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SYMPOSIUM - LIESHMANIASIS
Leishmaniasis vaccine: Where are we today?
Lukasz Kedzierski
May-August 2010, 2(2):177-185
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.62881  PMID:20606974
Leishmaniasis is a disease that ranges in severity from skin lesions to serious disfigurement and fatal systemic infection. WHO has classified the disease as emerging and uncontrolled and estimates that the infection results in two million new cases a year. There are 12 million people currently infected worldwide, and leishmaniasis threatens 350 million people in 88 countries. Current treatment is based on chemotherapy, which relies on a handful of drugs with serious limitations such as high cost, toxicity, difficult route of administration and lack of efficacy in endemic areas. Vaccination remains the best hope for control of all forms of the disease, and the development of a safe, effective and affordable antileishmanial vaccine is a critical global public-health priority. Extensive evidence from studies in animal models indicates that solid protection can be achieved by immunization with defined subunit vaccines or live-attenuated strains of Leishmania. However, to date, no such vaccine is available despite substantial efforts by many laboratories. The major impediment in vaccine design is the translation of data from animal models to human disease, and the transition from the laboratory to the field. Furthermore, a thorough understanding of protective immune responses and generation and maintenance of the immunological memory, the most important and least-studied aspect of antiparasitic vaccine development, during Leishmania infection is needed. This review focuses on recent findings in antileishmania vaccine field and highlights current difficulties facing vaccine development and implementation.
  30 10,348 544
ELECTRONIC EPIDEMIOLOGY
Seasonality of tuberculosis
Auda Fares
January-March 2011, 3(1):46-55
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.77296  PMID:21572609
Objectives: This study was designed to review previous studies and analyse the current knowledge and controversies related to seasonal variability of tuberculosis (TB) to examine whether TB has an annual seasonal pattern. Study Design and Methods: Systematic review of peer reviewed studies identified through literature searches using online databases belonging to PubMed and the Cochrane library with key words "Tuberculosis, Seasonal influence" and " Tuberculosis, Seasonal variation". The search was restricted to articles published in English. The references of the identified papers for further relevant publications were also reviewed. Results: Twelve studies conducted between the period 1971 and 2006 from 11 countries/regions around the world (South Western Cameroon, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Spain, UK, Ireland, Russia, and Mongolia) were reviewed. A seasonal pattern of tuberculosis with a mostly predominant peak is seen during the spring and summer seasons in all of the countries (except South Western Cameroon and Russia). Conclusions: The observation of seasonality leads to assume that the risk of transmission of M. tuberculosis does appear to be the greatest during winter months. Vitamin D level variability, indoor activities, seasonal change in immune function, and delays in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis are potential stimuli of seasonal tuberculosis disease. Additionally, seasonal variation in food availability and food intake, age, and sex are important factors which can play a role in the tuberculosis notification variability. Prospective studies regarding this topic and other related subjects are highly recommended.
  26 6,734 38
SYMPOSIUM ON DIAGNOSIS, DRUGS AND DISEASES
An update on crimean congo hemorrhagic fever
Suma B Appannanavar, Baijayantimala Mishra
July-September 2011, 3(3):285-292
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.83537  PMID:21887063
Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is one of the deadly hemorrhagic fevers that are endemic in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. It is a tick-borne zoonotic viral disease caused by CCHF virus of genus Nairovirus (family Bunyaviridae). CCHF not only forms an important public health threat but has a significant effect on the healthcare personnel, especially in resource-poor countries. India was always a potentially endemic area until an outbreak hit parts of Gujarat, taking four lives including the treating medical team. The current review is an attempt to summarize the updated knowledge on the disease particularly in modern era, with special emphasis on nosocomial infections. The knowledge about the disease may help answer certain questions regarding entry of virus in India and future threat to community.
  23 7,875 32
SYMPOSIUM - LIESHMANIASIS
Drug resistance in leishmaniasis
Jaya Chakravarty, Shyam Sundar
May-August 2010, 2(2):167-176
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.62887  PMID:20606973
The treatment options of leishmaniasis are limited and far from satisfactory. For more than 60 years, treatment of leishmaniasis has centered around pentavalent antimonials (Sb v ). Widespread misuse has led to the emergence of Sb v resistance in the hyperendemic areas of North Bihar. Other antileishmanials could also face the same fate, especially in the anthroponotic cycle. The HIV/ visceral leishmaniasis (VL) coinfected patients are another potential source for the emergence of drug resistance. At present no molecular markers of resistance are available and the only reliable method for monitoring resistance of isolates is the technically demanding in vitro amastigote-macrophage model. As the armametrium of drugs for leishmaniasis is limited, it is important that effective monitoring of drug use and response should be done to prevent the spread of resistance. Regimens of simultaneous or sequential combinations should be seriously considered to limit the emergence of resistance.
  22 5,907 288
Treatment of visceral leishmaniasis
EM Moore, DN Lockwood
May-August 2010, 2(2):151-158
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.62883  PMID:20606971
The available treatment options for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) have problems relating to efficacy, adverse effects and cost, making treatment a complex issue. We review the evidence relating to the different methods of treatment in relation to - efficacy and toxicity of the drugs in different areas of the world; ability to monitor side effects, length of treatment; ability of patients to pay for and stay safe during treatment, ability of the healthcare services to give intramuscular, intravenous or oral therapy; the sex and child-bearing potential of the patient and the immune status of the patient. The high mortality of untreated/ poorly treated VL infection makes the decisions paramount, but a unified and coordinated response by each area is likely to be more effective and informative to future policies than an ad hoc response. For patients in resource-rich countries, liposomal amphotericin B appears to be the optimal treatment. In South Asia, miltefosine is being used; the combination of single dose liposomal amphotericin B and short course miltefosine looks encouraging but has the problem of potential reproductive toxicities in females. In Africa, the evidence to switch from SSG is not yet compelling. The need to monitor and plan for evolving drug failure, secondary to leishmania parasite resistance, is paramount. With a few drugs the options may be limited; however, we await key ongoing trials in both Africa and India to explore the effects of combination treatment. If safe and reliable combinations are revealed by the ongoing studies, it is far from clear as to whether this will avoid leishmania parasite resistance. The development of new drugs to add to the armamentarium is paramount. Lessons can be learnt from the management of diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria in terms of planning the switch to combination treatment. As important as establishing the best choice for specific antileishmanial agent is ensuring treatment centers, which can best manage the problems encountered during treatment, specifically malnutrition, bleeding, intercurrent infections, drug side effects and detecting and treating underlying immunosuppression.
  21 6,163 353
SYMPOSIUM ON INFECTIOUS AGENTS IN A MULTIDRUG RESISTANT GLOBE
Multidrug resistant Acinetobacter
Vikas Manchanda, Sinha Sanchaita, NP Singh
September-December 2010, 2(3):291-304
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.68538  PMID:20927292
Emergence and spread of Acinetobacter species, resistant to most of the available antimicrobial agents, is an area of great concern. It is now being frequently associated with healthcare associated infections. Literature was searched at PUBMED, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library, using the terms 'Acinetobacter Resistance, multidrug resistant (MDR), Antimicrobial Therapy, Outbreak, Colistin, Tigecycline, AmpC enzymes, and carbapenemases in various combinations. The terms such as MDR, Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR), and Pan Drug Resistant (PDR) have been used in published literature with varied definitions, leading to confusion in the correlation of data from various studies. In this review various mechanisms of resistance in the Acinetobacter species have been discussed. The review also probes upon the current therapeutic options, including combination therapies available to treat infections due to resistant Acinetobacter species in adults as well as children. There is an urgent need to enforce infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship programs to prevent the further spread of these resistant Acinetobacter species and to delay the emergence of increased resistance in the bacteria.
  20 20,868 402
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Serum procalcitonin in viral and bacterial meningitis
Usama M Alkholi, Nermin Abd Al-monem, Ayman A Abd El-Azim, Mohamed H Sultan
January-March 2011, 3(1):14-18
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.77290  PMID:21572603
Background: In children with meningitis, there is a difficulty to verify the etiology as viral or bacterial. Therefore, intensive research has been carried out to find new and rapid diagnostic methods for differentiating bacterial from viral meningitis. Objectives: The aim of this work was to study the behavior of procalcitonin (PCT) and whether it can be used to differentiate children with bacterial from those with viral meningitis. We also compared PCT to C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cell count. Patients and Methods: Forty children aged from 4 months to 12 years with clinically suspected meningitis were studied. Lumbar punctures were done for all cases before starting initial antibiotic treatment. According to the results of bacterial cultures and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytochemical profile, our patients were classified into two groups: bacterial meningitis group and viral meningitis group. PCT, CRP, and leukocyte count were measured at the time of admission and after 3 days. Results: PCT levels were significantly higher in patients with bacterial meningitis (mean, 24.8 ng/ml) compared to patients with viral meningitis (mean, 0.3 ng/ml) (P<0.001). PCT levels in bacterial meningitis group decreased after 3 days of starting treatment, but remained higher than viral meningitis group (mean, 10.5 ng/ml). All CSF parameters, blood leukocytes, and CRP showed overlapping values between the two groups. Serum PCT with cut off value >2 ng/ml showed sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 100%, 66%, 68%, and 100%, respectively, for the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis. Conclusion: Serum procalcitonin level has a better diagnostic and prognostic value than CRP or leukocyte count to distinguish between bacterial and viral meningitis. It is also a good indicator of the efficacy of treatment of bacterial meningitis.
  18 8,689 48
SYMPOSIUM - LIESHMANIASIS
Immunological perspectives of leishmaniasis
Susanne Nylen, Shalini Gautam
May-August 2010, 2(2):135-146
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.62876  PMID:20606969
Leishmania parasites have been widely used in experimental models to understand generation, maintenance and failure of immune responses underlying resistance and susceptibility to infection. The clinical outcomes of Leishmania infection depend on the infecting species and the immune status of the host. Noticeably most people exposed Leishmania never develop overt disease. Understanding the immunological events that result in failure or successful control of the parasites is fundamental to both design and evaluation of vaccines and therapies against the leishmaniases. Recent studies visualizing immune response to Leishmania major in the skin have given new insights into the different immune cells acting as hosts the parasite during different stage of infection. Control of Leishmania infection and disease progression has been associated with generation of T-helper (Th) 1 and Th2 responses respectively. Though still valid in several aspects, the Th1/Th2 paradigm is an oversimplification in need of revision. Th2 polarization has never explained severity of human leishmanial disease and a number of other T-cell subsets, including regulatory T- and Th17- cells, have important roles in susceptibility and resistance of both experimental and human leishmanial disease. This review gives an updated overview of immunological response considered to be of importance in protection, susceptibility, disease progression and cure of leishmaniasis, with a special emphasis on human diseases.
  17 6,535 338
UPDATE ARTICLE
Human immunodeficiency virus and leishmaniasis
Navid Ezra, Maria Teresa Ochoa, Noah Craft
September-December 2010, 2(3):248-257
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.68528  PMID:20927287
The leishmaniases are a group of diseases transmitted to humans by the bite of a sandfly, caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. Various Leishmania species infect humans, producing a spectrum of clinical manifestations. It is estimated that 350 million people are at risk, with a global yearly incidence of 1-1.5 million for cutaneous and 500,000 for visceral leishmaniasis (VL). VL is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in East Africa, Brazil and the Indian subcontinent. Co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) alters the immune response to the disease. Here we review the immune response to Leishmania in the setting of HIV co-infection. Improved understanding of the immunology involved in co-infections may help in designing prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against leishmaniasis.
  16 33,385 235
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Distribution of Candida Species in different clinical samples and their virulence: Biofilm formation, proteinase and phospholipase production: A study on hospitalized patients in Southern India
Vinitha Mohandas, Mamatha Ballal
January-March 2011, 3(1):4-8
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.77288  PMID:21572601
Introduction: Candida species are normal inhabitants of the skin and mucosa. The importance of epidemiological monitoring of yeasts involved in pathogenic processes is unquestionable due to the increase of these infections over the last decade; Materials and Methods: The clinical samples from the respiratory tract (sputum, bronchial wash, tracheal secretions), saliva, blood, urine, middle ear discharge, vitreous fluid, corneal ulcer, and plastic devices (endotracheal tube, catheter tip, suction tip) were collected and cultured. The species of Candida isolated were identified. Results: A total of 111 isolates of Candida species were recovered from 250 diverse clinical sources. C. albicans (39.64%) was the most isolated species, although the Candida non albicans species with 60.36% showed the major prevalence. In blood cultures, C. krusei (38.23%) and C. albicans (20.58%) were isolated frequently. C. albicans (63.27%) was the predominant species in mucosal surface. Urinary tract infections caused by yeasts were more frequent in hospitalized patients, C. krusei (50.0%) being commonly isolated, followed by C. albicans (25.0%). Discussion: Several virulence factors like, biofilm, proteinase, phospholipase, etc. contribute to the pathogenecity. Early detection of virulence factors by Candida is useful in clinical decision making. We therefore have aimed at demonstrating the formation of biofilm using the method proposed by Branchini et al, (1994). The proteinase produced by Candida was estimated as per the method of Staib et al, (1965). Phospholipase assay was carried out as per the method of Samaranayake et al, (2005). Conclusions : The data suggests that the capacity of Candida species to produce biofilm may be a reflection of the pathogenic potential of the isolates. C. krusei and C. tropicalis showed strong slime production. The non-Candida albicans produced more proteinase than C. albicans. C. albicans produced higher levels of phospholipase than non Candida albicans in this study.
  13 7,173 32
Determination of antifungal susceptibility patterns among the clinical isolates of Candida species
Kamiar Zomorodian, Mohammad Javad Rahimi, Kayvan Pakshir, Marjan Motamedi, Moosa Rahimi Ghiasi, Hasanein Rezashah
October-December 2011, 3(4):357-360
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.91059  PMID:22223999
Context: Candida species are opportunistic yeasts that cause infections ranging from simple dermatosis to potentially life-threatening fungemia. The emergence of resistance to antifungal drugs has been increased in the past two decades. Aim: the present study we determined to find out the susceptibility profiles of clinical isolates of Candida species against four antifungal drugs, including amphotericin B, ketoconazole, fluconazole and itraconazole. Materials and Methods: Antifungal susceptibility testing of the yeasts was done in accordance with the proposed guidelines for antifungal disk diffusion susceptibility testing of yeasts based on the CLSI document M44-A. Results: A total of 206 yeast isolates were assessed. Among the evaluated Candida species, the highest rates of resistance to ketoconazole were seen in Candida glabrata (16.6%) and Candida albicans (3.2%). Susceptibility and intermediate response to fluconazole were seen in 96.6% and 3.4% of the Candida isolates, respectively. A total of 19 (9.2%) yeast isolates showed petite phenomenon including 11 C. glabrata, 3 C. albicans, 2 Candida dubliniensis and one isolate of each Candida krusei and Candida parapsilosis. Conclusion: The high number of petite mutation in the isolated yeasts should be seriously considered since it may be one of the reasons of antifungal treatment failure.
  13 3,606 16
SYMPOSIUM
Vaccination strategies to combat an infectious globe: Oral cholera vaccines
Rosa M López-Gigosos, Elena Plaza, Rosa M Díez-Díaz, Maria J Calvo
January-March 2011, 3(1):56-62
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.77297  PMID:21572610
Cholera is a substantial health burden in many countries in Africa and Asia, where it is endemic. It is as well responsible for ongoing epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa which are becoming greater in terms of frequency, extension, and duration. Given the availability of two oral cholera vaccines and the new data on their efficacy, field effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptance in cholera-affected populations and in travelers, these vaccines should be used in endemic areas, in travelers for these areas and should be considered in areas at risk for outbreaks. The two vaccines currently available in worldwide are: (1) The killed oral vaccine (Dukoral, licensed by SBL-Sweden to Crucell-Holland) is recommended since 1999 by WHO and consists of a mixture of four preparations of heat or formalin killed whole cell Vibrio cholera O1 (Inaba and Ogaba serotypes, and classical and El Tor biotypes) that are then added with purified recombinant cholera toxin (CT) B subunit. Because CT cross-reacts with Escherichia coli LT the vaccine also provides short-term protection against ETEC (enterotoxigenic E. coli) which is of added benefit for travelers. It is available in more than 60 countries. (2) A bivalent O1 and O139 whole cell oral vaccine without CT B subunit (Shanchol) has been lately developed in Vietnam (licensed by VaBiotech-Viet Nam to Shantha Biotechnics-India. It is available in India and Indonesia. A structured search of papers in PubMed and reports on cholera vaccines by WHO and CDC, as well as critical reading and synthesis of the information was accomplished. Inclusion criteria were defined according to reports quality and relevance.
  13 2,981 17
REVIEW ARTICLE
Tuberculosis: Current situation, challenges and overview of its control programs in India
Gursimrat K Sandhu
April-June 2011, 3(2):143-150
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.81691  PMID:21731301
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most ancient diseases of mankind, with molecular evidence going back to over 17,000 years. In spite of newer modalities for diagnosis and treatment of TB, unfortunately, people are still suffering, and worldwide it is among the top 10 killer infectious diseases, second only to HIV. According to World Health Organization (WHO), TB is a worldwide pandemic. It is a leading cause of death among HIV-infected people. In India, historically speaking, fight against TB can be broadly classified into three periods: early period, before the discoveries of x-ray and chemotherapy; post-independence period, during which nationwide TB control programs were initiated and implemented; and the current period, during which the ongoing WHO-assisted TB control program is in place. Today, India's DOTS (directly observed treatment-short course) program is the fastest-expanding and the largest program in the world in terms of patients initiated on treatment; and the second largest, in terms of population coverage. Major challenges to control TB in India include poor primary health-care infrastructure in rural areas of many states; unregulated private health care leading to widespread irrational use of first-line and second-line anti-TB drugs; spreading HIV infection; lack of political will; and, above all, corrupt administration. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is another emerging threat to TB eradication and is a result of deficient or deteriorating TB control program. WHO with its "STOP TB" strategy has given a vision to eliminate TB as a public health problem from the face of this earth by 2050. For this review article, data available at the official websites of WHO; and from the Ministry of Health, Government of India, were consulted, and search engines PubMed; and Google Scholar; were used.
  12 10,165 25
SYMPOSIUM - LIESHMANIASIS
Liposomal amphotericin B and leishmaniasis: Dose and response
Shyam Sundar, Jaya Chakravarty
May-August 2010, 2(2):159-166
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.62886  PMID:20606972
Liposomal amphotericin B has been used with increasing frequency to treat visceral leishmaniasis (VL). It is the treatment of choice for immunocompetent patients in the Mediterranean region and the preferred drug for HIV/VL co-infection. Although there is a regional variation in the susceptibility of the parasite a total dose of 20 mg/kg is effective in immunocompetent patients. Randomized clinical trials of liposomal amphotericin B in the treatment and secondary prophylaxis of HIV-VL coinfected patients is urgently needed to optimize treatment in this subset. With the availability of Liposomal amphotericin B at a preferential pricing in the endemic areas, short course combination therapy can become a viable alternative.
  12 5,599 216
SYMPOSIUM ON INFECTIONS AND TRAVEL
Conquering malaria: Enhancing the impact of effective interventions towards elimination in the diverse and changing epidemiology
AY Kitua, OAT Ogundahunsi, J Lines, CS Mgone
April-June 2011, 3(2):161-165
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.81694  PMID:21731304
Malaria remains a major global disease burden causing just under a million deaths each year, mainly of children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. It consumes up to 40% of public health expenditure of these poor countries, causing in Africa US$ 12 billion in lost GDP every year. This should not be acceptable since malaria is preventable, and there is clear evidence that optimal use of current tools can reduce much of the suffering and deaths. Three major factors allowing this to happen include: (i) inadequate funding to implement a massive initial surge, to achieve universal coverage, (ii) weak country capacities for rapid scale up of such interventions and little or no use of evidence-guided methods, and (iii) insufficient coordination of efforts between national programmes, donors and technical agencies in strategic planning for sustaining gains and in building capacity. We discuss the importance of the surge and the kind of approaches that would accelerate the pace toward elimination and eventual eradication.
  11 2,809 18
CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY
Helicobacter pylori and Hepatitis C virus coinfection in Egyptian patients
Samir El-Masry, Mohamed El-Shahat, Gamal Badra, Mohamed F Aboel-Nour, Mahmoud Lotfy
January-April 2010, 2(1):4-9
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.59244  PMID:20300411
Introduction: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of end-stage liver disease worldwide. It has been shown that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) plays an important role in chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease and gastric malignancies, and its eradication has been advocated. The association between H. pylori infection and liver cirrhosis in patients with hepatitis C virus has been documented in different parts of the world; nevertheless, no conclusive data is available in Egypt. Materials and Methods: In the present study, the status of H. pylori infection was sought in 90 patients with chronic HCV infection and in 66 HCV-free healthy controls. Results: The study showed that the H. pylori positivity was increased significantly (P = 0.03) in the HCV-infected patients when compared to that in healthy controls, where H. pylori infection was found in 50 (55.6%) out of 90 of the HCV-infected patients versus 26 (39.4%) out of 66 of the healthy controls. In HCV-infected patients, the prevalence of H. pylori infection was increased significantly (P = 0.04) from chronic active hepatitis to cirrhosis. H. pylori infection was present in 6/18 (33.3%), 10/21 (47.6%), 16/27 (59.3%), 18/24 (75.0%) patients with chronic active hepatitis, Child-Pugh score A, Child-Pugh score B and Child-Pugh score C, respectively. More importantly, the prevalence of H. pylori infection in HCV-infected patients was increased very significantly (P = 0.003) with increasing Meld (model for end-stage liver disease) score. The prevalence of H. pylori was documented in 9/28 (32.1%) patients with Meld score ≤10 and in 41/62 (66.1%) patients with Meld score >10. Conclusion: It may be stated that our results collectively reflect a remarkable increase in H. pylori prevalence with advancing hepatic lesions, and the eradication treatment may prove beneficial in those patients with chronic hepatitis C.
  10 5,044 229
SYMPOSIUM - LIESHMANIASIS
A current perspective on leishmaniasis
Angela Clem
May-August 2010, 2(2):124-126
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.62863  PMID:20606967
There are many challenges facing the successful control and eradication of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is still endemic in many poverty stricken and war torn areas. Through the use of an extensive literature review, this article examined the global disease burden of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. Surveillance and control measures for leishmaniasis being used by the World Health Organization were also discussed in this article. Finally, potential new treatments and possible vaccines for leishmaniasis were reviewed in this article.
  9 4,354 302
SYMPOSIUM ON INFECTIONS AND TRAVEL
Novelties on amoebiasis: A neglected tropical disease
Cecilia Ximénez, Patricia Morán, Liliana Rojas, Alicia Valadez, Alejandro Gómez, Manuel Ramiro, René Cerritos, Enrique González, Eric Hernández, Partida Oswaldo
April-June 2011, 3(2):166-174
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.81695  PMID:21731305
In accordance with the 1997 documents of the World Health Organization (WHO), amoebiasis is defined as the infection by the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica with or without clinical manifestations. The only known natural host of E. histolytica is the human with the large intestine as major target organ. This parasite has a very simple life cycle in which the infective form is the cyst, considered a resistant form of parasite: The asymptomatic cyst passers and the intestinal amoebiasis patients are the transmitters; they excrete cysts in their feces, which can contaminate food and water sources. E. histolytica sensu stricto is the potentially pathogenic species and E. dispar is a commensal non-pathogenic Entamoeba. Both species are biochemical, immunological and genetically distinct. The knowledge of both species with different pathogenic phenotypes comes from a large scientific debate during the second half of the 20 th century, which gave place to the rapid development of diagnostics technology based on molecular and immunological strategies. During the last ten years, knowledge of the new epidemiology of amoebiasis in different geographic endemic and non-endemic areas has been obtained by applying mostly molecular techniques. In the present work we highlight novelties on human infection and the disease that can help the general physician from both endemic and non-endemic countries in their medical practice, particularly, now that emigration is undoubtedly a global phenomenon that is modifying the previous geography of infectious diseases worldwide.
  9 11,583 38
SYMPOSIUM ON INFECTIOUS AGENTS IN A MULTIDRUG RESISTANT GLOBE
Extended-spectrum ß-lactamases in gram negative bacteria
Deepti Rawat, Deepthi Nair
September-December 2010, 2(3):263-274
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.68531  PMID:20927289
Extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBLs) are a group of plasmid-mediated, diverse, complex and rapidly evolving enzymes that are posing a major therapeutic challenge today in the treatment of hospitalized and community-based patients. Infections due to ESBL producers range from uncomplicated urinary tract infections to life-threatening sepsis. Derived from the older TEM is derived from Temoniera, a patient from whom the strain was first isolated in Greece. ß-lactamases, these enzymes share the ability to hydrolyze third-generation cephalosporins and aztreonam and yet are inhibited by clavulanic acid. In addition, ESBL-producing organisms exhibit co-resistance to many other classes of antibiotics, resulting in limitation of therapeutic option. Because of inoculum effect and substrate specificity, their detection is also a major challenge. At present, however, organizations such as the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (formerly the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards) provide guidelines for the detection of ESBLs in Klebsiella pneumoniae, K. oxytoca, Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis. In common to all ESBL-detection methods is the general principle that the activity of extended-spectrum cephalosporins against ESBL-producing organisms will be enhanced by the presence of clavulanic acid. Carbapenems are the treatment of choice for serious infections due to ESBL-producing organisms, yet carbapenem-resistant isolates have recently been reported. ESBLs represent an impressive example of the ability of gram-negative bacteria to develop new antibiotic-resistance mechanisms in the face of the introduction of new antimicrobial agents. Thus there is need for efficient infection-control practices for containment of outbreaks; and intervention strategies, e.g., antibiotic rotation to reduce further selection and spread of these increasingly resistant pathogens.
  9 11,658 397
ELECTRONIC EPIDEMIOLOGY
Current status of HIV/AIDS in South Asia
Chaturaka Rodrigo, Senaka Rajapakse
July-December 2009, 1(2):93-101
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.56249  PMID:20300398
Background: According to the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, 33.2 million adults and children are living with the infection worldwide. Of these, two to three million are estimated to be in South Asia. All countries of the region have a low prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, it is important to review the current epidemiological data to identify the trends of infection as it would have implications on prevention. Materials and Methods: We performed a MEDLINE search using phrases 'South Asia' plus 'HIV' , 'AIDS', and names of individual countries in South Asia (limits: articles published in last 10 years, in English language). Clinical trials, reviews, meta-analyses, letters, editorials, and practice guidelines were all considered. The following countries were included as belonging to South Asia; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Recent estimates and data on country status, and details of national control programs were obtained from websites of international agencies such as the World Bank and United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Results and Discussion: This review looks into many aspects of HIV infection in South Asia including country profiles with regard to infection, economic and psychological burden of illness and treatment issues in the South Asian context.
  8 4,249 342
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Clinical profile of chikungunya patients during the epidemic of 2007 in Kerala, India
Krishna Pillai Vijayakumar, Thekkumkara Surendran Nair Anish, Biju George, Tony Lawrence, Sujina C Muthukkutty, Reshmi Ramachandran
July-September 2011, 3(3):221-226
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.83526  PMID:21887052
Background: The association of the present Chikungunya pandemic with a mutation in the Chik virus is already established in many parts of the world, including Kerala. Kerala was one of the worst-affected states of India in the Chikungunya epidemic of 2006-2007. It is important to discuss the clinical features of patients affected by Chikungunya fever in the context of this change in the epidemiology of the disease. Aim: This study tries to analyze the clinical picture of the Chikungunya patients in Kerala during the epidemic of 2007. Setting and Design: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in five of the most affected districts in Kerala, India. Materials and Methods: A two-stage cluster sampling technique was used to collect the information. Ten clusters each were selected from all the five districts, and the size of the clusters were 18 houses each. A structured interview schedule was used for data collection. Diagnosis based on clinical signs and symptoms was the major case-finding strategy. Results and Conclusion: Of the 3623 residents in the surveyed households, 1913 (52.8%) had Chikungunya clinically. Most of the affected were in the adult age group (73.4%). Swelling of the joints was seen in 69.9% of the patients, followed by headache (64.1%) and itching (50.3%). The knee joint was the most common joint affected (52%). The number of patients with persistence of any of the symptoms even after 1 month of illness was 1388 (72.6%). Taking bed rest till the relief of joint pain was found to be a protective factor for the persistence of the symptoms. Recurrence of symptoms with a period of disease-free interval was complained by 669 (35.0%) people. Older age (>40 years), a presentation of high-grade fever with shivering, involvement of the small joints of the hand, presence of rashes or joint swelling during the first week of fever and fever lasting for more than 1 week were the significant risk factors for recurrence of symptoms predicted by a binary logistic regression model. In conclusion, we found that there is substantial acute and chronic morbidity associated with the Chikungunya epidemic of 2007.
  8 6,671 21
Assessment of Helicobacter pylori prevalence by scorpion real-time PCR in chronic tonsillitis patients
T Naserpour Farivar, AA Pahlevan, P Johari, F Safdarian, M Aslani Mehr, R Najafipour, F Ahmadpour
January-March 2012, 4(1):38-42
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.93760  
Background: Occasionally, bacteria or viruses enter the tonsils and these organs become overwhelmed by bacterial or viral infection leading to inflammation. Some studies confirmed the presence of Helicobacter pylori in tonsillar specimens of patients suffering from chronic tonsillitis and some others did not. The difference in results in various studies might be due to different laboratory methods. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of H. pylori Deoxynucleic acid (DNA) in archival tonsillar tissues of patients with chronic tonsillitis by a rapid, sensitive, and specific technique of Scorpion real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Materials and Methods: Scorpion real-time PCR and modified McMullen's staining was performed on 103 archival paraffin-embedded tonsillar samples collected from patients with chronic tonsillitis following tonsillectomy operation. Results: Our findings showed that H Cell and Molecular Research Center. pylori DNA was present in 21.35% of total specimens by using Scorpion real-time PCR. Modified McMullen's staining of paraffin-embedded sections was positive in 19 patients. Out of our 103 samples, 50 samples showed positive a rapid urease test whereas 53 samples demonstrated negative results, 20 produced positive PCR results, and 83 were negative for H. pylori. There was no significant relationship between the presence of H. pylori, sex, age, and place of residence. Conclusion: Although the existence of H. pylori in tonsillar tissue samples of patients with chronic tonsillitis is controversial, however, our results showed that in our studied specimens, a significant number of patients with chronic tonsillitis had H. pylori colonization.
  8 2,548 17
PRACTITIONER SECTION
Urinary tract infections and asymptomatic bacteriuria in renal transplant recipients
Rabi Yacoub, Nader Kassis Akl
October-December 2011, 3(4):383-389
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.91064  PMID:22224004
Asymptomatic bacteriuria and urinary tract infection are common complications after kidney transplantation. In this population, if urinary tract infection occurred in the first six months post procedure, it carries a grave impact on both graft and patient survival. Renal transplant recipients with urinary tract infection are often clinically asymptomatic as a consequence of immunosuppression. Urinary tract infection, however, may progress to acute pyelonephritis, bacteremia and the full blown picture of urosepsis. PubMed and Cochrane databases were searched. The purpose of this review is to discuss the screening and treatment of urinary tract infection and asymptomatic bacteriuria in renal transplant recipients and to evaluate the guidelines on the basis of a review of published evidence.
  8 4,501 28
SYMPOSIUM
Combination vaccines
David AG Skibinski, Barbara C Baudner, Manmohan Singh, Derek T O'Hagan
January-March 2011, 3(1):63-72
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.77298  PMID:21572611
The combination of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines into a single product has been central to the protection of the pediatric population over the past 50 years. The addition of inactivated polio, Haemophilus influenzae, and hepatitis B vaccines into the combination has facilitated the introduction of these vaccines into recommended immunization schedules by reducing the number of injections required and has therefore increased immunization compliance. However, the development of these combinations encountered numerous challenges, including the reduced response to Haemophilus influenzae vaccine when given in combination; the need to consolidate the differences in the immunization schedule (hepatitis B); and the need to improve the safety profile of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis combination. Here, we review these challenges and also discuss future prospects for combination vaccines.
  8 9,035 47
SYMPOSIUM ON INFECTIOUS AGENTS IN A MULTIDRUG RESISTANT GLOBE
Methicillin and vancomycin resistant S. aureus in hospitalized patients
Poonam Sood Loomba, Juhi Taneja, Bibhabati Mishra
September-December 2010, 2(3):275-283
DOI:10.4103/0974-777X.68535  PMID:20927290
S. aureus is the major bacterial cause of skin, soft tissue and bone infections, and one of the commonest causes of healthcare-associated bacteremia. Hospital-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) carriage is associated with an increased risk of infection, morbidity and mortality. Screening of high-risk patients at the time of hospital admission and decolonization has proved to be an important factor in an effort to reduce nosocomial transmission. The electronic database Pub Med was searched for all the articles on "Establishment of MRSA and the emergence of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA)." The search included case reports, case series and reviews. All the articles were cross-referenced to search for any more available articles. A total of 88 references were obtained. The studies showed a steady increase in the number of vancomycin-intermediate and vancomycin-resistant S. aureus. Extensive use of vancomycin creates a selective pressure that favors the outgrowth of rare, vancomycin-resistant clones leading to heterogenous vancomycin intermediate S. aureus hVISA clones, and eventually, with continued exposure, to a uniform population of vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA) clones. However, the criteria for identifying hVISA strains have not been standardized, complicating any determination of their clinical significance and role in treatment failures. The spread of MRSA from the hospital to the community, coupled with the emergence of VISA and VRSA, has become major concern among healthcare providers. Infection-control measures, reliable laboratory screening for resistance, appropriate antibiotic prescribing practices and avoidance of blanket treatment can prevent long-term emergence of resistance.
  8 6,787 181
* Source: CrossRef
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