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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology publishes original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies related to infectious diseases of bacterial, viral and parasitic origin.
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Identification of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria in Patients with Pulmonary Diseases in Gyeongnam, Korea, Using Multiplex PCR and Multigene Sequence-Based Analysis
Background. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are widely present in environments, such as soil and water, and have recently been recognized as important pathogenic bacteria. The incidence of NTM-related infections is steadily increasing. As the diagnosis and treatment of NTM infection should be distinguished from tuberculosis, and the treatment should be specific to the species of NTM acquired, accurate species identification is required. Methods. In this study, two-step multiplex PCR (mPCR) and multigene sequence-based analysis were used to accurately identify NTM species in 320 clinical isolates from Gyeongsang National University Hospital (GNUH). In particular, major mycobacterial strains with a high isolation frequency as well as coinfections with multiple species were diagnosed through two-step mPCR. Multigene sequencing was performed to accurately identify other NTM species not detected by mPCR. Variable regions of the genes 16S rRNA, rpoB, hsp65, and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer were included in the analysis. Results. Two-step mPCR identified 234 (73.1%) cases of M. intracellulare, 26 (8.1%) cases of M. avium subsp. avium, and 13 (4.1%) cases of M. avium subsp. hominissuis infection. Additionally, 9 (2.8%) M. fortuitum, 9 (2.8%) M. massiliense, 2 (0.6%) M. abscessus, and 4 (1.2%) M. kansasii isolates were identified. Coinfection was identified in 7 (2.2%) samples. The sixteen samples not classified by two-step mPCR included 6 (1.9%) cases of M. chimaera, 4 (1.3%) M. gordonae, 1 (0.3%) M. colombiense, 1 (0.3%) M. mageritense, and 1 (0.3%) M. persicum identified by sequence analysis. Conclusions. The results of this study suggest a strategy for rapid detection and accurate identification of species using two-step mPCR and multigene sequence-based analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report the identification of NTM species isolated from patients in Gyeongnam/Korea.
Effect of Antifungal-Treated Host Macrophages on Candida glabrata
Objective. Candida glabrata (C. glabrata) causes infections associated with severe sepsis and high mortality. This study describes the effects of micafungin (MCF), itraconazole (ICZ), and amphotericin B (AmB) on the function of macrophages during C. glabrata infection. Methods. RAW264.1 macrophages were treated with MCF, ICZ, or AmB and then challenged with C. glabrata. Cytokines from infected macrophage supernatants and the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in macrophages were measured at different time points after phagocytosis. Results. The activity of SOD was significantly increased in RAW264.1 cells that phagocytized C. glabrata and reached a peak level at 6 hours (). ICZ and AmB did not affect the SOD activity in cells that phagocytized C. glabrata versus that in untreated macrophage. C. glabrata stimulated macrophages to secrete cytokines. Neither ICZ nor AmB affected the secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), or tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) by C. glabrata-infected macrophages. However, MCF downregulated the secretion of TNF-α by infected macrophages and reduced the SOD activity of C. glabrata compared with those in untreated controls. Conclusion. Echinocandins may increase their antifungal efficacy by altering the innate immune response of macrophages and attenuating antioxidants of this organism.
Transcriptional Profile of Helicobacter pylori Virulence Genes in Patients with Gastritis and Gastric Cancer
Introduction. Numerous molecular epidemiology studies have been performed about the frequency of Helicobacter pylori virulence genes in patients with H. pylori infection so far. This study was conducted to detect transcriptional profile by cDNA of H. pylori virulence genes in gastric biopsy samples of gastritis and gastric carcinoma patients. Materials and Methods. In a case-control study, based on the prevalence of gastritis and gastric cancer in Sanandaj city during 2018 and 2019, 23 and 11 gastric antral biopsy samples with H. pylori infection were collected from gastritis and gastric carcinoma patients by the consecutive and available sampling method. Pathological characters, including tumor grades and tumor areas for gastric carcinoma biopsy samples prepared from gastric cancer areas, were determined by the pathologist. Total RNA of gastric antral biopsy samples was extracted, and their cDNA was synthesized by TaKaRa kit. H. pylori virulence genes’ cDNA using specific primers and PCR was detected. This study’s results were analyzed by SPSS version 25 and statics chi-square tests for determination of relationship and correlation between cDNAs of H. pylori transcriptional profile and clinical outcomes of H. pylori infection, including gastritis, gastric carcinoma, tumor grades, and tumor area. Results. The positive statistical correlations were observed between transcripts of cagA, cagA-EPIYAC, cagE, and cagY genes and H. pylori infection clinical outcomes (). Conclusion. Detection of the H. pylori virulence genes’ cDNA in gastric biopsy samples can help provide the prognosis of clinical outcomes.
Serum Glycated Albumin Levels Are Affected by Alcohol in Men of the Jinuo Ethnic Group in China
Aim. To investigate the effects of alcohol on serum glycated albumin (GA) levels in Chinese men. Methods. A total of 2314 male subjects from the Jinuo ethnic group in China were enrolled. Of these, 986 subjects drank alcohol frequently and 404 subjects did not. Lifestyle information was gathered by using a questionnaire, and measurements of blood pressure, body mass index, blood glucose level, liver function, and kidney function were collected. GA was measured by using an enzymatic method. Frequent drinking was defined as a history of drinking ethanol > 80 g/d within the past two weeks. Nondrinking was defined as no alcohol consumption in the past three months. Subjects with an alcohol intake between 0 and 80 g/d in the past two weeks were included in the drinking-occasionally group. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation analysis, and linear regression were used to evaluate the effects of drinking on serum GA levels. Decision tree regression (DTR) algorithm was used to evaluate the effect of features (variables) on GA levels. Results. We found that male subjects who drank frequently had significantly lower serum GA levels than subjects who did not drink (13.0 ± 1.7 vs. 14.1 ± 3.7, ). Spearman’s correlation analysis calculated a coefficient of −0.152 between drinking and GA (). Linear regression established that drinking was an independent predictor for GA levels with a standardized regression coefficient of −0.144 (). Decision tree regression showed that the effect of drinking on GA levels (0.0283) is five times higher than that of smoking (0.0057). Conclusions. Frequent alcohol consumption could result in decreased GA levels in men of the Jinuo ethnic group in China.
Risk Factors for Stillbirth among Pregnant Women Infected with Syphilis in the Zhejiang Province of China, 2010–2016
Background. The World Health Organization estimated that about 1.36 million pregnant women suffered from syphilis in 2008, and nearly 66% of adverse effects occurred in those who were not tested or treated. Syphilis infection is one of the most common maternal factors associated with stillbirth. Objective. This study aimed to determine the risk factors for stillbirth among pregnant women infected with syphilis. Methods. In this retrospective study, data on stillbirth and gestational syphilis from 2010 to 2016 were extracted from the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program database in the Zhejiang province. A total of 8,724 pregnant women infected with syphilis were included. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the degree of association between gestational syphilis and stillbirth. Results. We found that the stillbirth percentage among pregnant women infected with syphilis was 1.7% (152/8,724). Compared with live births, stillbirth was significantly associated with lower maternal age, not being married, lower gravidity, the history of syphilis, nonlatent syphilis stage, higher maternal serum titer for syphilis, inadequate treatment for syphilis, and later first antenatal care visit. In multiple logistic analysis, nonlatent syphilis (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.17, 3.53) and maternal titers over 1 : 4 (AOR = 1.78; 95% CI = 1.25, 2.53) were risk factors for stillbirth, and adequate treatment was the only protective factor for stillbirth (AOR = 0.16; 95% CI = 0.10, 0.25). Conclusions. Nonlatent syphilis and maternal titers over 1 : 4 were risk factors for stillbirth, and adequate treatment was the only protective factor for stillbirth.
Evaluation of Urinary Tract Infection following Corticosteroid Therapy in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Exacerbation
The first treatment for multiple sclerosis exacerbation is usually short-term intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP), with or without a regimen of oral prednisone taper (OPT). This study aims to evaluate the effects of IVMP and OPT in comparison with IVMP alone in raising the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI) and posttreatment improvement of urinary tract symptoms in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. This double-blind randomized clinical trial was conducted on 56 people with multiple sclerosis relapse who had undergone methylprednisolone for 5 days. Patients were randomly split into two groups: oral prednisolone and placebo (tapering for 20 days). Demographic data, duration of multiple sclerosis, urinary tract symptoms, the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and urine data were analyzed. The incidence of UTI in the intervention and control groups did not differ significantly (). However, the improvement of urinary tract symptoms in the intervention group was significantly more favorable than in the control group (). Furthermore, administering OPT after IVMP did not increase the risk of UTI occurrence in patients with multiple sclerosis exacerbation. The urine analysis results did not show any differences at baseline and after the corticosteroid tapering regimen. Due to the risk of infection by corticosteroids, it is no longer necessary to do further urinary screening in this group of patients.