This report describes a 12-month fever surveillance survey in a 258-bed veterans long-term care institution. There were 128 episodes of fever (one episode per 24 patient-months); 114 were studied. Lower respiratory tract infections were most frequent, 36 (32%), with 26 (23%) urinary tract infections. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common pathogen in the chest infections and Proteus mirabilis the most common of the urinary tract infections. In 40 (35%) there was no evidence of a lower respiratory tract, urinary tract, or other bacterial infection. Most recovered rapidly, many with no specific treatment. There was a 16% mortality associated with the febrile episodes.
13C-urease breath tests have been extensively used in world-wide gastroenterological practice since the 1990s. We have been using them since 2000, but their clinical application in Russia is far from being universal. Moreover, their results are significantly different from those obtained by other methods for determining H. pylori. The authors report original data on the peculiarities of occurrence of this pathogen in its carriers.
During 1981-1993, 229 episodes of bacteraemia due to beta-haemolytic streptococci of groups A, B, C and G were diagnosed in the County of Northern Jutland, Denmark. The annual rates for bacteraemia were quite constant during the 13-year period for each streptococcal group. Group A streptococcal (GAS) bacteraemia was the most frequent, comprising 1.4% of all bacteraemias. The incidence of GAS bacteraemia was 1.8/100,000/year in children 60 years old. With the notable exception of group B streptococcal (GBS) bacteraemia in neonates, beta-haemolytic streptococci of groups B, C (GCS) and G (GGS) were isolated mostly from elderly patients. Except for GBS bacteraemia in neonates, approximately one-third of the bacteraemias in each group was nosocomially acquired. Predisposing factors included operative procedures in GAS and GCS bacteraemia, and diabetes mellitus in GBS bacteraemia. The skin was the most common primary focus in GAC, GCC and GGS bacteraemias, whereas the urinary tract was the commonest focus in GBS bacteraemia in adults. The mortality rates in GAS, GCS, GGS, and adult GBS bacteraemia were 23%, 16%, 17% and 19%, respectively. Of the 23 fatal cases of GAS bacteraemia, 57% died within 24 h after blood cultures had been obtained.
The Gram negative curved bacillus H. pylori has become the prize bug of all times. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren the two discoverers of this organism have been awarded with this year's Nobel Prize. The Nobel committee at the Karolinska Institute of Sweden has selected this paradigm shift discovery of 1982 as the most impacting in medical sciences. This award has surprised many as the Nobel assembly has selected this 'Robert Koch styled medical detective work' for the prize as compared to many outstanding basic research stories on the waitlist. This editorial briefly touches the significant impact of H. pylori on gastroduodenal management and the path forward as the bug has become quite controversial in recent times.
In the course of the "1998 Health and Social Survey", questions were included to verify the prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases and also of wheezing. The objectives of this study were 1) to verify the prevalence of wheezing and its validity as an indicator of chronic respiratory diseases in Québec; and 2) to examine the relationship between chronic respiratory diseases and some of their potential determinants. A total of 30,386 individuals participated in the study. For all ages, the prevalence of wheezing was 5.4%. It was associated with asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. A low familial income and tobacco smoking were associated with wheezing, asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Passive smoking was associated with wheezing whereas the presence of carpets was associated with wheezing and asthma. Between 32 and 48% of families with an asthmatic or an allergic member modified their dwelling to alleviate respiratory problems. The prevalence of wheezing documented here was lower than in anglosaxon countries. This result could be explained by a cultural factor (the French translation or the perception of wheezing). This study emphasizes the role of reducing tobacco smoking in the prevention of chronic respiratory diseases.
Possible risk factors for abnormal Papanicolaou smear were investigated in a population-based cross-sectional study. From Nuuk (Greenland) and Nykøbing Falster (Denmark), random samples of 800 women aged 20-39 years were drawn. Totals of 586 and 661 women were included in Greenland and Denmark, respectively. All women went through a personal interview, and had a gynecologic examination including a PAP smear and cervical swab for HPV analysis. A blood sample was taken for analysis of HSV type specific antibodies. Multiple sexual partners was the most important risk factor for abnormal cervical cytology (OR = 4.2). An infectious etiology was also indirectly supported by a relatively protective effect of barrier contraceptive methods (OR = 0.6). The simultaneous finding of HPV 16/18 as a significant risk factor (OR = 2.4) cannot be taken uncritically as support for a causal effect of this HPV type, since such a relationship between cytological changes of the cervix and HPV infection could also emerge if the positive PAP smear was not just a measure of intra-epithelial neoplasia but also an expression of the infection itself on the cervix.