Indoor climate of two new blocks of flats was investigated. The case building was built for people with respiratory diseases by following the instructions of the Finnish Classification of Indoor Climate, Construction and Finishing Materials, while the control building was built using conventional building technology. The main indoor air parameters (temperature, relative humidity and levels of CO, CO2, ammonia, total volatile organic compounds, total suspended particles, fungal spores, bacteria and cat, dog and house dust mite allergens) were measured in six apartments of both the buildings on five occasions during the 3-year occupancy. In addition, a questionnaire to evaluate symptoms of the occupants and their satisfaction with their home environment was conducted in connection with indoor air quality (IAQ) measurements. The levels of indoor air pollutants in the case building were, in general, lower than those in the control building. In addition, the asthmatic occupants informed that their symptoms had decreased during the occupancy in the case building. This case study showed that high IAQ is possible to reach by careful design, proper materials and equipment and on high-quality construction with reasonable additional costs. In addition, the study indicated that good IAQ can also be maintained during the occupancy, if sufficient information on factors affecting IAQ and guidance on proper use and care of equipment are available for occupants.
In patients treated with cytotoxic drugs granulocytopenia and septicemia are commonly seen. In this 10-year survey 324 blood culture isolates from 184 patients with hematological diseases and septicemia were studied. The distribution of microbiological diagnoses in patients with hematological diseases as well as acute leukemia 1980-1986 was significantly different (p less than 0.01) from an unselected blood culture material from the same period. The differences are mainly seen between Enterobacteriaceae other than Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococci. The microbiological spectrum for patients with hematological disease 1987-1989 was also significantly different (p less than 0.05) from the spectrum of the same group of patients 1980-1986 due to higher frequencies of coagulase-negative staphylococci and alpha-streptococci and lower frequency of E. coli in the latter period. 40% of the isolates were gram-positive cocci during the first period and increased to 50% during the second period. The susceptibility testing indicates that trimethoprim/sulfonamide is not as good a choice as ciprofloxacin or norfloxacin for oral antibiotic prophylaxis. For intravenous therapy imipenem/cilastatin or the combinations of an aminoglycoside/piperacillin or aminoglycoside/third generation cephalosporin have advantages over aminoglycoside/trimethoprim/sulfa in combination. However, addition of isoxazolylpenicillin or vancomycin now seems necessary to cover the increasing part of gram-positive bacteria causing septicemia in patients with hematological disease.
The aim was to evaluate 16S rDNA sequencing in heart valves in patients with infective endocarditis undergoing surgery.
Fifty-seven patients with infective endocarditis were examined in this prospective study by analysing heart valves with 16S rDNA sequencing and culturing methods and comparing the results to blood cultures. As controls, heart valves from 61 patients without any signs of endocarditis were examined.
All together 77% of the endocarditis patients were positive for 16S rDNA, 84% had positive blood cultures and 23% had positive cultures from heart valves, whereas only 16% of the cultures from heart valves were concordant with results from blood cultures or 16S rDNA. Concordant results between 16S rDNA sequencing and blood cultures were found in 75% patients. All controls were negative for 16S rDNA. In 4 out of 9 patients with negative blood cultures, the aetiology was established by 16S rDNA alone, i.e. viridans group streptococci.
In this Swedish study, 16S rDNA sequencing of valve material was shown to be a valuable addition in blood culture-negative cases. The value of heart valve culture was low. Molecular diagnosis using 16S rDNA sequencing should be recommended in patients undergoing valve replacement for infective endocarditis.
Insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes is a prototypic organ-specific autoimmune disease resulting from the selective destruction of insulin-secreting beta cells within pancreatic islets of Langerhans by an immune-mediated inflammation involving autoreactive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes which infiltrate pancreatic islets. Current treatment is substitutive, i.e. chronic use of exogenous insulin which, in spite of significant advances, is still associated with major constraints (multiple daily injections, risks of hypoglycaemia) and lack of effectiveness over the long term in preventing severe degenerative complications. Finding a cure for autoimmune diabetes by establishing effective immune-based therapies is a real medical health challenge, as the disease incidence increases steadily in industrialized countries. As the disease affects mainly children and young adults, any candidate immune therapy must therefore be safe and avoid a sustained depression of immune responses with the attendant problems of recurrent infection and drug toxicity. Thus, inducing or restoring immune tolerance to target autoantigens, controlling the pathogenic response while preserving the host reactivity to exogenous/unrelated antigens, appears to be the ideal approach. Our objective is to review the major progress accomplished over the last 20 years towards that aim. In addition, we would like to present another interesting possibility to access new preventive strategies based on the 'hygiene hypothesis', which proposes a causal link between the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, and the decrease of the infectious burden. The underlying rationale is to identify microbial-derived compounds mediating the protective activity of infections which could be developed therapeutically.
Cites: J Immunol. 2000 Jun 1;164(11):5683-810820244
Long-term exposure to polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has been connected to chronic human health disorders. It is also well-known that i) PAH contamination alters soil bacterial communities, ii) human microbiome is associated with environmental microbiome, and iii) alteration in the abundance of members in several bacterial phyla is associated with adverse or beneficial human health effects. We hypothesized that soil pollution by PAHs altered soil bacterial communities that had known associations with human health. The rationale behind our study was to increase understanding and potentially facilitate reconsidering factors that lead to health disorders in areas characterized by PAH contamination. Large containers filled with either spruce forest soil, pine forest soil, peat, or glacial sand were left to incubate or contaminated with creosote. Biological degradation of PAHs was monitored using GC-MS, and the bacterial community composition was analyzed using 454 pyrosequencing. Proteobacteria had higher and Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes had lower relative abundance in creosote contaminated soils than in non-contaminated soils. Earlier studies have demonstrated that an increase in the abundance of Proteobacteria and decreased abundance of the phyla Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes are particularly associated with adverse health outcomes and immunological disorders. Therefore, we propose that pollution-induced shifts in natural soil bacterial community, like in PAH-polluted areas, can contribute to the prevalence of chronic diseases. We encourage studies that simultaneously address the classic "adverse toxin effect" paradigm and our novel "altered environmental microbiome" hypothesis.
Northern wetlands make up a substantial terrestrial carbon sink and are often dominated by decay-resistant Sphagnum mosses. Recent studies have shown that planctomycetes appear to be involved in degradation of Sphagnum-derived debris. Novel trimethylornithine (TMO) lipids have recently been characterized as abundant lipids in various Sphagnum wetland planctomycete isolates, but their occurrence in the environment has not yet been confirmed. We applied a combined intact polar lipid (IPL) and molecular analysis of peat cores collected from two northern wetlands (Saxnäs Mosse [Sweden] and Obukhovskoye [Russia]) in order to investigate the preferred niche and abundance of TMO-producing planctomycetes. TMOs were present throughout the profiles of Sphagnum bogs, but their concentration peaked at the oxic/anoxic interface, which coincided with a maximum abundance of planctomycete-specific 16S rRNA gene sequences. The sequences detected at the oxic/anoxic interface were affiliated with the Isosphaera group, while sequences present in the anoxic peat layers were related to an uncultured planctomycete group. Pyrosequencing-based analysis identified Planctomycetes as the major bacterial group at the oxic/anoxic interface at the Obukhovskoye peat (54% of total 16S rRNA gene sequence reads), followed by Acidobacteria (19% reads), while in the Saxnäs Mosse peat, Acidobacteria were dominant (46%), and Planctomycetes contributed to 6% of the total reads. The detection of abundant TMO lipids in planctomycetes isolated from peat bogs and the lack of TMO production by cultures of acidobacteria suggest that planctomycetes are the producers of TMOs in peat bogs. The higher accumulation of TMOs at the oxic/anoxic interface and the change in the planctomycete community with depth suggest that these IPLs could be synthesized as a response to changing redox conditions at the oxic/anoxic interface.
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Cites: Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Jan 1;29(1):181-411125085
A new probiotic Biosporin and other commercial biopreparations based on aerobic sporulating bacteria of the Bacillus genus have been comparatively studied for their specific activity and safety. It has been established that only Biosporin is characterized by expressed antagonistic activity in respect to a wide range of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microorganisms including those with multiple resistance to antibiotics. Biosporin is also characterized by the absence of any negative action on the organism of animals even in the doses considerably exceeding those recommended for use.
the aim was to examine factors associated with acquisition and elimination of bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy.
a group of 229 pregnant women were randomly selected from a population-based prospective cohort study of 2927. They were examined at enrollment (mean gestational weeks 16w+0d) and again in mid-third trimester (mean gestational age 32w+3d).
BV (Amsel's clinical criteria), microbiological cultures of the genital tract and questionnaire data.
BV prevalence decreased from 17% in early second trimester to 14% in mid-third trimester due to a tenfold higher elimination rate (39%) than incidence rate (4%). Heavy smokers (>10/d) in early pregnancy were at increased risk (5.3[1.1-25]) for the acquisition of BV during pregnancy, as were women receiving public benefits (4.8[1.0-22]), having a vaginal pH above 4.5(6.3[1.4-29]) or vaginal anaerobe bacteria (18[2.7-122]) at enrollment. A previous use of combined oral contraceptives was preventive for the acquisition of BV (0.2[0.03-0.96]). Elimination of BV in pregnancy tended to be associated with a heavy growth of Lactobacillus(3.2[0.8-13]) at enrollment.
acquisition of BV during pregnancy is rare and is associated with smoking, while the presence of anaerobe bacteria and a vaginal pH >4.5 are interpreted as steps on a gradual change towards BV. In the same way heavy growth of Lactobacillus spp in early pregnancy may be an indicator of women on the way to eliminate BV.
Cites: Med Hypotheses. 2000 Mar;54(3):448-5210783486
Cites: Int J STD AIDS. 2000 Sep;11(9):603-610997505