Group Systems MNS, Diego, and Duffy and Clinical Phases of Carrion’s Disease in Amazonas, Peru Mon, 31 Mar 2014 09:24:33 +0000 Carrion’s disease (CD), is a human bartonellosis, that is, endemic in the Andes of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Bartonella bacilliformis, a native hemotrophic bacteria, is the causative agent of CD, and the interaction with the host could have produced changes in the gene frequencies of erythrocyte antigens. The goal here is to investigate the relationship between allele frequencies of blood group systems MNS, Diego, and Duffy and the clinical phases of CD, within a genetic context. In this associative and analytical study, 76 individuals from Bagua Grande, the province of Utcubamba, and the department of Amazonas in Peru, were enrolled. Forty of them resided in Tomocho-Collicate-Vista Hermosa area (high prevalence of cases in chronic phase, verrucous, or eruptive phase, without previous acute phase). Thirty-six individuals were from the area of Miraflores (high prevalence of cases in acute phase only) and were evaluated for blood group systems MNS, Diego, and Duffy. This study constitutes one of the first attempts at evaluating the genetic factors and clinical phases of CD. No significant statistical differences between allele frequencies of blood groups MNS, Diego, and Duffy and the prevalence of chronic and acute phases were detected in the two areas of Amazonas, Peru. Oscar Acosta, Luis Solano, Jorge Escobar, Miguel Fernandez, Carlos Solano, and Ricardo Fujita Copyright © 2014 Oscar Acosta et al. All rights reserved. A Multicenter Study of Beta-Lactamase Resistant Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae Reveals High Level Chromosome Mediated Extended Spectrum β Lactamase Resistance in Ogun State, Nigeria Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:02:15 +0000 As a result of the ever increasing problem of multiresistant bacteria, we instituted a surveillance program with the aim of identifying the basic molecular properties of ESBL in our environment. About 197 isolates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were selected and tested for ESBL production and antimicrobial susceptibility. Plasmid profiles were determined and curing ability was tested. ESBL prevalence was 26.4% for all isolates tested, with E. coli having a greater proportion. There was absolute resistance to ampicilin, tetracycline, and co-trimaxole among tested isolates. There was above average susceptibility to the 2nd and 3rd generation cephalosporins. Plasmid profiles of tested isolates ranged from 9 kbp to 26 kbp with average of  kbp for E. coli and  kbp K. pneumoniae, 9.6% of ESBL positive E. coli plasmids were cured, while 3.9% of K. pneumoniae plasmids were cured after treatment. The present study shows an upsurge in ESBL acquisition by gram negative bacteria and evidence of cocirculation of varying subtypes of ESBL with both plasmid transmissible and chromosome encoded subtypes. This calls for universal surveillance and more effort towards molecular epidemiology of this public health treatment. Folasoge A. Adeyankinnu, Babatunde O. Motayo, Akinniyi Akinduti, John Akinbo, Joseph I. Ogiogwa, Bukola W. Aboderin, and R. A. Agunlejika Copyright © 2014 Folasoge A. Adeyankinnu et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Systematic Review of the Optimal CD4 Cell Count Threshold for HIV Treatment Initiation Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:48:34 +0000 HIV infection is no longer characterized by high morbidity, rapid progression to AIDS, and death as when the infection was first identified. While anti-retroviral drugs have improved the outcome of AIDS patients, clinical research on the appropriate time to initiate therapy continues to evolve. Optimal therapy initiation would maximize the benefits of these drugs, while minimizing side effects and drug resistance. Recent 2013 WHO guidelines changed HIV therapy initiation from 350 cells/μL to 500 cells/μL. This systematic review provides an evidence-based comparison of starting treatment at >500 cells/μL with starting treatment at the range between 350 cells/μL and 500 cells/μL. An 11% increase in risk was detected from initiation therapy at the 350–500 cells/μL range (0.37 [0.26, 0.53]), when compared with starting treatment before 500 cells/μL (0.33 [0.22, 0.48]). Most individual study comparisons showed a benefit for starting treatment at 500 cells/μL in comparison with starting at the 350–500 cells/μL range with risks ranging from 19% to 300%, though a number of comparisons were not statistically significant. Overall, the study provides evidence based support for initiating anti retroviral therapy at cell counts >500 cells/μL wherever possible to prevent AIDS mortality and morbidity. Babatunde Olubajo, Kathryn Mitchell-Fearon, and Oluseye Ogunmoroti Copyright © 2014 Babatunde Olubajo et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Sphingomyelinase on the Surface of Chlamydia pneumoniae: Possible Role in the Entry into Its Host Cells Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:28:23 +0000 We have recently suggested a novel mechanism, autoendocytosis, for the entry of certain microbes into their hosts, with a key role played by the sphingomyelinase-catalyzed topical conversion of sphingomyelin to ceramide, the differences in the biophysical properties of these two lipids providing the driving force. The only requirement for such microbes to utilize this mechanism is that they should have a catalytically active SMase on their outer surface while the target cells should expose sphingomyelin in the external leaflet of their plasma membrane. In pursuit of possible microbial candidates, which could utilize this putative mechanism, we conducted a sequence similarity search for SMase. Because of the intriguing cellular and biochemical characteristics of the poorly understood entry of Chlamydia into its host cells these microbes were of particular interest. SMase activity was measured in vitro from isolated C. pneumoniae elementary bodies (EB) and in the lysate from E. coli cells transfected with a plasmid expressing CPn0300 protein having sequence similarity to SMase. Finally, pretreatment of host cells with exogenous SMase resulting in loss plasma membrane sphingomyelin attenuated attachment of EB. Tuula A. Peñate Medina, Juha T. Korhonen, Riitta Lahesmaa, Mirja Puolakkainen, Oula Peñate Medina, and Paavo K. J. Kinnunen Copyright © 2014 Tuula A. Peñate Medina et al. All rights reserved.