Isolation of Serpulina pilosicoli from rectal biopsy specimens showing evidence of intestinal spirochetosis.
Trivett-Moore NL. Gilbert GL. Law CL. Trott DJ. Hampson DJ.
Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead Hospital, New South Wales, Australia.
Histologic evidence of intestinal spirochetosis (IS) was found in 22 of 41 (53.7%) rectal biopsy specimens from homosexual men attending a sexually transmitted diseases clinic. Serpulina pilosicoli was cultured from 11 of the IS-positive biopsy specimens (50%) and from 2 specimens (10.5%) in which spirochetes were not observed. The association between seeing spirochetes in biopsy specimens and isolating S. pilosicoli was statistically significant, clearly indicating that this spirochete is the agent of IS.
Past and present hepatitis G virus infections in areas where hepatitis C is highly endemic and those where it is not endemic.
Tanaka E. Tacke M. Kobayashi M. Nakatsuji Y. Kiyosawa K. Schmolke S. Engel AM. Hess G. Alter HJ.
Second Department of Internal Medicine, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan. email@example.com
We reported previously on an area in Japan where over 30% of the inhabitants were positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody. In the present study, clinical features of hepatitis G virus (HGV) infection in this area of high endemicity were compared to those in an area where HCV is not endemic. A total of 400 individuals were selected randomly from those who were medically screened for liver disease in 1993; 200 were from the high-endemicity area, and the other 200 were from the no-endemicity area. HGV RNA was measured by reverse transcription and PCR with primers in the 5' noncoding region. Antibody to HGV envelope protein E2 was measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Prevalence of any HGV marker in the high-endemicity area (32%) was significantly (P < 0.0001) higher than that in the no-endemicity area (6%); similar differences, 32% versus 3% (P < 0.0001), had been observed for HCV markers (HCV RNA and HCV antibody). In areas of both high and no endemicity, HCV markers were significantly more prevalent in individuals with any HGV marker than in those without HGV markers, and age-specific prevalence of HGV markers was distributed similarly to that of any HCV marker. Among possible routes of HGV transmission that were analyzed, folk medicine was significant in the high-endemicity area, but blood transfusion was the major route in the no-endemicity area. The rate of accompanying viremia in HGV infection (15%) was significantly lower than that in HCV infection (78%) (P < 0.0001). In conclusion, HGV infection was highly prevalent in the area of high HCV endemicity and was closely associated with HCV infection. HGV seemed to be transmitted via the practice of folk medicine as well as blood transfusion. HGV resulted in a chronic carrier state less frequently than did HCV.
Detection of hepatitis G virus RNA in persons with and without known risk factors for blood-borne viral infections in Sweden and Honduras.
Lara C. Halasz R. Sonnerborg A. Sallberg M.
Department of Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology, and Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.
We analyzed 224 and 163 serum samples from individuals in Sweden and Honduras, respectively, for the presence of the hepatitis G virus (HGV or GB virus-C) RNA. HGV infection in both Sweden and Honduras was related to common risk factors for blood-borne infections, despite a surprisingly high frequency in groups without known risk factors.
Etiology of acute gastroenteritis in hospitalized children in Melbourne, Australia, from April 1980 to March 1993.
Barnes GL. Uren E. Stevens KB. Bishop RF.
Department of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Acute infectious diarrhea is common in children. Control requires knowledge of causes. Few comprehensive long-term studies of etiology have been undertaken in developed countries. This report is of a 13-year survey of 4,637 children from 0 to 14 years of age, admitted to a large children's hospital for treatment of gastroenteritis, in which viruses, bacteria, and parasites were sought. A recognized enteric pathogen was identified in 56.6% of children. Group A rotaviruses occurred in 39.6% of children overall and in 55% of children 12 to 23 months of age. They were a frequent cause (18.7%) of acute gastroenteritis in children under 6 months and in those aged 5 to 13 years (16%). Rotaviruses were almost entirely responsible for winter admission peaks. Enteric adenovirus types 40 and 41 (6% overall) were more frequent in children under 12 months (9.4%). Salmonella spp. (5.8%) and Campylobacter jejuni (3.4%) were more common in children over 5 years (13.1% and 6.7%, respectively). The 43.5% of cases (60% in children under 6 months) where no enteric pathogen was identified are cause for concern. The involvement of small viruses (including caliciviruses and astroviruses) may be clarified when molecular biology techniques are utilized to address this gap in our knowledge. This comprehensive 13-year study of the cause of acute infectious diarrhea in children in developed countries reinforces the importance of rotavirus and highlights a large group for whom the etiology remains unknown, an issue of particular concern with babies under 6 months of age. New techniques have the potential to identify old and new pathogens causing disease in these vulnerable infants.
Identification of Encephalitozoon intestinalis in travelers with chronic diarrhea by specific PCR amplification.
Raynaud L. Delbac F. Broussolle V. Rabodonirina M. Girault V. Wallon M. Cozon G. Vivares CP. Peyron F.
ESSA, Bron, France.
With the use of Weber's modified trichrome and Uvitex 2B techniques, spores of microsporidia were detected in the stools of four travelers presenting clinically with chronic diarrhea. The general health of these patients was not impaired, and human immunodeficiency virus screening was negative. Immune evaluation, including the study of lymphocytic subpopulations, assay of serum immunoglobulins, and an intradermal multitest, showed normal results. Molecular identification of microsporidian species was based on the PCR amplification of a small-subunit rRNA sequence followed by HinfI endonuclease restriction. Encephalitozoon intestinalis microsporidiosis was thus shown in two of the four patients examined. In two patients, therapy based on albendazole made stools devoid of microsporidian spores without influence on the intestinal disorders. The pathogenic role of E. intestinalis in immunocompetent individuals remains to be demonstrated.
Structure and function of plasmid pColD157 of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 and its distribution among strains from patients with diarrhea and hemolytic-uremic syndrome.
Hofinger C. Karch H. Schmidt H.
Institut fur Hygiene und Mikrobiologie der Universitat Wurzburg, Germany.
In this study, pColD157, a 6.7-kb colicinogenic plasmid of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 strain CL40cu, was characterized by restriction mapping and determination of its complete nucleotide sequence. The sequence consists of 6,675 bp and shows a high degree of similarity to the nucleotide sequence of colicinogenic plasmids pColD-CA23 and pColK. Seven potential genes were located on pColD157, three of which were closely related (>97.9%) to the colicin D structural gene and the corresponding immunity and lysis genes of plasmid pColD-CA23, and these were therefore designated cda, cdi, and cdl, respectively, using the reference extension -CL40 for differentiation. The adjacent 3' region is related to the origin of replication of pColD-CA23. In contrast, the remaining part of the plasmid harbors a cluster of genes, closely related to the mobilization genes of pColK, which is followed by a 0.3-kb stretch homologous to the pColK resolution function. These determinants were designated mbdA, mbdB, mbdC, and mbdD and cdr, respectively. Southern blot analysis was performed with a probe specific for the cda gene of pColD157 and two groups of EHEC O157:H7 isolates from patients with diarrhea or hemolytic-uremic syndrome resident in Germany. Whereas 16 of 46 E. coli O157 strains isolated between 1987 and 1991 harbored plasmid pColD157, only 1 of 50 strains isolated during 1996 carried this plasmid. In addition, all strains harboring plasmid pColD157 were shown to have colicinogenic activity.
Assessment of hepatitis B virus DNA stability in serum by the Chiron Quantiplex branched-DNA assay.
Krajden M. Comanor L. Rifkin O. Grigoriew A. Minor JM. Kapke GF.
Department of Microbiology, The Toronto Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. email@example.com
Quantification of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in serum is used to establish eligibility for treatment and to monitor therapeutic response. With the trend toward centralized testing, defining the conditions that preserve sample integrity is of paramount importance. We therefore evaluated the stability of HBV DNA in 26 previously frozen (PF) and 5 fresh, never previously frozen serum specimens. PF specimens, covering a 3-log10 HBV DNA dynamic range, were thawed and stored at -70, 4, 23, 37, and 45 degrees C (+/-1.5 degrees C) for 0, 24, 72, and 120 h (+/-2 h) and were refrozen at -70 degrees C prior to testing. Five fresh specimens were split into two groups. Both group FG1 and group FG2 specimens were handled as described above; however, group FG1 specimens were subsequently maintained at 4 degrees C and were never frozen prior to testing. Linear regression analysis of PF specimens demonstrated no significant HBV DNA degradation at < or =4 degrees C over 5 days; however, HBV DNA levels decreased by 1.8, 3.4, and 20% per day at 23, 37, and 45 degrees C, respectively. Three independent statistical methods confirmed that the probability of specimen failure, defined as a loss of 20% or more of HBV DNA and/or coagulation of serum, was lowest at < or =4 degrees C and increased with temperature. Because only 10 to 20% of individual patient specimens demonstrated losses of HBV DNA of > or =20% at 23 or 37 degrees C, sufficient numbers of serum specimens must be evaluated to determine overall statistical trends. In conclusion, HBV DNA integrity in separated serum specimens is preserved for at least 5 days when the specimens are stored at -70 or 4 degrees C.
Automated RIBA hepatitis C virus (HCV) strip immunoblot assay for reproducible HCV diagnosis.
Martin P. Fabrizi F. Dixit V. Quan S. Brezina M. Kaufman E. Sra K. DiNello R. Polito A. Gitnick G.
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 90024-1749, USA. Pmartin@surgery.medsch.ucla.edu
A comparison between the CHIRON RIBA hepatitis C virus (HCV) processor and manual systems was performed by using 88 specimens repeatedly reactive by the second-generation HCV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (HCV 2.0 ELISA) and 111 random specimens from volunteer donors. For the second-generation RIBA HCV strip immunoblot assay (SIA) (RIBA HCV 2.0 SIA), test results correlated strongly between the manual and the automated runs (kappa value, 0.937). For the RIBA HCV 3.0 SIA, the correlation of the test results was also high (kappa value, 0.899). Among the specimens with positive results by RIBA HCV 2.0 and 3.0 SIAs, there was a very strong concordance of the test results between the manual and the automated runs with regard to the reactive bands. Nine samples had discordant results between the manual and the automated runs; this was probably attributable to increased variability in antigen scores close to the cutoff values for both tests. Run-to-run and within-run testing by the CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System showed a very low rate of conflicting values. In conclusion, the CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System is capable of performing RIBA HCV 2.0 and 3.0 SIAs accurately with minimal operator involvement. In addition, the CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System shows excellent reproducibility, with the potential for operator-to-operator and site-to-site variability being greatly reduced. Our data indicate that this novel methodology may be very useful for supplemental anti-HCV testing of specimens repeatedly reactive by ELISA in routine clinical assessments and epidemiologic evaluations.
Hepatitis G virus infection in Amerindians and other Venezuelan high-risk groups.
Pujol FH. Khudyakov YE. Devesa M. Cong ME. Loureiro CL. Blitz L. Capriles F. Beker S. Liprandi F. Fields HA.
Laboratorio de Biologia de Virus, Centro de Microbiologia y Biologia Celular, Caracas, Venezuela. firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, a new virus related to flaviviruses, the hepatitis G virus (HGV), or GBV-C virus, was discovered as a putative blood-borne human pathogen. HGV RNA (NS5 region) was amplified by reverse transcription-nested PCR in the sera of 6 of 64 (9%) hemodialysis patients; 2 of 80 (2.5%) West Yukpa Amerindians, a population with a high rate of HBV infection but negative for HCV infection; and 1 patient with an acute episode of non-A, non-B, non-C hepatitis (NABCH). The patterns of single-strand conformation polymorphism of the amplified products were unique among different specimens and similar on follow-up for hemodialysis patients. All patients tested remained HGV RNA positive 1 and 2 years later, without major sequence variation, except for the NABCH patient, for whom a double infection and an apparent clearance of the original dominant variant was observed after 2 years. The sequences of the NS5 amplified products demonstrated 85 to 90% identity with other reported HGV sequences.
Amplification of full-length hepatitis B virus genomes from samples from patients with low levels of viremia: frequency and functional consequences of PCR-introduced mutations.
Gunther S. Sommer G. Von Breunig F. Iwanska A. Kalinina T. Sterneck M. Will H.
Heinrich-Pette-Institut fur Experimentelle Virologie und Immunologie an der Universitat Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany. email@example.com
To facilitate the investigation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) sequence variation, we recently established a method for functional analysis of PCR-amplified full-length HBV genomes. This study aimed at estimating the number of mutations introduced during amplification of genomes from samples from patients with low levels of viremia and their influence on replication and antigen expression. Wild-type HBV DNA template molecules in concentrations like those present in samples from patients with very low levels of viremia were amplified, sequenced (30 kb total), and functionally tested. We found that Taq polymerase and a Taq-Pwo polymerase mixture introduced an average of 5.7 and 3.1 mutations per genome, respectively, corresponding to polymerase error rates of 12.1 x 10(-5) and 6.0 x 1(0-5). One of 8 genomes (12%) amplified with Taq polymerase, but 7 of 17 genomes amplified with Taq-Pwo polymerases (41%), remained replication competent. All replication-competent genomes expressed HBs and HBe antigens and had an average of only 0.9 mutations per genome. In contrast, replication-defective genomes had an average of 5.4 mutations, which frequently also disturbed viral antigen expression. From these data we conclude that many of the replication-competent HBV genomes from a clinical specimen will retain their replication and antigen expression phenotypes even after extensive amplification with Taq-Pwo polymerases. Because replication competence is highly sensitive to random mutations, it is the best marker for the identification of HBV genomes with few or no PCR-introduced mutations.
Detection and characterization of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli by using multiplex PCR assays for stx1, stx2, eaeA, enterohemorrhagic E. coli hlyA, rfbO111, and rfbO157.
Paton AW. Paton JC.
Molecular Microbiology Unit, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia.
Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) comprises a diverse group of organisms capable of causing severe gastrointestinal disease in humans. Within the STEC family, certain strains appear to be of greater virulence for humans, for example, those belonging to serogroups O111 and O157 and those with particular combinations of other putative virulence traits. We have developed two multiplex PCR assays for the detection and genetic characterization of STEC in cultures of feces or foodstuffs. Assay 1 utilizes four PCR primer pairs and detects the presence of stx1, stx2 (including variants of stx2), eaeA, and enterohemorrhagic E. coli hlyA, generating amplification products of 180, 255, 384, and 534 bp, respectively. Assay 2 uses two primer pairs specific for portions of the rfb (O-antigen-encoding) regions of E. coli serotypes O157 and O111, generating PCR products of 259 and 406 bp, respectively. The two assays were validated by testing 52 previously characterized STEC strains and observing 100% agreement with previous results. Moreover, assay 2 did not give a false-positive O157 reaction with enteropathogenic E. coli strains belonging to clonally related serogroup O55. Assays 1 and 2 detected STEC of the appropriate genotype in primary fecal cultures from five patients with hemolytic-uremic syndrome and three with bloody diarrhea. Thirty-one other primary fecal cultures from patients without evidence of STEC infection were negative.
Comparative study of different standardization concepts in quantitative competitive reverse transcription-PCR assays.
Haberhausen G. Pinsl J. Kuhn CC. Markert-Hahn C.
Department of New Technologies, Laboratory Systems, Boehringer-Mannheim GmbH, Penzberg, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
Four different standardization approaches based on a competitive reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assay were compared with a noncompetitive assay based on an external standard curve. Criteria for assessment were accuracy in quantitation, correctness of recovery, sensitivity, dynamic range, reproducibility, throughput, and convenience of sample handling. As a model system, we used the 5'-noncoding region of hepatitis C virus (HCV) for amplification in all quantitative RT-PCRs. A computer program that allowed parallel data processing was developed. Surprisingly, all methods were found suitable for accurate quantitation and comparable with respect to the criterion correctness of recovery. All results differed only by a factor of about 2. The reason for this finding might be that all of our mimics, as well as the wild-type genome of HCV, exhibited exactly the same amplification and hybridization efficacy. Moreover, minimal competition occurred in our experiments over a 5-log dynamic range. A further topic of our investigation was the comparison of two different competitive RNA fragments, mimics, with regard to their suitability as internal standards. One was a heterologous mimic, in which only the primer binding sites were identical to the wild type. The second one was a homologous mimic identical to the wild type except for a small region used for differential hybridization, which was replaced by a permutated sequence of the same length. Both the homologous and heterologous internal mimics were found appropriate for an accurate competitive RT-PCR assay, provided that amplification efficacy, as well as capture efficacy, is proven identical for both analyte and mimic.
Antigenic diversity of hepatitis B virus strains of genotype F in Amerindians and other population groups from Venezuela.
Blitz L. Pujol FH. Swenson PD. Porto L. Atencio R. Araujo M. Costa L. Monsalve DC. Torres JR. Fields HA. Lambert S. Van Geyt C. Norder H. Magnius LO. Echevarria JM. Stuyver L.
Laboratorio Regional de Referencia Virologica, Instituto de Investigaciones Clinicas, LUZ, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
The adw4 subtype of hepatitis B virus (HBV) belongs to a unique genomic group (genotype F) representing the original HBV strains from the New World. Data regarding the prevalence of this subtype among HBV carriers in South America are, however, scarce, and those concerning HBV genotype F are based on only a few samples from Latin America. In this study, serum samples were obtained from 141 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carriers from Amerindians and urban populations from Venezuela. The HBsAg subtype was identified with monoclonal antibodies in 105 samples, and the HBV genotype was identified by reverse-phase hybridization with DNA fragments in 58 samples. The adw4 subtype was highly prevalent in the population studied (75%); among the Amerindians, the prevalence was 97%. The adw2 subtype was also present (10%), while other subtypes (ayw3 and ayw4) were only occasionally found. The HBV subtype was associated with the expected genotype in most cases (80%), and thus genotype F was highly prevalent. Sequencing of viral strains that gave genotypes unpredicted by the HBsAg subtyping confirmed seven of them as belonging to not previously described genotype-subtype associations: namely, adw2 and ayw4 within genotype F.
Staphylococcus lugdunensis: report of a case of peritonitis and an easy-to-perform screening strategy.
Schnitzler N. Meilicke R. Conrads G. Frank D. Haase G.
Institute of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Germany.
We report on a severe case of peritonitis due to Staphylococcus lugdunensis. The clinical course resembled an infection due to S. aureus more than one due to other coagulase-negative staphylococci. Therefore, we strongly recommend identification and propose an easy-to-perform procedure for screening of this pathogen.
Haemophilus parainfluenzae liver abscess after successful liver transplantation.
Friedl J. Stift A. Berlakovich GA. Taucher S. Gnant M. Steininger R. Muhlbacher F.
Department of Surgery, University of Vienna, Austria. Josef.Friedl@akh-wien.ac.at
Haemophilus parainfluenzae was isolated from a bile specimen and from an aspirate of a liver abscess in a 58-year-old liver-transplanted woman that was indicative of an invasion of the graft by an ascending route. Drug therapy, immunosuppression, rejection therapy, and Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy may have contributed to the septic course. Interdisciplinary cooperation was instrumental in diagnosis and successful management in this case.
Detection and direct typing of herpes simplex virus in perianal ulcers of patients with AIDS by PCR.
do Nascimento MC. Sumita LM. de Souza VA. Pannuti CS.
Instituto de Infectologia Emilio Ribas, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.
The presence of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2 in perianal ulcerations of 41 AIDS patients was assessed by virus culture and a type-specific PCR-based assay. HSV was isolated from the lesion site in 24 of 41 (58.5%) patients, and HSV DNA was detected by PCR in all 24 (100%) of these specimens. Additionally, PCR was used to detect HSV DNA in 12 of 17 (70.5%) HSV culture-negative samples. Thus, HSV genomic sequences could be demonstrated in 36 of 41 (87.8%) perianal ulcers in this series. Full agreement in HSV typing by either immunodot assay or PCR was seen in 24 samples that were positive by both virus culture and PCR. HSV-2 was demonstrated in 35 of 36 (97.2%) HSV-positive samples.
Multicenter evaluation of the COBAS AMPLICOR HCV assay, an integrated PCR system for rapid detection of hepatitis C virus RNA in the diagnostic laboratory.
Albadalejo J. Alonso R. Antinozzi R. Bogard M. Bourgault AM. Colucci G. Fenner T. Petersen H. Sala E. Vincelette J. Young C.
Servicio de Microbiologia Clinica y Enfermedades Infecciosas, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon, Madrid, Spain.
The benefits shown by the recent introduction of PCR for the in vitro diagnosis of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has prompted the development of standardized, ready-to-use assays that can be implemented in routine clinical laboratories. We have evaluated the clinical performance of COBAS AMPLICOR HCV (COBAS), the first instrument system that allows the automation of HCV RNA amplification and detection, to determine its performance in the routine laboratory setting. More than 2,000 specimens collected at five centers were analyzed in parallel by the COBAS and the manual AMPLICOR HCV (AMPLICOR) tests, and the results were compared with the results for biochemical and serological markers of HCV. In this study the two PCR systems showed the same accuracy, with a concordance rate of 99.8%. As expected, the correlation between serology and PCR was not absolute because the presence of anti-HCV antibodies may be associated with a latent or past infection. On the other hand, if the presence of confirmed anti-HCV antibodies and elevated alanine aminotransferase levels are taken as the "gold standard," indicating an active, ongoing infection, the COBAS and AMPLICOR tests show high and comparable sensitivities (100%) and specificities (98%), with positive and negative predictive values of 100 and 97%, respectively. During the study no false-positive reactions were detected. The use of an internal control allowed the identification of inhibitory substances that prevented amplification for 0.3 and 0.4% of samples tested by the COBAS and AMPLICOR tests, respectively. Compared to the manual system, the COBAS system allowed a significant reduction of hands-on time and could improve the overall laboratory work flow. In conclusion, these results support the use of the COBAS and AMPLICOR tests for the molecular diagnosis of active HCV infections.
Use of immunoblot assay to define serum antibody patterns associated with Helicobacter pylori infection and with H. pylori-related ulcers.
Aucher P. Petit ML. Mannant PR. Pezennec L. Babin P. Fauchere JL.
Department of Microbiology (EA 1720), Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire, Poitiers, France.
Serology has been used worldwide to detect Helicobacter pylori infection. Using an immunoblot assay with an antigen from strain ATCC 43579, we sought to determine the antibodies which were good markers of colonization and the antibody patterns associated with ulcers or atrophy. Out of 98 dyspeptic patients, 41 were colonized by H. pylori, based on a positive culture or on positive results of both a urease test and direct examination. These 41 patients were seropositive by an enzyme immunoassay, and 12 of them had ulcers and 29 had evidence of atrophy. Fifty-seven of the 98 patients were noncolonized. Twenty-five of the 57 had evidence of gastric atrophy, and 10 were seropositive; 5 of these 10 had ulcers. By Western blot analysis, 12 antibodies were significantly more frequent in sera from colonized patients, and they produced immunoreactive bands at 125, 87, 74, 66, 54, 48, 46, 42, 35, 30, 16 and 14 kDa. The presence of at least one band at 54, 35, or 42 kDa was the best marker of infection (sensitivity, 95%; specificity, 82%). In the group of colonized patients, none of the antibody patterns were correlated to gastric atrophy. Conversely, the presence of a band at 125, 87, or 35 kDa was statistically associated with the presence of an ulcer. The simultaneous presence of bands at 87 and 35 kDa predicted the risk of ulcers with 83% sensitivity and 69% specificity. By using CagA-positive and VacA-positive strains and CagA-negative and VacA-negative isogenic mutants, the antigens corresponding to the bands at 125 and 87 kDa were shown to be CagA and VacA, respectively. On the other hand, the 35-kDa antigen is a novel uncharacterized component of H. pylori. These results may help to optimize the composition of antigenic preparations for serologic detection of H. pylori colonization. Immunoblot assay would be useful for screening patients at high risk of ulcers.
Virulence properties of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains of serogroup O118, a major group of STEC pathogens in calves.
Wieler LH. Schwanitz A. Vieler E. Busse B. Steinruck H. Kaper JB. Baljer G.
Institut fur Hygiene und Infektionskrankheiten der Tiere, University of Giessen, Germany. email@example.com
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains of serogroup 0118 are the most prevalent group among STEC strains in diarrheic calves in Germany (L. H. Wieler, Ph.D. thesis, University of Giessen, 1997). To define their virulence properties, 42 0118 (0118:H16 [n = 38] and 0118:H- [n = 4]) strains were characterized. The strains displayed three different Stx combinations (Stx1 [36 of 42], Stx1 and Stx2 [2 of 42], and Stx2 [4 of 42]). A total of 41 strains (97.6%) harbored a large virulence-associated plasmid containing hlyEHEC (hly from enterohemorrhagic E. coli). The strains' adhesive properties varied in relation to the eukaryotic cells tested. Only 28 of 42 strains (66.7%) showed localized adhesion (LA) in the human HEp-2 cell line. In contrast, in bovine fetal calf lung (FCL) cells, the number of LA-positive strains was much higher (37 of 42 [88.1%]). The locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) was detected in 41 strains (97.6%). However, not all LEE-positive strains reacted positively in the fluorescence actin-staining (FAS) test, which indicated the attaching and effacing (AE) lesion. In HEp-2 cells, only 22 strains (52.4%) were FAS positive, while in FCL cells, the number of FAS-positive strains was significantly higher (38 of 42 [90.5%; P < 0.001]). In conclusion, the vast majority of the 0118 STEC strains from calves (41 of 42 [97.6%]) have a high virulence potential (stx, hlyEHEC, and LEE). This virulence potential and the high prevalence of STEC 0118 strains in calves suggest that these strains could be a major health threat for humans in the future. In addition, the poor association between results of the geno- and phenotypical tests to screen for the AE ability of STEC strains calls the diagnostic value of the FAS test into question.
Sensitivities and specificities of premier E. coli O157 and premier EHEC enzyme immunoassays for diagnosis of infection with verotxin (Shiga-like toxin)-producing Escherichia coli. The SYNSORB Pk Study investigators.
Mackenzie AM. Lebel P. Orrbine E. Rowe PC. Hyde L. Chan F. Johnson W. McLaine PN.
Division of Microbiology, Ottawa Civic Hospital, Ontario, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
This study describes the performance of two rapid enzyme immunoassays, Premier E. coli O157 and Premier EHEC (Meridian Diagnostics Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio) for the detection in stools of Escherichia coli O157 and verotoxins (Shiga-like toxins), respectively. Both tests were performed on stools from 876 children presenting to eight emergency departments with diarrhea. Standard culture, including E. coli O157:H7 isolation, was performed, and paired sera were taken for anti-O157-lipopolysaccharide antibody determination. Stools from patients enrolled in the study, and those yielding discordant results, were sent to a reference laboratory for repeat testing and further investigation, including cytotoxicity and non-O157 verotoxin-producing E. coli culture. Results were classified as field results (obtained in the eight site laboratories) and resolved results (obtained after repeat testing in the central laboratory). The "gold standard" for sensitivity of both tests and for specificity of Premier E. coli O157 was isolation of E. coli O157:H7 or a fourfold anti-O157 antibody rise. Specimens positive by the Premier EHEC test and negative for E. coli O157 culture were examined for non-O157 verotoxin-producing E. coli. The field sensitivity of Premier E. coli O157 was 86%, that of Premier EHEC was 89%, and the specificity of Premier E. coli O157 was 98%. Ten of 13 discordant Premier E. coli O157 results were reassigned as true results after repeat testing. Ten non-O157 verotoxin-producing E. coli isolates were recovered from Premier EHEC-positive, E. coli O157 culture-negative stools. Only one specimen gave an unequivocally false-positive Premier EHEC result. Both tests are highly sensitive and are specific if correctly performed. The Premier EHEC test will be particularly valuable as a practical routine test for the detection of non-O157 verotoxin-producing E. coli.
Comparison of culture and PCR for detection of Burkholderia cepacia in sputum samples of patients with cystic fibrosis.
Whitby PW. Dick HL. Campbell PW 3rd. Tullis DE. Matlow A. Stull TL.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City 73104, USA.
We investigated the utility of PCR to detect Burkholderia cepacia directly in sputum samples at two cystic fibrosis (CF) centers serving children and adults. Following liquefaction of the sputa by using N-acetyl-L-cysteine, DNA was isolated and analyzed by PCRs with three different primer pairs directed toward bacterial rRNA loci. Two primer pairs were putatively specific for B. cepacia. The other pair, which universally amplifies a band from all bacteria, served as a control. Sputum samples were obtained from 219 patients and analyzed independently by culture and by PCR to detect B. cepacia. The analyses were performed blinded with respect to each other. The results of the PCR with sputa demonstrated that the primers directed to the 16S loci demonstrated approximately 95% concordance with culture results and were more specific than those amplifying the 16S to 23S spacer region. In addition, the 16S primer pair putatively identified B. cepacia in seven patients whose sputa were culture negative at this time. Of these culture-negative patients, five had sputum samples that were culture positive for B. cepacia either prior or subsequent to this study. The results of this study indicate the utility of PCR as a diagnostic method for the rapid identification of B. cepacia in sputum samples of CF patients. We anticipate that improvements in our taxonomic understanding may allow the design of more specific primers for detection of each species of the B. cepacia complex in sputum samples.
Antigenic and genomic diversity of human rotavirus VP4 in two consecutive epidemic seasons in Mexico.
Padilla-Noriega L. Mendez-Toss M. Menchaca G. Contreras JF. Romero-Guido P. Puerto FI. Guiscafre H. Mota F. Herrera I. Cedillo R. Munoz O. Calva J. Guerrero ML. Coulson BS. Greenberg HB. Lopez S. Arias CF.
Instituto de Biotecnologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Cuernavaca, Morelos.
In the present investigation we characterized the antigenic diversity of the VP4 and VP7 proteins in 309 and 261 human rotavirus strains isolated during two consecutive epidemic seasons, respectively, in three different regions of Mexico. G3 was found to be the prevalent VP7 serotype during the first year, being superseded by serotype G1 strains during the second season. To antigenically characterize the VP4 protein of the strains isolated, we used five neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which showed specificity for VP4 serotypes P1A, P1B, and P2 in earlier studies. Eight different patterns of reactivity with these MAbs were found, and the prevalence of three of these patterns varied from one season to the next. The P genotype of a subset of 52 samples was determined by PCR. Among the strains characterized as genotype P and P there were three and five different VP4 MAb reactivity patterns, respectively, indicating that the diversity of neutralization epitopes in VP4 is greater than that previously appreciated by the genomic typing methods.
Hepatitis C virus infections in dialysis centers in The Netherlands: a national survey by serological and molecular methods.
Schneeberger PM. Keur I. van der Vliet W. van Hoek K. Boswijk H. van Loon AM. van Dijk WC. Kauffmann RH. Quint W. van Doorn LJ.
Department of Microbiology, Bosch Medicentrum, Den Bosch, The Netherlands. MEDMICRO@WORLDONLINE.NL
A national survey of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among dialysis patients in The Netherlands was performed. The study involved 2,653 patients (2,108 hemodialysis patients and 545 chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis [CAPD] patients) from 39 of the 49 dialysis centers in the country. Patient sera were analyzed by both serological and molecular methods. Screening by a third-generation enzyme immunoassay (EIA) yielded 79 reactive sera. The presence of anti-HCV antibodies was confirmed in 70 patients by a line immunoassay. All seropositive samples were tested by reverse transcriptase PCR, and 57 samples were found to contain HCV RNA. Of the nine EIA-positive and line immunoassay-negative or indeterminate samples, four were HCV RNA positive. All seronegative samples were screened for the presence of HCV RNA in pools of five sera. Of 2,576 antibody-negative samples, 6 contained HCV RNA. All antibody-positive and RNA-positive samples were also tested by a second serological assay. The prevalence of HCV infections among Dutch dialysis patients as determined by serology or the presence of HCV RNA was 3% (80 of 2,653), i.e., 3.5% (73 of 2,108) in patients treated on hemodialysis and 1.3% (7 of 545) in patients on CAPD. Of these 80 HCV-infected dialysis patients, 67 (84%) were HCV RNA positive. Serological screening alone would have diagnosed only 70 infected patients. Therefore, antibody screening combined with detection of HCV RNA should be considered as the "gold standard" for diagnosing HCV infection in dialysis patients. The prevalence of HCV-infected patients in Dutch dialysis centers ranged from 0 to 8%, suggesting the existence of local risk factors for acquiring HCV infection. Genotyping analysis by reverse hybridization line probe assay revealed the presence of genotypes la (23%), 1b (46%), 2 (3%), 2a (13%), 2b (1%), 3a (7%), and 4a (4%). In four (6%) samples multiple genotypes were detected. The genotype distribution of HCV isolates among Dutch dialysis patients was similar to the distribution among nondialysis patients from the Benelux, except for subtype 1a, which was significantly more prevalent among dialysis patients. In only one center, a high prevalence of an uncommon genotype was suggestive of infection from a common source.
Detection of Bacteroides fragilis enterotoxin gene by PCR.
Shetab R. Cohen SH. Prindiville T. Tang YJ. Cantrell M. Rahmani D. Silva J Jr.
Division of Infectious and Immunologic Diseases, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento 95817, USA.
Bacteroides fragilis constitutes about 1% of the bacterial flora in intestines of normal humans. Enterotoxigenic strains of B. fragilis have been associated with diarrheal diseases in humans and animals. The enterotoxin produced by these isolates induces fluid changes in ligated intestinal loops and an in vitro cytotoxic response in HT-29 cells. We developed a nested PCR to detect the enterotoxin gene of B. fragilis in stool specimens. After DNA extraction, a 367-bp fragment was amplified with two outer primers. The amplicon from this reaction was subjected to a second round of amplification with a set of internal primers. With these inner primers, a 290-bp DNA fragment was obtained which was confirmed as part of the B. fragilis enterotoxin gene by Southern blotting with a nonradioactive internal probe and a chemiluminescence system. By this approach, B. fragilis enterotoxin gene sequences were detected in eight known enterotoxigenic human isolates and nine enterotoxigenic horse isolates. No amplification products were obtained from DNA extracted from 28 nonenterotoxigenic B. fragilis isolates or B. distasonis, B. thetaiotaomicron, B. uniformis, B. ovatus, Escherichia coli, or Clostridium difficile. The sensitivity of this assay allowed us to detect as little as 1 pg of enterotoxin DNA sequences or 100 to 1,000 cells of enterotoxigenic B. fragilis/g of stool. Enterotoxin production of all isolates was confirmed in vitro in HT-29 cells. A 100% correlation was obtained between enterotoxin detection by cytotoxin assay and the nested PCR assay. This rapid and sensitive assay can be used to identify enterotoxigenic B. fragilis and may be used clinically to determine the role of B. fragilis in diarrheal diseases.
Peritonitis associated with vancomycin-resistant Lactobacillus rhamnosus in a continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis patient: organism identification, antibiotic therapy, and case report.
Klein G. Zill E. Schindler R. Louwers J.
Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology, Veterinary Faculty, Free University of Berlin, Germany. email@example.com
A case of Lactobacillus rhamnosus-associated peritonitis in a patient undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis is reported. The patient was treated with vancomycin after isolation of glycopeptide-susceptible coagulase-negative staphylococci. After a skin rash developed, vancomycin was discontinued and replaced with teicoplanin. Seven weeks after the glycopeptide therapy was discontinued, a Lactobacillus strain was isolated in pure cultures. The isolate was identified first incorrectly as L. acidophilus but later correctly as L. rhamnosus. Antibiotic susceptibility testing showed that the isolate was resistant to glycopeptides but susceptible to several other antibiotics. The antibiotic treatment was then switched to imipenem and was successful.
Positive result by serology indicates active Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with atrophic gastritis.
Kokkola A. Rautelin H. Puolakkainen P. Sipponen P. Farkkila M. Haapiainen R. Kosunen TU.
Second Department of Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.
Patients with atrophic corpus gastritis and elevated Helicobacter pylori antibody titers but 13C-urea breath test (13C-UBT) and histology results negative for H. pylori were randomized into eradication therapy or follow-up only. Antibody levels decreased significantly in six out of seven patients in the eradication group, while in the follow-up group, the titers declined in only one out of eight patients. In patients with atrophic corpus gastritis, positive serology results may indicate an ongoing infection in spite of negative 13C-UBT and histology results.
Ultrastructure, immunofluorescence, western blot, and PCR analysis of eight isolates of Encephalitozoon (Septata) intestinalis established in culture from sputum and urine samples and duodenal aspirates of five patients with AIDS.
Croppo GP. Croppo GP. Moura H. Da Silva AJ. Leitch GJ. Moss DM. Wallace S. Slemenda SB. Pieniazek NJ. Visvesvara GS.
Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3724, USA.
Microsporidia are ancient, intracellular, eukaryotic protozoan parasites that form spores and that lack mitochondria. Currently, as many as eight species included under six genera are known to infect humans, mostly patients with AIDS. Among these, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, the agent of gastrointestinal (GI) disease, is the most frequently identified microsporidian in clinical laboratories in the United States. Encephalitozoon (Septata) intestinalis, the agent that causes a disseminated infection including infection of the GI tract, is the second most frequently identified microsporidian parasite. In spite of this, not many isolates of E. intestinalis have been established in culture. We describe here the continuous cultivation of eight isolates of E. intestinalis obtained from different samples including the urine, sputum, and duodenal aspirate or biopsy specimens from five AIDS patients originating from California, Colorado, and Georgia. The specific identification was made on the bases of ultrastructural, antigenic, and PCR analyses.
Presence of multiple Helicobacter heilmannii strains in an individual suffering from ulcers and in his two cats.
Dieterich C. Wiesel P. Neiger R. Blum A. Corthesy-Theulaz I.
Department of Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Circumstantial evidence suggests that "Helicobacter heilmannii" infection is an example of zoonosis. The presence of "H. heilmannii" strains in a human subject with acute gastric erosions, in his two cats, and in two unrelated cats was analyzed, and the genetic relatedness of the human and feline strains was assessed. A 580-bp, PCR-amplified sequence of "H. heilmannii" urease B gene (ureB) obtained from biopsies from the human subject and his two cats was restricted with AluI and cloned for sequencing. Analysis of the restriction fragment length polymorphism of the ureB-amplified product suggested the presence of different individual "H. heilmannii" strains in the cats and of three distinct strains in the human subject. One of the "H. heilmannii" ureB sequences amplified from the human subject's biopsies was identical to that derived from one of his cats. The degree of similarity between the other "H. heilmannii" human and feline nucleotide sequences was higher than 97%. Most of the base substitutions were conservative. We conclude that human and animal "H. heilmannii" strains are closely related and that humans can be infected by more than one "H. heilmannii" strain, as has been observed for Helicobacter pylori.
Recurrent catheter-related infection caused by a single clone of Mycobacterium chelonae with two colonial morphotypes.
Hsueh PR. Teng LJ. Yang PC. Chen YC. Ho SW. Luh KT.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei.
We describe herein a recurrent catheter-related (Port-A-Cath; Smiths Industries Medical Systems [SIMS] Deltec, Inc., St. Paul, Minn.) infection caused by multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium chelonae with two colonial morphotypes in a 53-year-old woman with gastric adenocarcinoma. Four isolates recovered from this patient within a 3-month period were found to belong to a single clone on the basis of the isolates' identical antibiotypes as determined by the E test and their identical random amplified polymorphic DNA patterns.
Association of Providencia alcalifaciens with diarrhea in children.
Albert MJ. Faruque AS. Mahalanabis D.
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka. firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been demonstrated in previous studies that Providencia alcalifaciens can produce diarrhea by an invasive mechanism. In the present study, P. alcalifaciens was isolated from the stool specimens of 17 of 814 diarrheal children younger than 5 years of age (2.1%) and from those of 4 of 814 matched controls (0.49%) (P = 0.004), indicating that the organism is significantly associated with diarrhea. However, 71% of P. alcalifaciens-positive diarrheal children had simultaneous infections with other recognized enteric pathogens.