An ongoing outbreak of Cryptococcus gattii-caused infections, which emerged on Vancouver Island and the Pacific Northwest, has affected more than 200 of the islands' residents, of whom eight died. While C. gattii infections are rarely described in travelers, we report a case of cryptococcosis caused by C. gattii in a patient treated with high dose corticosteroids for systemic lupus erythematosus induced autoimmune hemolytic anemia. She acquired the disease during a visit to Vancouver Island one year before the onset of the symptoms. This indicates that C. gattii may cause a dormant infection that can be activated during treatment with corticosteroids.
Laboratory-based surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) monitors the baseline occurrence of different genotypes and identifies strains and transmission chains responsible for outbreaks. The consequences of substituting pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) with spa typing as a first-line typing method were analyzed by typing 589 strains isolated between 1997 and 2006, with a focus on both short- and long-term correspondence between the PFGE and spa typing results. The study, covering these ten years, included all Finnish MRSA blood isolates and representatives of the two most prevalent MRSA strains (PFGE types FIN-4 and FIN-16) in Finland. In addition, all sporadic isolates from 2006 were included. spa typing was more expensive but approximately four times faster to perform than PFGE. Nearly 90% of FIN-4 and FIN-16 isolates showed consistent spa types, t172 and t067, respectively. spa typing predicted the PFGE result of the blood isolates by a Wallace coefficient of 0.9009, recognized internationally successful strains (t041, t067) to be common also in Finland, and identified a separate cluster of isolates, also related in time and place among the FIN-4 strains. Additional typing by another method was needed to provide adequate discrimination or to characterize isolates with a newly recognized spa type in Finland.
We hypothesized that in adults with cystic fibrosis, the acquisition of a new strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa may be associated with a pulmonary exacerbation. Eighty-four patients who were chronically infected with P. aeruginosa were prospectively followed from eight centers over a 26-month period. Patients had sputum cultures performed every 3 months while clinically stable and at the time of an exacerbation. Forty patients (48%) had an exacerbation requiring intravenous antibiotics during the study period, and in 36 of these patients, their P. aeruginosa isolates were genetically typeable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. In 34 of the 36 patients (94%), P. aeruginosa recovered during clinical stability and at exacerbation were of the same genotype. In only two patients (6%; 95% confidence interval, 0-18%) was a new P. aeruginosa clone cultured during an exacerbation that had not been cultured during clinical stability. There were no significant differences in antibiotic susceptibilities, measured as mean minimal inhibitory concentrations, for isolates retrieved during clinically stable periods compared with isolates retrieved during exacerbations. We conclude that for the majority of adult patients with cystic fibrosis a new pulmonary exacerbation is not caused by the acquisition of a new strain of P. aeruginosa.
Comment In: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004 Apr 1;169(7):781-215044219
Hereditary factors of arterial hypertension were evaluated genetically and epidemiologically in the study of an isolated population of Dagestan with high inbreeding. High prevalence of arterial hypertension was found. Its highest morbidity was found in native population of Tukhums characterized also by the highest inbreeding.
A long RT-PCR method was developed to amplify the norovirus genome. Starting from RNA extracted directly from clinical samples and using broadly reactive primers, it can generate near full-length amplicons that allow for easy determination of the near complete genomic sequence. Two norovirus isolates from Toronto, Canada, in 2002 and 2005 were sequenced. This approach will facilitate molecular epidemiology studies of noroviruses.
We studied two genome regions, VP1 and 3D, of 48 echovirus 30 (E30) isolates from Russia and the new independent states. In VP1, most isolates were similar to European strains reported earlier, and frequent change of circulating subgroups was noticed. We also observed, in 2003-2006, the reemergence of a group of E30 strains with a VP1 region very distant from most modern E30 strains and remotely similar to E30 isolates from the 1960s and the 1970s. A study of the 3D genome region detected multiple recombination events among the studied strains. Recombination presumably occurred every few years, and therefore, the study of a single VP1 genome region cannot accurately describe the phylogenetic history of the virus or predict pathogenetic properties of an isolate. In general, a comparison of the VP1 and 3D genome region phylogenies revealed, in some instances, virtually independent circulation of enterovirus genome fragments on a scale of years.
Cites: J Virol. 2003 Oct;77(19):10423-3112970427
Cites: J Gen Virol. 2003 May;84(Pt 5):1223-3512692288
Two outbreaks of rubella infections notified in the Tomsk and Kemerovo Regions were investigated. Two rubella virus strains from one patient in each outbreak were isolated and genetically characterized. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to reveal partial E1 gene sequence at a length of 915 nucleotides. Analysis indicated that the rubella virus strains circulating in the West-Siberian region belonged to international genetic 1g group, which had been first detected in Russia.
The molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 genetic subtypes was studied in a cross-sectional sample collected from HIV-infected individuals living in Finland between 1988 and 1994 and compared with independently collected epidemiological data. Subtypes were determined by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the gag NCp7 and the env coding regions of PBMC provirus. Finnish viruses belonging to 7 subtypes were found. Two thirds (n = 70) of the sequences could be classified as subtype B, while others belonged to subtypes A, C, D, F and G and the circulating recombinant form AE(CM240) (n = 25). There were significant differences in gender distribution and mode-of-transmission between B-type infections and infections with the other subtypes. Most subtype B strains in Finland were associated with homosexual transmission and about half of these were acquired in Finland, while most individuals harbouring non-B infections indicated heterosexual transmission and direct or indirect contact with Africa or Southeast Asia. The heterogeneity of genetic subtypes in the country was in good agreement with the epidemiological data suggesting that a significant proportion of infections were imported. HIV-1 subtype determination may prove to be a valuable tool for providing objective epidemiological data.
The paper presents the data of an investigation of the polymorphism of the pol gene encoding HIV-1 integrase in a HIV subtype G infected population formed during the 1989 HIV-infection outbreak. The investigators analyzed 41 samples of the viruses obtained in 2005-2007. Polymorphism at codons associated with integrase resistance to chemicals was observed in 11 virus variants. The circulation of mutation viruses that potentially promote the formation of resistance to the integrase inhibitors raltegravir and elvitegravir has been established in untreated patients.
In this study, for the first time, two distinct genetic lineages of Puumala virus (PUUV) were found within a small sampling area and within a single host genetic lineage (Ural mtDNA) at Pallasjärvi, northern Finland. Lung tissue samples of 171 bank voles (Myodes glareolus) trapped in September 1998 were screened for the presence of PUUV nucleocapsid antigen and 25 were found to be positive. Partial sequences of the PUUV small (S), medium (M) and large (L) genome segments were recovered from these samples using RT-PCR. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two genetic groups of PUUV sequences that belonged to the Finnish and north Scandinavian lineages. This presented a unique opportunity to study inter-lineage reassortment in PUUV; indeed, 32 % of the studied bank voles appeared to carry reassortant virus genomes. Thus, the frequency of inter-lineage reassortment in PUUV was comparable to that of intra-lineage reassortment observed previously (Razzauti, M., Plyusnina, A., Henttonen, H. & Plyusnin, A. (2008). J Gen Virol 89, 1649-1660). Of six possible reassortant S/M/L combinations, only two were found at Pallasjärvi and, notably, in all reassortants, both S and L segments originated from the same genetic lineage, suggesting a non-random pattern for the reassortment. These findings are discussed in connection to PUUV evolution in Fennoscandia.