Abstract in English:We examined the plasmatic concentrations of quinine in patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in an endemic area of the Amazon region in Brazil in a prospective clinical trial, in which a standard three-day course of oral quinine plus doxycycline was used. We measured the quinine in the plasma samples on days 0 and 3by high performance liquid chromatography. The mean concentration of quinine was 6.04 ±2.21 µg/mL in male patients and 5.98 ±1.95 µg/mL in female patients. No significant differences in quinine concentration were observed between these two groups. All samples collected before starting treatment were negative for quinine. This information could help in the development of strategies for the rational use of antimalarial drugs in Brazil.
Abstract in English:Until recently, the only generally approved treatment for chronic hepatitis B was alpha-interferon; however, it gives only moderate efficacy in terms of sustained response (biochemical, virological and histological). In fact, only 20% to 40% of treated patients respond to therapy, with lower percentages (~ 10%) among patients infected with precore-mutant strains of HBV (HBeAb HBV-DNA positive). The FDA of the USA approved the use of lamivudine in adult patients affected by chronic hepatitis B in 1998. In this review, we focused on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and efficacy and tolerability of lamivudine in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B cases that are both HBeAg and anti-HBe-positive.
Abstract in English:Though HCV infection is a serious public health problem, some aspects of its biology are still not well understood, such as its transmission through seminal fluid and sexual transmission. We looked for HCV in the semen of infected patients. Thirteen patients were included. Semen fractions (seminal plasma, leukocytes and spermatozoa) were separated with 45% and 90% Percoll gradients. The HCV-RNA in blood and semen fractions was extracted using the same protocol (AMPLICOR Roche) and was detected using the qualitative Roche Amplicor test and by agarose gel electrophoresis, with ethidium bromide staining. The mean age of the patients was 40.7 years. Risk factors for the acquisition of HCV included injectable and inhaled drug use in six (42.8%), blood transfusion in four (28.6%), and no risk factors in four (28.6%) patients. Genotype 1 was detected in 62% of the patients, followed by genotype 3 in 23% and genotype 2 in 15%. All blood samples were positive, regardless of the technique used for detection. All semen samples identified by Roche Amplicor and analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis were negative. Among the 52 semen samples (total and fractions) identified by the Roche Amplicor method, 45 (87%) were inhibited. A negative result was recorded for one (1.9%) total semen sample, one (1.9%) leukocyte and four (7.7%) seminal plasma fractions. Only one (1.9%) sample of the spermatozoon fraction was positive. The results obtained suggested false-negative reactions for the semen samples.
Abstract in English:Chronic hepatitis C is often a progressive, fibrotic disease that can lead to cirrhosis and other complications. The recommended therapy is a combination of interferon and ribavirin. Besides its antiviral action, interferon is considered to have antifibrotic activity. We examined the outcome of hepatic fibrosis and inflammation in chronic hepatitis C patients who were non-responders to interferon. We made a case series, retrospective study, based on revision of medical records and reassessment of liver biopsies. For inclusion, patients should have been treated with interferon alone or combined with ribavirin, with no virological response (non responders and relapsers) and had a liver biopsy before and after treatment. Histological evaluation included: i-outcome of fibrosis and necroinflammation; ii-annual fibrosis progression rate evaluation, before and after treatment. Seventy-five patients were included. Fifty-seven patients (76%) did not show progression of fibrosis after treatment, compared to six (8%) before treatment (p < 0.001). The mean annual fibrosis progression rate was significantly reduced after treatment (p = 0.036). Inflammatory activity improved in 19 patients (25.3%). The results support the hypothesis of an antifibrotic effect of interferon-based therapy, in non-responder patients. There was evidence of anti-inflammatory effects of treatment in some patients.
Abstract in English:Hepatitis B virus infection is an important public-health issue. Chronic patients have a higher risk of death due to complications, which increases health-care expenses in. Cost-effectiveness analysis of entecavir (ETV) versus lamivudine (LVD) for treatment of chronic hepatitis B, in e antigen (AgHBe)-positive and negative patients, based on two phase 3, controlled and randomized studies. A decision analysis model was developed, using the following endpoints: cost per patient with undetectable viral load and cost per quality life year (QALY) gained. Risks for complications (compensated or decompensated cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma) were based on the cohort study REVEAL, published in 2006. The REVEAL parameters were applied to the results of the viral load levels obtained from the clinical assay data. The complication costs were based on a study of the disease cost conducted in Brazil, in 2005. The cost data were obtained predominantly from Sistema Único de Saúde [SUS - Brazilian public health system] payment tables and drug price lists. The utility data were obtained from literature and life expectancy information was based on IBGE data. The analysis perspective was that of SUS. A discount rate of 3% per year was used. For the horizon of time of 10 years, the ETV had an incremental cost of approximately two million Brazilian Reais (R$) compared to LVD. Reducing the number of complications, ETV treatment reduced costs by around 3 million, reducing final costs by 1 million, for AgHBe-positive patients. ETV also reduced the incremental cost per QALY gained. ETV was found to be the most cost-effective alternative for AgHBe-positive and negative patients.
Abstract in English:TNF-α is an important human cytokine that imparts dualism in malaria pathogenicity. At high dosages, TNF-α is believed to provoke pathogenicity in cerebral malaria; while at lower dosages TNF-α is protective against severe human malaria. In order to understand the human TNF-α gene and to ascertain evolutionary aspects of its dualistic nature for malaria pathogenicity, we characterized this gene in detail in six different mammalian taxa. The avian taxon, Gallus gallus was included in our study, as TNF-α is not present in birds; therefore, a tandemly placed duplicate of TNF-α (LT-α or TNF-β) was included. A comparative study was made of nucleotide length variations, intron and exon sizes and number variations, differential compositions of coding to non-coding bases, etc., to look for similarities/dissimilarities in the TNF-α gene across all seven taxa. A phylogenetic analysis revealed the pattern found in other genes, as humans, chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys were placed in a single clade, and rats and mice in another; the chicken was in a clearly separate branch. We further focused on these three taxa and aligned the amino acid sequences; there were small differences between humans and chimpanzees; both were more different from the rhesus monkey. Further, comparison of coding and non-coding nucleotide length variations and coding to non-coding nucleotide ratio between TNF-α and TNF-β among these three mammalian taxa provided a first-hand indication of the role of the TNF-α gene, but not of TNF-β in the dualistic nature of TNF-α in malaria pathogenicity.
Abstract in English:We investigated the occurrence of HIV-1 antiretroviral resistance in individuals failing to respond to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) attended by RENAGENO from 2001-2004. One hundred and seventeen patients were selected for this study; their plasma viral RNA was extracted and the PR and RT genes sequenced to examine subtype, genetic polymorphisms and mutations associated with resistance to antiretroviral drugs. HIV-1 sequence analysis showed that 86/100 (86%) were infected with subtype B, 7/100 (7%) with subtype F and 7/100 (7%) with RT/PR hybrid forms (2 D/B, 2 F/B, 2 B/F and 1 D/F). In 14 (12%) of the samples, the subtype was not determined. The prevalence of resistance mutations was high (93.1%), mainly in the RT gene. The most prevalent resistance mutations were: M184V (60.7%), T215Y (49.6%) and M41L (46.7%) in the RT gene and L90M (19.6%), M46I (16.2%) and D30N (12.8%) in the PR gene. The frequency of resistance mutations tended to increase from the first to the second therapeutic scheme failure (p=0.079); but it stabilized after subsequent failures (p=0.875). Our finding of a high frequency of drug resistant HIV-1 samples supports the need for continuous genotypic monitoring of patients failing HAART.
Abstract in English:Invasive aspergillosis (IA) currently is an important cause of mortality in subjects undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) and is also an important cause of opportunistic respiratory and disseminated infections in other types of immunocompromised patients. We examined the medical records of 24 cases of proven and probable invasive aspergillosis (IA) at the Hospital de Clinicas of the Federal University of Parana, Brazil, from January 1996 to October 2006. During this period occurred a mean of 2.2 cases per year or 3.0 cases per 100 HSTC transplants. There was a significant relationship between structural changes in the bone marrow transplant (BMT) Unit and the occurrence of IA cases (p=0.034, relative risk (RR) = 2.47). Approximately 83% of the patients died due to invasive fungal infection within 60 days of follow up. Some factors tended to be associated with mortality, but these associations were not significant. These included corticosteroid use, neutropenia (<100 cells/mm³) at diagnosis, patients that needed to change antifungal therapy because of toxicity of the initial first-line regimen and disseminated disease. These factors should be monitored in BMT units to help prevent IA. Physicians should be aware of the risk factors for developing invasive fungal infections and try to reduce or eliminate them. However, once this invasive disease begins, appropriate diagnostic and treatment measures must be implemented as soon as possible in order to prevent the high mortality rates associated with this condition.
Abstract in English:Several cases of Candida bloodstream infections were documented from June to October 2004 at a tertiary care center in Bogotá, Colombia. Since no cases of candidemia had occurred during the preceding four months, an outbreak was declared. As a result, a microbiological study, a revision of infection control practices and a case-control study were performed. In all, 18 cases of candidemia were ascertained. Parenteral nutrition (p=0.04), presence of a central line (p=0.03), and severity of illness (p=0.03) were associated with candidemia in bivariate analysis. Diverse Candida species were observed. Candida parapsilosis contamination was found in plastic containers used for transient intravenous (IV) medication storage at the bedside, plastic bags reused for the transportation of IV medicines and cotton used for disinfection of IV ports. Poor infection control practices were widely observed. The outbreak was controlled after elimination of plastic bags used for transportation, instauration of daily disinfection of IV medication containers, acquisition of sterile alcohol swabs for port disinfection and staff education. It was concluded that candidemia was associated with previously-described risk factors and that poor infection-control practices were likely responsible for the outbreak.
Abstract in English:We investigated a nosocomial cluster of four Candida parapsilosis fungemia episodes that occurred in a neurological intensive care unit over a two-week period. The four infected patients had received parenteral nutrition through central lines, and all four had catheter-related candidemia. All of the isolates were susceptible to all of the antifungals tested, including amphotericin B, fluconazole, voriconazole, and caspofungin. They had strictly related fingerprints, based on randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. Additional DNA sequencing data revealed that they were same strain. Although no isolate of Candida parapsilosis was recovered from other clinical, surveillance, or environmental samples, nosocomial spread of this yeast ceased, following the reinforcement of infection-control measures. Candida parapsilosis may require an intravascular foreign body to cause fungemia, but this outbreak shows that it can be transmitted nosocomially and can cause epidemics.
Abstract in English:Voriconazole is a novel broad-spectrum antifungal drug, employed in the treatment of invasive fungal infections, and represents an alternative to amphotericin B treatment. The manufacturer recommends that any unused reconstituted product should be stored at 2ºC to 8ºC, for no more than 24 h, but no recommendations about i.v. infusion solutions are given. Previous works have reported on the stability of voriconazole in polyolefin bags and just one in 5% dextrose polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bags, at a 4 mg.mL-1 concentration. In this work, the stability of voriconazole as an i.v. infusion solution in 0.9% sodium chloride and in 5% dextrose, in PVC bags, at 0.5 mg.mL-1, stored at 4 ºC and at room temperature, protected from light, was evaluated. These infusion solutions were analyzed for a 21-day period. Chemical stability was evaluated by HPLC assay. Visual inspection was performed and pH of the solutions was measured. No color change or precipitation in the solutions was observed. The drug content remained above 90% for 11 days in 0.9% sodium chloride and for 9 days in 5% dextrose solutions. The i.v. infusion solutions stored at room temperature were not stable. At room temperature, the voriconazole content dropped down to 88.3 and 86.6%, in 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% dextrose solutions, respectively, two days after admixture. Assays performed at the end of the study suggest the sorption of voriconazole by the PVC bags. The results of this study allow cost-effective batch production in the hospital pharmacy.
Abstract in English:As a part of the Tigecycline Evaluation and Surveillance Trial (T.E.S.T.), Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial isolates were collected from 33 centers in Latin America (centers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) from January 2004 to September 2007. Argentina and Mexico were the greatest contributors of isolates to this study. Susceptibilities were determined according to Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Resistance levels were high for most key organisms across Latin America: 48.3% of Staphylococcus aureus isolates were methicillin-resistant while 21.4% of Acinetobacter spp. isolates were imipenem-resistant. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase were reported in 36.7% of Klebsiella pneumoniae and 20.8% of E. coli isolates. Tigecycline was the most active agent against Gram-positive isolates. Tigecycline was also highly active against all Gram-negative organisms, with the exception of Pseuodomonas aeruginosa, against which piperacillin-tazobactam was the most active agent tested (79.3% of isolates susceptible). The in vitro activity of tigecycline against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative isolates indicates that it may be an useful tool for the treatment of nosocomial infections, even those caused by organisms that are resistant to other antibacterial agents.
Abstract in English:This study tested the hypothesis that the use of corticosteroids prior to antibiotics can lower the mortality rate in severe infections by S. aureus or Gram-negative bacilli, using an animal model. This study was a prospective and controlled study, placed in a university laboratory. Seven hundred and sixty mice distributed into three groups (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae infected). The interventions in each group were: I) infection control (intra-peritoneal); II) treatment solely with antibiotics (teicoplanin or amikacin); III) antibiotics administered prior to the corticosteroid (methylprednisolone); IV) antibiotics administered after the corticosteroid. Mortality in the E. coli group, subgroup I: 100%; subgroup II: 55% (p<0.001); subgroup III: 62.5% (p=0.2488, compared to subgroup II); subgroup IV: 20% (p<0.01 compared to subgroups II and III). Mortality in the K. pneumoniae group: subgroup I: 100%; subgroup II: 72.5% (p<0.01); subgroup III: 80% (p=0.215 compared to subgroup II); subgroup IV: 45% (p<0.01 compared to subgroups II and III). Mortality in the S. aureus group: subgroup I: 82.5%; II: 42.5% (p<0.001); subgroup III: 77.5% (p=0.2877 compared to subgroup I); subgroup IV: 32.5% (p=0.1792 compared to subgroup II). The use of corticosteroids prior to antibiotics lowered the mortality rate caused by Gram-negative bacteria and did not affect the mortality caused by S. aureus. When used after starting treatment with antibiotics, the corticosteroid was not superior to the use of antibiotics alone in the case of the Gram-negative bacteria, and was not significantly different from non-treatment of the infection, in the case of S. aureus.
Abstract in English:Proteus mirabilis is one of the most important pathogens associated with complicated urinary tract infections (acute pyelonephritis, bladder infections, kidney stones) and bacteremia, affecting patients with anatomical abnormalities, immunodeficiency, and long-term urinary catheterization. For epidemiological purposes, various molecular typing methods, such as pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) or ribotyping, have been developed for this pathogen. However, these methods are labor intensive and time-consuming. We evaluated the discriminatory power of several PCR-based fingerprinting methods (RAPD, ISSR, ERIC-PCR, BOX-PCR and rep-PCR) for P. mirabilis clinical isolates. Typing patterns and clustering analysis indicated that RAPD, BOX-PCR and ERIC-PCR differentiated P. mirabilis strains from Escherichia coli, Hafnia alvei, and Morganella morganii. With the exception of rep-PCR, the methods gave medium to high discriminatory efficiency in P. mirabilis. In general, the results obtained with RAPD, BOX-PCR and ERIC-PCR were in good agreement. We concluded that a combination of ERIC-PCR and BOX-PCR results is a rapid and reliable alternative for discrimination among P. mirabilis clinical isolates, contributing to epidemiological studies.
Abstract in English:Forty-five Haemophilus influenzae strains isolated from patients were characterized based on biochemical characteristics. Their capsular types were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR); they were compared, using two molecular methods [ribotyping with a specific DNA probe amplified from the 16S rDNA region from H. influenzae and through restriction fragment length polymorphism (RLFP) of an amplified 16S DNA region]. The strains were better discriminated by the ribotyping technique that used the 16S probe and by the combination of both techniques. Biotypes I and IV were the most common, followed by biotypes VI, VIII and III. Biotypes II and VII were not found. Most of the capsular samples were nontypable (89%), with capsular types a and b found in 2 and 9% of the samples, respectively. We concluded that there is a very close genetic identity among pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains.
Abstract in English:Infection caused by Toxoplasma gondii, toxoplasmosis, is one of the most frequent zoonoses in the world; it normally affects both genders equally. Humans are one of several possible intermediate hosts, and the disease is oligosymptomatic in most cases. Vertical transmission is an important cause of fetal malformation and sequels in newborns. Approximately 10% of postnatal cases present multiple manifestations, ranging from low fever and mild lymphadenopathy to severe encephalitis. In moderate cases, lesions such as retinochoroiditis may emerge during acute infection or even years later. We analyzed 313 cases of toxoplasmosis from 1992 to 2004, including 261 acute cases. Most patients were women (68.1%), and 39% of these were pregnant. Among acute infection cases, 64.8% presented symptomatic disease; the most frequent manifestations were lymphadenomegaly (59.8%), fever (27.2%), headache (10.7%), asthenia (10%), weight loss (8.4%), myalgia (8%), retinochoroiditis (3.4%) and hepatosplenomegaly (1.5%). Although ocular lesions by T. gondii are well documented as a possible consequence of postnatal infection, two patients developed retinochoroiditis only two years after primary infection. This demonstrates the need for toxoplasmosis case surveillance, even long after acute manifestations.
Abstract in English:Tatumella ptyseos is the type species of the Tatumella genus (Enterobacteriaceae). This fermentative Gram-negative rod has only rarely been reported as a cause of human infections; there is very little information about it in the medical literature. We report here the first two Brazilian cases of T. ptyseos infections, both evolving to severe sepsis.
Abstract in English:Emergence of multi and pan-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria causing nosocomial infections in intensive care settings has become a challenge for clinicians. The mortality rate of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is known to increase when the initial microbiological diagnosis and antimicrobial therapy are inappropriate. We present a case of a 18-year-old man, who after being admitted following an accident, had developed VAP due to multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp. and had a downhill clinical course despite broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment. The strains were found to be Col-S, as the susceptibility was tested. Colistin was instituted, with remarkable recovery. It is imperative to diagnose VAP with multi-drug resistant strains as early as possible; colistin, the 'last resort' antibiotic, if instituted with proper monitoring at the right time, can be life saving.
Abstract in English:Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is an emerging health problem that threatens tuberculosis (TB) control worldwide, since suitable treatment for this disease has not yet been found. We report a case of secondary pulmonary XDR-TB in a 54-year-old, HIV-negative male from Goiânia, Brazil. The patient had long-standing pulmonary tuberculosis (nine years) with extensive bilateral lung damage and had been treated with multiple antituberculosis drugs (self-administered) before XDR-TB diagnosis. The strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was resistant to R- rifampicin, H-isoniazid, E-ethambutol, Eto-ethionamide, Ofx-ofloxacin, and Am-amikacin. This patient died with multiple organ failure due to sepsis secondary to bacterial pneumonia.
Abstract in English:We report on a 29-year-old Pakistani man who presented to the clinic with epigastric pain, of one-month duration. He did not report fever, cough, vomiting blood, passing black stools, loss of appetite or diarrhea. However, he had lost 7 kg since his symptoms had begun. Clinical examination was unremarkable. Laboratory results were within normal limits. An abdominal CT scan showed a mass with enhancement in the stomach. Gastric endoscopy revealed an ulcerative mass in the fundus. An endoscopic-biopsy specimen revealed caseating granulomas with acid-fast bacilli. The patient was diagnosed to have primary gastric tuberculosis, and antituberculous medications were initiated. Cultures of the gastric mass subsequently grew Mycobacterium tuberculosis sensitive to isoniazid and rifampcin. Follow-up after six months showed a good response to treatment; an upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy after six months was normal.
Abstract in English:We present a case of acute hepatitis caused by dengue virus, with a significant increase in aspartate transferase and alanine transferase levels in a chronic hepatitis patient attended at the Cane Sugar Planters Hospital of Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ.