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Am J Trop Med Hyg

High Cryptosporidium prevalences in healthy Aymara children from the northern Bolivian Altiplano.

Esteban JG. Aguirre C. Flores A. Strauss W. Angles R. Mas-Coma S.
Departamento de Parasitologia, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Burjassot, Spain.
The prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection was determined in four Aymara communities in the Bolivian Altiplano, between the city of La Paz and Lake Titicaca, at an altitude of 3,800-4,200 meters. Single stool specimens were randomly collected from 377 5-19-year-old students, all apparently asymptomatic. The total prevalence (31.6%) is possibly the highest reported among healthy humans (a maximum of 9.8% and 2.0% in coprologic surveys in underdeveloped and developed countries, respectively) and one of the highest even in symptomatic subjects. No significant age and sex differences were observed. Such an infection prevalence is probably related to the poor sanitation conditions, contaminated water supplies, overcrowding, and close contact with domestic animals. Continuous exposure to the parasite could be associated with protection against parasite-related symptoms in the children examined.

Enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot analysis of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak on a United States Coast Guard cutter.

Moss DM. Bennett SN. Arrowood MJ. Wahlquist SP. Lammie PJ.
Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.
Symptoms consistent with an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis (diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal cramps) occurred on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter within 0-18 days after the cutter filled its tanks with Milwaukee, Wisconsin city water in March 1993. At three-weeks postdocking (PD), the suspected water was removed, and serum samples and stool specimens were collected from 47 of the 58 crew members, as well as questionnaire data on their water consumption and symptoms aboard the cutter. At 10-weeks PD and/or at 28-weeks PD, additional serum specimens were collected. Intensitometric data from enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB) were obtained on IgA responses to a 17-kD antigen group, IgM responses to a 27-kD antigen group, and IgG responses to 27-, 17-, and 15-kD antigen groups extracted from oocysts. In addition, IgG responses to crude oocyst antigens were obtained by ELISA. Based on reported symptoms, EITB results, and stool examination, the crew members were classified as confirmed (10), probable (10), suspected (22), and noncases (16). Of the 10 confirmed cases (all symptomatic) and the 10 probable cases (eight symptomatic) whose stools were positive and negative, respectively, for Cryptosporidium oocysts by microscopy, all showed changes in EITB intensities to the antigen groups and were considered EITB positive. The remaining 38 crew members, 22 suspected cases (all symptomatic), and 16 noncases (all asymptomatic), if tested, had negative stool examinations and were considered EITB negative. Of the 10 confirmed cases, only four showed a significant change in IgG responses (P < 0.05) between three-weeks PD and follow-up serum specimens by ELISA. Crew members considered confirmed cases consumed significantly more water (P < or = 0.005) aboard the cutter than noncases. Crew members considered EITB positive consumed more water (P < or = 0.04) than crew members considered EITB negative while there was no significant difference in water consumption (P > or = 0.19) between crew members considered ELISA positive and ELISA negative. Using the EITB, the observation of changes in intensity of IgA responses to the 17-kD antigen group, IgM responses to the 27-kD antigen group, and IgG responses to the 27- 17-, and 15-kD antigen groups from C. parvum oocysts between acute and convalescent serum specimens appears useful for immunodiagnosis of Cryptosporidium infection and for prospective epidemiologic studies designed to monitor infection risk.

Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Vibrio cholerae isolates from a recent cholera outbreak in Senegal: comparison with isolates from Guinea-Bissau.

Year 1998
Aidara A. Koblavi S. Boye CS. Raphenon G. Gassama A. Grimont F. Grimont PA.
Institut Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal.
A total of 127 strains of Vibrio cholerae (117 V. cholerae O1 and 10 nonagglutinating strains) isolated from a recent cholera outbreak in Senegal and four strains isolated in Guinea-Bissau (during the survey of a cholera epidemic that occurred 10 months before the Senegalese one) were analyzed. Strains were characterized by conventional methods (biochemical and serologic identification, susceptibility to antimicrobial agents), polymerase chain reaction for genes encoding cholera toxin (CtxA), zonula occludens toxin (Zot), and accessory cholera enterotoxin (Ace), and by ribotyping. Conventional methods showed that all strains of V. cholerae O1 belonged to serotype Ogawa, biotype El Tor and were resistant to the vibriostatic agent O129 (2,4-diamino 6,7-diisopropylpteridine phosphate), cotrimoxazole, and chloramphenicol; all strains were sensitive to tetracycline, a drug that has been extensively used in cholera therapy. Most of these V. cholerae O1 (112 strains from Senegal and four strains from Guinea-Bissau) had an intact core region (virulence cassette) and amplified a 564-basepair (bp) fragment of ctxA, a 1083-bp fragment of zot, and a 314-bp fragment of ace. Ribotyping of V. cholerae O1 strains after Bgl I restriction of total DNA revealed that ribotype B5a, which is the predominant ribotype of this seventh pandemic of cholera, was not isolated. Instead, a new ribotype was identified and designated B27 in our data bank. Since O1 isolates from Guinea-Bissau and Senegal have the same biotype, serotype, and ribotype and as the Guinea-Bissau outbreak that preceded the one in Senegal, this emerging ribotype probably came from Guinea-Bissau. Nonagglutinating strains exhibited no resistance to the O129 agent and to the tested antibiotics, they were all negative for virulence cassette, except for one strain with the ctxA and zot genes isolated from a patient with diarrhea, and there was a great variability of ribotypes among these strains. There was no difference between environmental O1 strains isolated from water and strains isolated from patients with cholera, suggesting that fecally contaminated water is an important reservoir for infection.

Comparison of serum antibody responses to Giardia lamblia of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

Year 1998
Soliman MM. Taghi-Kilani R. Abou-Shady AF. El-Mageid SA. Handousa AA. Hegazi MM. Belosevic M.
Department of Parasitology, Mansoura University School of Medicine, Egypt.
The circulating anti-parasite antibody response against Giardia lamblia in symptomatic and asymptomatic Egyptian children with confirmed giardiasis was examined. Symptomatic patients were identified using the following criteria: presence of only G. lamblia cysts in the feces, and one or more of the following symptoms, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of weight, vomiting and/or nausea, and abdominal distention. The anti-parasite humoral response was measured using indirect immunofluorescence (IFA), ELISA, and immunoblotting. There was a significant difference in the anti-parasite antibody response measured by IFA of asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, in which more than 34% of the asymptomatic patients had a titer equal to or less than 1:500, and more that 29% of the symptomatic patients had a titer of 1:8,000 or higher. The circulating anti-parasite total IgM and IgA but not IgG, measured by ELISA, was significantly higher in symptomatic than in asymptomatic patients, and were related to higher cyst output observed in symptomatic individuals. Although total anti-parasite IgG response was similar in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, the analysis of the IgG isotype responses revealed that both IgG1 and IgG3 were significantly higher in symptomatic patients. The antigen recognition by anti-parasite IgM, IgA, IgG1, and IgG3 of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, determined by immunoblotting, was heterogeneous and revealed only minor differences in the response of the two groups.

Diarrheal disease incidence and morbidity among United States military personnel during short-term missions overseas.

Year 1998
Sanchez JL. Gelnett J. Petruccelli BP. Defraites RF. Taylor DN.
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 21005-0836, USA.
Outpatient medical surveillance of U.S. troops was conducted during 11 different overseas missions between 1981 and 1990. In addition, at the end of each of 18 overseas missions during the same period, a sample of troops was queried regarding illnesses and exposures experienced in the preceding time overseas. Diarrhea was among the leading causes of morbidity during all of these short-term missions. Diarrhea incidence rates were found to be highest during summer months, and were higher during missions to Thailand (median = 25%, range = 20-29%), Latin America (median = 26%, range = 1-43%), and northeastern Africa and southwest Asia (median = 19%, range = < 1-52%). Rates were lowest in troops deployed to the Republic of South Korea (median = 16%, range = 8-27%). During April and May 1990, a focused surveillance and questionnaire study was conducted during a five-week, joint U.S.-Thai military training exercise in central Thailand. Among 2,600 U.S. personnel, diarrheal illness was found to be the most common medical problem for troops (estimated cumulative incidence = 29%). Travel outside of the base of operations and consumption of ice were found to be important risk factors. The 10-year database analyzed for this report is the largest, published summary showing the significant impact of diarrheal diseases on U.S. military forces during short-term deployments to less developed areas.

Role of hepatitis E virus in sporadic cases of acute and fulminant hepatitis in an endemic area (Chad).

Year 1998
Coursaget P. Buisson Y. N'Gawara MN. Van Cuyck-Gandre H. Roue R.
Institut de Virologie de Tours and Laboratoire d'Immunologie des Maladies Infectieuses, Faculte de Pharmacie, France.
Forty-one patients with acute or fulminant hepatitis and 86 control patients were entered into a study of sporadic, acute, and fulminant hepatitis in the N'Djamena area of Chad in 1993. Acute hepatitis B was diagnosed in nine (22%) patients and acute hepatitis E in 27 (66%) patients. No acute hepatitis A was observed and 10% of the patients had serologic markers of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Dual acute hepatitis B and E were observed in four patients (10%) and acute HEV infection was associated with chronic hepatitis B surface antigen carriage in 16 (39%). Epidemiologic findings concerning HBV from Chad suggest that these patients had undiagnosed chronic liver disease due to HBV, with acute deterioration caused by superimposed HEV replication. Moreover, it is obvious that in developing countries only the most severe cases of hepatitis are seen in hospital settings and a large proportion of them are related to superinfection with HBV and HEV. Antibody to HEV was observed in 22% of the control patients. This observation and the fact that epidemic and sporadic cases of HEV are observed in Chad indicates that HEV is highly endemic in this country.

Modification of the clinical course of intestinal microsporidiosis in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients by immune status and anti-human immunodeficiency virus therapy.

Year 1998
Conteas CN. Berlin OG. Speck CE. Pandhumas SS. Lariviere MJ. Fu C.
Division of Gastroenterology, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Los Angeles 90027, USA.
The clinical course of 37 Enterocytozoon bieneusi-infected acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients with diarrhea was studied. Parasite clearance was seen in 15 patients (40.5%). Clearance of E. bieneusi resulted in a 25-100% reduction in episodes of diarrhea, suggesting that microsporidia are true pathogens. Univariate and multivariate proportional hazards analyses revealed that peripheral blood CD4 cell counts > or = 100/mm3, the use of two or more antiretroviral medications, and use of a protease inhibitor were statistically associated with decreased time to clearance of E. bieneusi. Specific anti-microsporidial therapy (albendazole) was not associated with parasite eradication. Factors related to immunocompetence and human immunodeficiency virus suppression appeared to be important in the clearance of E. bieneusi.

Examination of the prevalence and seasonal variation of intestinal microsporidiosis in the stools of persons with chronic diarrhea and human immunodeficiency virus infection.

Year 1998
Conteas CN. Berlin OG. Lariviere MJ. Pandhumas SS. Speck CE. Porschen R. Nakaya T.
Division of Gastroenterology, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Los Angeles 90027, USA.
The epidemiology of human microsporidiosis is poorly understood and environmental factors affecting transmission of the organism have not been fully elucidated. Temporal variation in the prevalence of microsporidia in the stool of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and diarrhea was studied to evaluate the role of water-borne transmission. From January 1993 to December 1996, 8,439 stools from HIV-infected individuals were examined for microsporidia spores in southern California. Yearly positivity rates were 8.8% in 1993, 9.7% in 1994, 6.6% in 1995, and 2.9% in 1996. An analysis for linear trend showed a statistically significant decrease in stool positivity rates over time (chi2 = 81.9, P = 0.001). No significant seasonal variation in the prevalence of microsporidiosis was seen over that time period. These results suggest the constant presence of microsporidia in the environment, rather than a seasonal association with recreational water use or seasonal contamination of the water supply, and a real decrease in yearly prevalence of microsporidia related diarrhea. Factors related to a progressive decrease in prevalence are subjects of future investigation.

Risk factors associated with human cystic echinococcosis in Florida, Uruguay: results of a mass screening study using ultrasound and serology.

Year 1998
Carmona C. Perdomo R. Carbo A. Alvarez C. Monti J. Grauert R. Stern D. Perera G. Lloyd S. Bazini R. Gemmell MA. Yarzabal L.
Instituto de Higiene e Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Sonographic evidence of asymptomatic Echinococcus granulosus lesions in the liver was found in 156 of 9,515 persons in the Department of Florida, Uruguay. The sensitivity of ELISA and latex agglutination serology compared with ultrasound was 47.6% and 28.1%, respectively, and specificity was > 85%. There was a significant positive association between positive sonography and a personal history of previous but treated Echinococcus infection while those that were seropositive but ultrasound-negative were significantly more likely to have a personal history of infection or a history of infection in their family. Prevalence of infection increased significantly with age. There was no correlation between echinococcosis and dog ownership or home slaughter of sheep but offal disposal was important, with an increased prevalence of infection of 3.2%, 2.8%, and 3.1%, respectively, in persons feeding offal to dogs or burying or burning it compared with a prevalence of 0.8-1.5% in those using other methods of disposal. Almost half the population, when questioned, seemed to have sound knowledge about E. granulosus and described correct treatment of E. granulosus in dogs but this did not affect prevalence. There was a significant positive association between infection and the presence of a fenced fruit/vegetable garden and use of rural waters, particularly the cachimba (a small dam) and the aljibe (a cistern or tank) that collect rainwater from the ground surface and roofs, respectively.

Longitudinal study of the antibody response to recombinant Entamoeba histolytica antigens in patients with amebic liver abscess.

Year 1998
Stanley SL Jr. Jackson TF. Foster L. Singh S.
Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
Serology is a critical component in the diagnosis of amebic liver abscess. However, in areas endemic for amebiasis there is a high background level of seropositivity for amebiasis (owing to previous infection with Entamoeba histolytica), which may complicate the interpretation of a positive serologic test result. Recently, we reported that serologic tests based on recombinant E. histolytica antigens might offer improved diagnosis of current invasive amebiasis because they apparently differentiated active infection from past exposure to the parasite. To confirm this finding, we have performed a longitudinal study on 20 patients with amebic liver abscess by examining their seroreactivity over time with recombinant versions of two major E. histolytica proteins, the serine rich E. histolytica protein (SREHP), and the 170-kD subunit of the galactose-specific adhesin. We found that more than 50% of the patients examined had become seronegative by one or both recombinant tests within 180 days of their diagnosis of amebic liver abscess. In the case of the recombinant SREHP-based tests, 12 patients had become seronegative 90 days after presentation. In contrast, all patients remained seropositive by a standard conventional test, an indirect hemagglutination test, at more than six months after presentation. Our study shows that patients lose seroreactivity with the recombinant SREHP or 170-kD antigen-based tests more rapidly than with a conventional serologic test; this may make them useful for the serologic diagnosis of amebiasis in endemic areas.

Immunodiagnosis of Fasciola hepatica infection (fascioliasis) in a human population in the Bolivian Altiplano using purified cathepsin L cysteine proteinase.

Year 1998
O'Neill SM. Parkinson M. Strauss W. Angles R. Dalton JP.
School of Biological Sciences, Dublin City University, Ireland.
Cathepsin L1 (CL1), an immunogenic cysteine proteinase secreted by juvenile and adult Fasciola hepatica, was assessed for its potential as a diagnostic agent for the serologic detection of human fascioliasis. Using ELISAs, we compared the ability of liver fluke homogenates (LFH), excretory/secretory (ES) products, and CL1 to discriminate between seropositive (infected) and seronegative (noninfected) individuals within a population of 95 patients from the Bolivian Altiplano. A high prevalence of human fascioliasis has been reported in this region. The division between the seropositive and seronegative individuals was poorly defined when LFH was used as the antigen. A greater discrimination between these populations was achieved with both ES and CL1. A K-means cluster analysis using the combined ES and CL1 ELISA data identified a cluster of seropositive individuals. Cathepsin L1 detected a subset (20) of these seropositive individuals while ES detected all 26; however, ES detected nine additional individuals that were in the seronegative cluster. The ratio of the mean absorbance readings between seropositive and seronegative individuals was markedly improved by using conjugated second antibodies to IgG4, the predominant isotype elicited by infection. In these IgG4-ELISAs, CL1 again identified fewer individuals as seropositive than did ES, but improved the discrimination between the seropositive and seronegative individuals and thus provided a more conclusive diagnosis. Sera obtained from patients infected with schistosomiasis mansoni, cysticercosis, hydatidosis, and Chagas' disease were negative in these assays, which demonstrated the specificity of the IgG4-ELISA for detecting fascioliasis. Twenty of the 95 patients (21%) were seropositive for fascioliasis by the CL1 IgG4-ELISA, confirming the earlier reports of the high prevalence of disease in this region. A standardized diagnostic test for human fascioliasis, based on an ELISA that detects IgG4 responses to CL1, could be available to all diagnostic centers if sufficient quantities of recombinant CL1 can be produced.

Intestinal parasitic infections in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and HIV-negative individuals in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Year 1998
Lindo JF. Dubon JM. Ager AL. de Gourville EM. Solo-Gabriele H. Klaskala WI. Baum MK. Palmer CJ.
Center for Disease Prevention, and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33136, USA.
Honduras has at least five-times more human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals than any other country in Central America. The relationship between HIV status and the presence of intestinal parasites in this part of the world is unknown. This study presents the results from a prospective, comparative study for the presence of parasites in 52 HIV-positive and 48 HIV-negative persons in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Infection with HIV was determined by microagglutination and confirmed by Western blot analysis. Parasites were detected in stools using formalin-ether concentration, and Kinyoun and trichrome staining. Age, sex, and clinical state of HIV infection were recorded for each study participant. Our results indicate that Cryptosporidium parvum and Strongyloides stercoralis, which are intracellular or live in the mucosa, were found exclusively in persons infected with HIV. In comparison, the prevalence of the extracellular parasites Giardia lamblia, Ascaris lumbricoides, and Trichuris trichiura was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in persons who were HIV-negative. Trichuris worms are in contact with the gut epithelium and less so with the mucosa, whereas Strongyloides lives within the gut mucosa. It is possible that changes in the gut epithelium due to HIV infection do not affect the mucosa and therefore would not affect Strongyloides. We conclude that infection with HIV may selectively deter the establishment of certain intestinal parasites. This may be due to the fact that HIV-induced enteropathy does not favor the establishment of extracellular parasites. Intracellular and mucosal dwelling organisms, however, may benefit from pathologic changes and reduced local immune responses induced by the virus, which, in turn, may lead to higher prevalence among HIV-infected individuals.

Correlations between intestinal parasitosis, physical growth, and psychomotor development among infants and children from rural Nicaragua.

Year 1998
Oberhelman RA. Guerrero ES. Fernandez ML. Silio M. Mercado D. Comiskey N. Ihenacho G. Mera R.
Department of Tropical Medicine, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.
The correlations between malnutrition, parasitosis (especially helminth infections), and child development are complex, and studies of these interrelationships will allow health agencies to maximize screening and intervention strategies for developing countries. We examined these correlations in a cross-sectional program in Carazo State, Nicaragua. Nine hundred sixty-one children in two age strata (ages 0-24 months and ages 2-10 years) from one urban and three rural communities were screened for intestinal parasites (direct smear and ZnSO4 flotation), malnutrition, and developmental delays. Nutritional status was determined as weight-for-age (WFA), weight-for-height (WFH), and height-for-age (HFA). Developmental status (normal, suspect) was determined for the four subtests of the Denver II Screening Test. The prevalence of malnutrition was 14.6% (WFA), 8.4% (WFH), and 36.3% (HFA). Parasitosis was more prevalent in children less than 24 months of age with low HFA, whereas in older children low WFA was more closely associated with parasitic infections. Ascaris and Trichuris were more prevalent in malnourished children. On the Denver II, suspect test results in all four categories (language, social, gross motor, and fine motor) were associated with low WFA, and suspect language tests were associated with both intestinal parasites (P = 0.0003) and Ascaris infection in particular (P = 0.044). Developmental disabilities are a significant and frequently undetected health problem in developing countries, and malnutrition associated with intestinal helminth infections may be an important contributory factor for these disabilities.

Effect of low-level pathogenic helminth infection on energy metabolism in Gambian children.

Year 1998
Stettler N. Schutz Y. Jequier E.
Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
The aim of the present study was to determine whether an increase in resting energy expenditure (REE) contributes to the impaired nutritional status of Gambian children infected by a low level of infection with pathogenic helminths. The REE of 24 children infected with hookworm, Ascaris, Strongyloides, or Trichuris (mean +/- SEM age = 11.9 +/- 0.1 years) and eight controls without infection (mean +/- SEM age = 11.8 +/- 0.1 years) were measured by indirect calorimetry with a hood system (test A). This measurement was repeated after treatment with 400 mg of albendazole (patients) or a placebo (controls) (test B). When normalized for fat free mass, REE in test A was not different in the patients (177 +/- 2 kJ/kg x day) and in the controls (164 +/- 7 kJ/kg x day); furthermore, REE did not change significantly after treatment in the patients (173 +/- 3 kJ/kg x day) or in the controls (160 +/- 8 kJ/kg x day). There was no significant difference in the respiratory quotient between patients and controls, nor between tests A and B. It is concluded that a low level of helminth infection does not affect significantly the energy metabolism of Gambian children.

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