Comparison of three methods for the recovery of skin pathogens from impetigo swabs collected in a remote community of Northern Territory, Australia.

Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, PO Box 41096, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Impact Factor: 1.93). 04/2013; DOI: 10.1093/trstmh/trt032
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Impetigo is a common infection in children living in remote areas. Immediate plating of impetigo swabs is the gold standard for bacterial recovery but is rarely feasible in remote regions. Bacterial culture increases our understanding of antibiotic resistance and strain diversity, which guides treatment protocols and epidemiological monitoring. METHODS: We investigated three practical alternatives for recovering Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus from transported swabs: dry swabs transported at 4°C with desiccant and plated within 48 h; swabs inoculated into skim milk tryptone glucose glycerol broth (STGGB), transported at 4°C, stored at - 70°C and plated within 61 days; and ESwabs inoculated into Amies broth, transported at 4°C and plated within 48 h. Detection of Strep. pyogenes and Staph. aureus from simultaneously collected swabs was compared for the dry vs STGGB (36 sores) and the STGGB vs Amies (39 sores) methods. Swabs were collected from 43 children (75 sores sampled) in a remote community of Northern Territory, Australia in November 2011. The children had impetigo and were participating in the Skin Sore Trial [Australian Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000858291]. RESULTS: Recovery of Strep. pyogenes for dry vs STGGB was 72% (26/36) and 92% (33/36) and for STGGB vs Amies was 92% (36/39) for both methods. Staphylococcus aureus recovery for dry vs STGGB was 69% (25/36) and 72% 26/36) and for STGGB vs Amies was 74% (29/39) and 85% (33/39). CONCLUSION: STGGB and Amies media provided higher recovery of Strep. pyogenes than dry swabs. These results and the opportunity to batch and store specimens for molecular studies support the use of STGGB transport media for future impetigo research.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Impetigo affects more than 110 million children worldwide at any one time. The major burden of disease is in developing and tropical settings where topical antibiotics are impractical and lead to rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Few trials of systemic antibiotics are available to guide management of extensive impetigo. As such, we aimed to compare short-course oral co-trimoxazole with standard treatment with intramuscular benzathine benzylpenicillin in children with impetigo in a highly endemic setting. Methods In this randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial, Indigenous Australian children aged 3 months to 13 years with purulent or crusted non-bullous impetigo were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive benzathine benzylpenicillin (weight-banded injection), twice-daily co-trimoxazole for 3 days (4 mg/kg plus 20 mg/kg per dose), or once-daily co-trimoxazole for 5 days (8 mg/kg plus 40 mg/kg per dose). At every visit, participants were randomised in blocks of six and 12, stratified by disease severity. Randomisation was done by research nurses and codes were in sealed, sequentially numbered, opaque envelopes. Independent reviewers masked to treatment allocation compared digital images of sores from days 0 and 7. The primary outcome was treatment success at day 7 in a modified intention-to-treat analysis. This trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, number ACTRN12609000858291. Findings Between Nov 26, 2009, and Nov 20, 2012, 508 patients were randomly assigned to receive benzathine benzylpenicillin (n=165 [156 analysed]), twice-daily co-trimoxazole for 3 days (n=175 [173 analysed]), or once-daily co-trimoxazole for 5 days (n=168 [161 analysed]). Treatment was successful in 133 (85%) children who received benzathine benzylpenicillin and 283 (85%) who received pooled co-trimoxazole (absolute difference 0·5%; 95% CI −6·2 to 7·3), showing non-inferiority of co-trimoxazole (10% margin). Results for twice-daily co-trimoxazole for 3 days and once-daily co-trimoxazole for 5 days were similar. Adverse events occurred in 54 participants, 49 (90%) of whom received benzathine benzylpenicillin. Interpretation Short-course co-trimoxazole is a non-inferior, alternative treatment to benzathine benzylpenicillin for impetigo; it is palatable, pain-free, practical, and easily administered. Funding Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
    The Lancet 08/2014; · 39.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Impetigo is caused by both Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus; the relative contributions of each have been reported to fluctuate with time and region. While S. aureus is reportedly on the increase in most industrialised settings, S. pyogenes is still thought to drive impetigo in endemic, tropical regions. However, few studies have utilised high quality microbiological culture methods to confirm this assumption. We report the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of impetigo pathogens recovered in a randomised, controlled trial of impetigo treatment conducted in remote Indigenous communities of northern Australia.ResultsFrom 508 children, we collected 872 swabs of sores and 504 swabs from the anterior nares prior to commencement of antibiotic therapy. S. pyogenes and S. aureus were identified together in 503/872 (58%) of sores; with an additional 207/872 (24%) sores having S. pyogenes and 81/872 (9%) S. aureus, in isolation. Skin sore swabs taken during episodes with a concurrent diagnosis of scabies were more likely to culture S. pyogenes (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1 ¿ 4.4, p¿=¿0.03). Eighteen percent of children had nasal carriage of skin pathogens. There was no association between the presence of S. aureus in the nose and skin. Methicillin-resistance was detected in 15% of children who cultured S. aureus from either a sore or their nose. There was no association found between the severity of impetigo and the detection of a skin pathogen.Conclusions S. pyogenes remains the principal pathogen in tropical impetigo; the relatively high contribution of S. aureus as a co-pathogen has also been confirmed. Children with scabies were more likely to have S. pyogenes detected. While clearance of S. pyogenes is the key determinant of treatment efficacy, co-infection with S. aureus warrants consideration of treatment options that are effective against both pathogens where impetigo is severe and prevalent.Trial registrationThis trial is registered; ACTRN12609000858291.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 12/2014; 14(1):3854. · 2.56 Impact Factor