Abstract in English:In recent years, the level of resistance of S. pneumoniae to beta-lactam and/or macrolides has increased around the world including some countries in South America. Because of this resistance, it is necessary to test the therapeutic alternatives for treating this pathogen, including the newer quinolones. This study was carried out in order to compare the in vitro activity of fluoroquinolones gatifloxacin, levofloxacin and trovafloxacin, to penicillin G, amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, cufuroxime sodium, ceftriaxone, azithromycin and clarithromycin, against 300 strains of S. pneumoniae. Of the 300 samples tested, 18.6% were not susceptible to penicillin (56 strains) and 7% (21 strains) were resistant to the second generation cephalosporin. Among the macrolides, resistance ranged from 6.7% for clarithromycin to 29.6% for azithromycin. Susceptibility to the newer quinolones was 100% including the 56 strains not susceptible to penicillin. Among the 10 antibiotics evaluated, the fluoroquinolones gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, and trovafloxacin displayed high levels of in vitro activity against S. pneumoniae.
Abstract in English:Adrenocortical insufficiency is a serious complication of AIDS. Usually, integrity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in AIDS patients is assessed by measuring basal cortisol levels and cortisol response to 250 mug of ACTH. Recent studies suggest that a lower ACTH dose increases the sensitivity of the procedure. In the present study, we investigated the prevalence of adrenal hypofunction in AIDS patients using a low-dose ACTH test (1 mug), evaluated the clinical characteristics that might suggest this diagnosis, and the diseases and/or drugs that could be associated with it. We prospectively evaluated 63 very ill AIDS patients and 16 normal controls. A standard examination assessed the presence of signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. Blood samples were collected before and 30 and 40 minutes after an injection of 1 mug 1-24 ACTH. No opportunistic disease, signs, symptoms or drugs were associated with an abnormal cortisol response to ACTH. The lowest stimulated cortisol level in the control group was 18.5 mug/dL; cortisol levels > or = 18 mug/dL were taken to indicate a normal HPA axis. Test results revealed that 12/63 AIDS patients (19%) had an abnormal HPA axis. With these data in mind, we suggest a prospective adrenal function evaluation of all severely ill AIDS patients.
Abstract in English:This study was a non-comparative multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of itraconazole oral solution 200 mg/day (100 mg twice a day in the fasting state) for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in AIDS patients. We included 50 patients who were treated and followed for up to 3 weeks after ending therapy in the analysis. Mycological cures at the end of therapy occurred in 20/50 patients (40%), but colonization by Candida sp. was recorded in 42/50 (84%) by the end of follow-up. A high rate of clinical response was observed in 46/50 (92%), and the response was sustained for up to 21 days after stopping therapy in 24/46 patients (52%). Clinical relapses were documented among 22 patients, but all causative fungal organisms associated with a relapse were susceptible to itraconazole. There were many patients with persistence or recurrence of Candida, but without mucositis. Relapse of Candida mucositis was significantly related to low levels of CD4 lymphocytes exhibited by symptomatic patients. The drug was well tolerated by all but 1 patient. We conclude that itraconazole oral solution (100 mg bid for 7-14 days) is a well tolerated and effective treatment for suppressing the symptoms of oropharyngeal candidiasis in AIDS patients. Patients with severe immunosuppression may relapse and require frequent cycles of treatment or longterm suppressive therapy.
Abstract in English:The efficacy and safety of a fixed-dose combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride (MalaroneTM) were compared with chloroquine or pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine in patients with acute falciparum malaria in northern Peru. Patients were initially randomized to receive 1,000 mg atovaquone and 400 mg proguanil hydrochloride daily for 3 days (n=15) or 1,500 mg chloroquine (base) over a 3 day period (n=14) (phase 1). The cure rate with chloroquine was lower than expected and patients were subsequently randomized to receive a single dose of 75 mg pyrimethamine and 1,500 mg sulfadoxine (n=9) or atovaquone/proguanil as before (n=5) (phase 2). In phase 1, atovaquone/proguanil was significantly more effective than chloroquine (cure rate 100% [14/14] versus 8% [1/13], P<0.0001). In phase 2, atovaquone/proguanil and pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine were both highly effective (cure rates 100% [5/5] and 100% [7/7]). There were no significant differences between treatment groups in parasite or fever clearance times. Adverse events were typical of malarial symptoms and did not differ significantly between groups. Overall efficacy of atovaquone/proguanil was 100% for treatment of acute falciparum malaria in a region with a high prevalence of chloroquine resistance.
Abstract in English:This study was designed to estimate the prevalence of pulmonary radiograph abnormalities and describe the distribution of the patterns of radiographic alterations among patients hospitalized with leptospirosis. Chest radiographs of 139 patients hospitalized with leptospirosis in Couto Maia Hospital, in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, between July, 1997, and July, 1999, were analyzed. The radiographs were requested soon after hospital admission, independent of the clinical manifestations of the patients. Only the first radiograph was considered. Pulmonary radiograph alterations were recorded in 35/139 patients (25.2%); 95% mid-point confidence interval = 18.5% to 32.9%. Among the patients with radiograph alterations, alveolar infiltrate was seen in 26/35 (74.3%). The lesions were bilateral in 54.3% and located in the inferior lobes in 45.5%. Pleural effusion, represented by blunting of the costo-phrenic angle, was detected in 8.6% of the patients. The pattern of the pulmonary alterations, predominantly bilateral alveolar infiltrates, is consistent with the evidence that the basic pulmonary alteration in leptospirosis is a generalized capillaritis.
Abstract in English:OBJECTIVES: To determine the HIV vertical transmission rate (VTR) and associated risk factors by use of zidovudine and infant care education in Brazil. METHODS: Since 1995, a prospective cohort of HIV infected pregnant women has been followed at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. A multidisciplinary team was established to implement the best available strategy to prevent maternal-infant HIV transmission. Patients with AIDS or low CD4 and high viral load received anti-retroviral drugs in addition to zidovudine. Children were considered infected if they had 2 positive PCR-RNA tests between 1 and 4 months of age, or were HIV antibody positive after 18 months. Education regarding infant treatment and use of formula instead of breast feeding was provided. RESULTS: Between 1995 and August, 2000, HIV status was determined for 145 infants. Compliance with intra-partum treatment, infant treatment and use of formula was 88.2%. Intra-partum zidovudine treatment was completed in 134/145 (92.6%) of patients; 88.1% had rupture of membranes < 4 hours; 85.4% of mothers were asymptomatic. The mean CD4 count was 428.4 cells and mean viral load 39,050 copies. HIV vertical transmission rate was 4/145 (2.75%; CI: 0.1%-5.4%). The only risk factor significantly associated with transmission was a failure to use zidovudine intra-partum in 2 of the 4 mothers (50% versus 6.4% in non-transmitting mothers). A trend toward low CD4 and high viral load at entry, and rupture of membranes > 4 hours were associated with increased HIV transmission. CONCLUSION: HIV vertical transmission in Brazil was reduced to a level similar to other countries with the most effective prevention programs using a multidisciplinary team approach. A high level of compliance for use of anti-retroviral drugs, the provision of health education to mothers, and use of formula for all exposed infants.
Abstract in English:Pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among children throughout the world. Vaccines are available for some organisms, but they are underutilized and/or still in development. To evaluate the potential impact of vaccines, we review studies in which the etiology of childhood community-acquired pneumonia was recorded. In North America and Europe (9 studies), the etiology of pneumonia was established in 62% of studied children (range 43%-88%) by use of noninvasive specific methods for microbiologic diagnosis. The most often identified agents were S. pneumoniae (22%), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (20%), Haemophilus influenzae (7%), and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (15%). In Africa and South America (8 studies), bacteria were recovered from 56% (range 32%-68%) of severely ill children studied by lung aspirate. The most often isolated bacteria were Streptococcus pneumoniae (33%) and Haemophilus influenzae (21%). A high percentage of H. influenzae strains were not serotype b. Throughout the world, children requiring hospitalization were most likely to have infection caused by pneumococcus H. influenzae or RSV. Out patients also had Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Countries in Africa and Asia recorded 2 to 10 times more children with pneumonia (7 to 40/100 annually) than in the USA. Widespread use of pneumococcal and H. influenzae type b conjugate vaccines could reduce the frequency of childhood pneumonia by one-third. Further reduction will require development of non-type b H. influenzae, RSV and M. pneumoniae vaccines. This could result in a > 50% reduction of pneumonia in children. This goal should be sought and achieved as soon as possible.
Abstract in English:Mycobacterial pseudotumor (MP) is a rare pathologic presentation of both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial disease, hitherto reported to occur only in immunosuppressed patients with or without human immunodeficiency virus infection. This lesion shares close pathologic resemblance to certain mesenchymal neoplasms, particularly Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), from which it must be properly differentiated due to distinct prognosis and therapy. We report a case of MP obliterating the lumen of the appendix vermiformis in a 34-year-old patient who died of complications of AIDS at our hospital in Rio de Janeiro. A total of 24 cases of MP (including our patient) have been described in the literature. MP has been found especially in lymph nodes, but extranodal lesions have been described in the skin, spleen, lung, bone marrow, brain and, in our patient, the appendix vermiformis. We offer a review of the other 23 published case reports of MP in both HIV-infected and uninfected patients and discuss the pathologic features that differentiate MP from KS.