Abstract in English:Chlamydia trachomatis is now one of the most prevalent bacteria found in classic sexually transmissible diseases (STD), and as such, constitutes a serious public health problem. We examined the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in 121 sexually active women who sought treatment for STD in the Alfredo da Matta Institute of Dermatology and Venerology and the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. These women were examined by a specific PCR for the chlamydial plasmid, and the nature of the amplicon was determined by restriction analysis and DNA sequencing. The PCR diagnosis revealed a prevalence of 20.7% infected women.
Abstract in English:Amebiasis can be considered the most aggressive disease of the human intestine, responsible in its invasive form for clinical syndromes, ranging from the classic dysentery of acute colitis to extra-intestinal disease, with emphasis on hepatic amebiasis, unsuitably named amebic liver abscess. Found worldwide, with a high incidence in India, tropical regions of Africa, Mexico and other areas of Central America, it has been frequently reported in Amazonia. The trophozoite reaches the liver through the portal system, provoking enzymatic focal necrosis of hepatocytes and multiple micro-abscesses that coalesce to develop a single lesion whose central cavity contains a homogeneous thick liquid, with typically reddish brown and yellow color similar to "anchovy paste". Right upper quadrant pain, fever and hepatomegaly are the predominant symptoms of hepatic amebiasis. Jaundice is reported in cases with multiple lesions or a very large abscess, and it affects the prognosis adversely. Besides chest radiography, ultrasonography and computerized tomography have brought remarkable contributions to the diagnosis of hepatic abscesses. The conclusive diagnosis is made however by the finding of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites in the pus and by the detection of serum antibodies to the amoeba. During the evolution of hepatic amebiasis, in spite of the availability of highly effective drugs, some important complications may occur with regularity and are a result of local perforation with extension into the pleural and pericardium cavities, causing pulmonary abscesses and purulent pericarditis, respectively The ruptures into the abdominal cavity may lead to subphrenic abscesses and peritonitis. The treatment of hepatic amebiasis is made by medical therapy, with metronidazole as the initial drug, followed by a luminal amebicide. In patients with large abscesses, showing signs of imminent rupture, and especially those who do not respond to medical treatment, a percutaneous drainage must be performed with either ultrasound or computerized tomography guidance. Surgical drainage by laparotomy is reserved to patients with secondary infections.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND: The empirical use of antibiotic treatments is widely accepted as a means to treat cancer patients in chemotherapy who have fever and neutropenia. Intravenous monotherapy, with broad spectrum antibiotics, of patients with a high risk of complications is a possible alternative. METHODS: We conducted a prospective open-label, randomized study of patients with lymphoma or leukemia who had fever and neutropenia during chemotherapy. Patients received either monotherapy with ticarcillin/clavulanic acid (T) or ceftriaxone plus amikacin (C+A). RESULTS: Seventy patients who presented 136 episodes were evaluated, 68 in each arm of the study. The mean neutrophil counts at admission were 217cells/mm³ (T) and 201cells/mm³ (C+A). The mean duration of neutropenia was 8.7 days (T) and 7.6 days (C+A). Treatment was successful without the need for modifications in 71% of the episodes in the T group and 81% in the C+A group (p=0.23). Treatment was considered to have failed because of death in two episodes (3%) in the T group and three episodes (4%) in the C+A group, and because of a change in the drug applied in one episode in the T group and two episodes in the C+A group. Overall success was 96% (T) and 93% (C+A). Adverse events that occurred in group T were not related to the drugs used in this study. CONCLUSION: In pediatric and adolescent patients with leukemia or lymphoma, who presented with fever and neutropenia, during chemotherapy, ticarcillin/clavulanic acid was as successful as the combination of ceftriaxone plus amikacin. It should be considered an appropriate option for this group of patients at high risk for infections.
Abstract in English:Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main cause of cervical cancers and cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN) worldwide. Consequently, it would be useful to evaluate HPV testing to screen for cervical cancer. Recently developed, the second-generation Hybrid Capture (HCA II) test is a non-radioactive, relatively rapid, liquid hybridization assay designed to detect 18 HPV types, divided into high and low-risk groups. We evaluated 1055 women for HPV infection with the HCA II test. Five hundred and ten (48.3%) of these women had HPV infection; 60 (11.8%) had low cancer-risk HPV DNA; 269 (52.7%) had high-risk HPV types and 181 (35.5%) had both groups. Hence, 450 women (88.2%) in this HPV-infected group had at least one high risk HPV type, and were therefore considered to be at high risk for cancer. Among the group with Papanicolaou (Pap) test results, the overall prevalence of HPV DNA was 58.4%. Significant differences in HPV infection of the cervix were detected between Pap I (normal smears) and Pap IV (carcinomas) (p<0.0001). Values of HPV viral load obtained for Pap I and SILs were significantly different, with an upward trend (p<0.0001), suggesting a positive correlation between high viral load values and risk of SIL. Because of the high costs of the HCA II test, its use for routine cervical mass screening cannot be recommended in poor countries. Nevertheless, it is a useful tool when combined with cytology, diagnosing high-risk infections in apparently normal tissues. Use of this technique could help reduce the risk of cancer.
Abstract in English:Although AIDS patients in other countries are frequently diagnosed as having atypical mycobacterial infection, in Southern Brazil there is a clinical impression that Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the rule rather than the exception. We made a retrospective review of cultures for mycobacteria at our hospital in order to determine the frequency of atypical mycobacteria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in hospitalised patients in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was the most frequent isolate (79.9%), regardless of HIV serostatus. Only 1.5% of the cultures yielded atypical mycobacteria, all of which in AIDS patients. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was diagnosed in most of the HIV-infected patients (81.2%). We conclude that Mycobacterium tuberculosis is frequent in both HIV infected and non-HIV infected patients in this part of the country.
Abstract in English:We bacteriologically analyzed 156 species of Enterobacteriaceae, isolated from 138 patients with community-acquired diabetic foot ulcers, in a prospective study made at a diabetic center and at the Federal University of Ceará, Brazil, from March, 2000, to November, 2001.The samples were cultured using selective media, and identification, susceptibility tests and detection of plasmid-mediated-extended-spectrum-beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing strains were made with conventional and automated methods. The most frequently occurring pathogens were K. pneumoniae (21.2%), Morganella morganii (19.9%) and E. coli (15.4%). High resistance rates were noted for ampicillin, first generation cephalosporin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid and chloramphenicol. ESBL-producing strains were detected in 6% of the patients. Resistance among gram-negative bacteria has become increasingly common, even in community-acquired infections.
Abstract in English:The efficiency of extraction methods for hepatitis A virus (HAV) RNA in clinical samples is of great importance for molecular diagnosis, especially in regions endemic for HAV, such as Brazil. We compared the efficiency of four different extraction techniques in serum and stool samples for the detection of hepatitis A virus by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). We used PCR to analyse serum and stool samples of 12 patients who were referred to the Brazilian Reference Center for Viral Hepatitis (BRCVH) in Rio de Janeiro. The methods tested were Proteinase K, Silica, TRIzol and Guanidine isothiocyanate. Proteinase K extraction was the best method for serum samples; it detected the HAV-RNA in 11 of the 12 samples. The guanidine isothiocyanate method was the most effective for stool samples, detecting HAV-RNAs in 9 of the samples. The TRIzol® method worked best with serum samples, and the silica method was unsatisfactory with both serum and stool samples. The RNA extraction method affected the outcome. The use of appropriate RNA extraction methods is a critical step for successful and valid PCR studies on clinical samples. We recommend that RNA extraction techniques be carefully selected for their efficiency with each type of specimen.
Abstract in English:Bacterial counts were made of catheter insertion site and of catheter tips to help determine risk factors associated with catheterization of the jugular and subclavian veins. Among the 116 patients included in this study, 69% had central venous catheters (CVC) in the subclavian vein. Seven or more days catheterization (p=0.001) and >3 invasive devices (p=0.01) were infection risk factors associated with catheterization of the jugular vein. More than half of the patients presented high colony counts at the insertion site (>200 CFU/20 cm²) and 27% of the catheter tips were contaminated. The risk factors associated with contaminated catheter tips were >14 days hospital stay (p=0.02), >7 days catheterization (p=0.01) and antibiotic therapy (p=0.04). Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) and Staphylococcus aureus were the most common microorganisms at the insertion site (78%) and in the catheter tip (94%). Five patients presented sepsis (4.1%), four caused by Staphylococci and one by GNB. Twelve patients had the same microorganisms at the insertion site and catheter tip. We found a high prevalence of ORSA (62.5%) and ORCoNS (57.1%) in catheter tips. The high counts of staphylococci, including ORSA and ORCoNS, at the insertion site, and the significant association of this colonization with catheter tip contamination, indicate that the skin is an important reservoir of microorganisms associated with catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR-BSI). Health professionals should be aware of this potential source of infection at the CVC insertion site.
Abstract in English:Nosocomial infections (NI) result in considerably high mortality and morbidity rates, especially among pediatric patients. Considering current worldwide changes, information about the occurrence of pathogens and susceptibility tests are now seen as decisive for optimizing treatment. The purpose of this research was to determine the frequency of microorganisms, antimicrobial and genetic profiles, and risk factors associated with nosocomial infections in a teaching hospital in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul. From January 1998 to December 1999, 108 patients were characterized as having nosocomial infection, from which 137 pathogens were isolated. Identification and antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by conventional and automated techniques. Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae strains were characterized by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). Pathogens were most often isolated from infants one-month old or younger, and bloodstream infections were the most frequent. The main isolated agents isolated were: coagulase-negative staphylococci (38), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (19), S. aureus (26), K. pneumoniae (18), and Candida spp. (13). The risk conditions that were most closely related to NI acquisition were: prolonged hospital stays (69.4%), prematurity (60.9%) and exposure to high-risk device procedures (95.4%). Ciprofloxacin and imipenem were the most effective drugs, inhibiting all or almost all of the Enterobacteriaceae, P. aeruginosa and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus isolates. Only 23% of the S. aureus samples were resistant to oxacillin. Genomic typing revealed 10 distinct patterns for S. aureus and 13 for K. pneumoniae, suggesting that most them did not belong to the same clone. PFGE was effective in differentiating the strains.
Abstract in English:CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte counts, naive and memory/effector CD4+ T subpopulations, and the expression of CD38 on CD8+ T lymphocytes were evaluated in four groups: AIDS patients with tuberculosis (HIV/TB, n=14), HIV-1 infected patients (HIV, n=10), HIV-1 negative patients with tuberculosis (TB, n=20) and healthy controls (CTL, n=17). TB and HIV had fewer CD4+ T cells than CTL, with the lowest values observed in TB/HIV (p<0.001). No difference between groups was observed in the percentage of naive and memory/effector subpopulations in CD4+ T lymphocytes. TB (355 cells/mL) and HIV (517 cells/mL) had diverging effects on CD8+ T cell counts, with a marked depletion observed in HIV/TB (196 cells/mL). TB and HIV up-regulated CD38 expression on CD8+ T cells, a finding also present in TB/HIV. While the decrease of CD4+ T cell counts in HIV/TB may be attributed to HIV and tuberculosis, the decrease of CD8+ T cell counts is likely to be due to tuberculosis.
Abstract in English:The diversity of clinical presentations of primary progressive tuberculosis (TB) and the difficulty in establishing the diagnosis of paucibacillary forms is the subject of painstaking research, as well as a cause of delay in therapy. We report the case of a 10-year-old black child who presented with chest pain and progressive widening of the upper mediastinum. Computerized tomography of the chest revealed multiple calcifications that were not identified with X-rays. Biopsy through mediastinoscopy was compatible with a diagnosis of tuberculosis. Despite exhaustive investigation that included direct examination, culture for mycobacteria and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) of tissue samples, the etiologic agent was not revealed. Tuberculin conversion was observed during the follow-up and resolution period of the lesion, after administration of isoniazid, rifampicin and pyrazinamide. The nodal pseudotumoral form of tuberculosis is rare in immunocompetent children and it may simulate neoplastic disease; therefore, it should be included in the list of differential diagnoses of masses located in the anterosuperior mediastinum.