Characterisation of bacteria in ascites--reporting the potential of culture-independent, molecular analysis.

Molecular Microbiology Research Group, PSD, King's College London, London, UK.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.54). 03/2010; 29(5):533-41. DOI: 10.1007/s10096-010-0891-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is a severe complication of liver disease. A significant proportion of patients have culture-negative ascites, despite having similar signs, symptoms and mortality to those with SBP. Therefore, empirical antibiotic treatment for infection is often started without knowledge of the causative organisms. Here, we investigated the potential of molecular techniques to provide rapid and accurate characterisation of the bacteria present in ascitic fluid. Ascites samples were obtained from 29 cirrhotic patients undergoing clinically indicated therapeutic paracentesis. Bacterial content was determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and 16S ribosomal clone sequence analysis. Bacterial signal was detected in all samples, compared to three out of ten using standard methods. Bacterial loads ranged from 5.5 x 10(2) to 5.4 x 10(7) cfu/ml, with a mean value of 1.9 x 10(6) cfu/ml (standard deviation +/- 9.6 x 10(6) cfu/ml). In all but one instance, bacterial species identified by culture were also confirmed by molecular analyses. Preliminary data presented here suggests that culture-independent, molecular analyses could provide rapid characterisation of the bacterial content of ascites fluid, providing a basis for the investigation of SBP development and allowing early and targeted antibiotic intervention.

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Available from: Peter Marsh, Nov 14, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial infections, most commonly spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in patients with ascites, occur in one third of admitted patients with cirrhosis, and account for a 4-fold increase in mortality. Bacteria are isolated from less than 40% of ascites infections by culture, necessitating empirical antibiotic treatment, but culture-independent studies suggest bacteria are commonly present, even in the absence of overt infection. Widespread detection of low levels of bacteria in ascites, in the absence of peritonitis, suggests immune impairment may contribute to higher susceptibility to infection in cirrhotic patients. However, little is known about the role of ascites leukocyte composition and function in this context. We determined ascites bacterial composition by quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing in 25 patients with culture-negative, non-neutrocytic ascites, and compared microbiological data with ascites and peripheral blood leukocyte composition and phenotype. Bacterial DNA was detected in ascitic fluid from 23 of 25 patients, with significant positive correlations between bacterial DNA levels and poor 6-month clinical outcomes (death, readmission). Ascites leukocyte composition was variable, but dominated by macrophages or T lymphocytes, with lower numbers of B lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Consistent with the hypothesis that impaired innate immunity contributes to susceptibility to infection, high bacterial DNA burden was associated with reduced major histocompatibility complex class II expression on ascites (but not peripheral blood) monocytes/macrophages. These data indicate an association between the presence of ascites bacterial DNA and early death and readmission in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. They further suggest that impairment of innate immunity contributes to increased bacterial translocation, risk of peritonitis, or both.
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of pathogens in ascitic fluid is standardly performed by ascitic fluid culture, but this standard procedure often needs several days. Additionally, more than half of the ascitic fluid cultures are negative in case of suspected spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). It is therefore important to identify and characterize the causing pathogens since not all of them are covered by the empirical antimicrobial therapy. The aim of this study is to show that pathogen identification in ascitic fluid is possible by means of Raman microspectroscopy and chemometrical evaluation with the advantage of strongly increased speed. Therefore, a Raman database containing more than 10000 single-cell Raman spectra of 34 bacterial strains out of 13 different species was built up. The performance of the used statistical model was validated with independent bacterial strains, which were grown in ascitic fluid.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Long-term macrolide treatment has proven benefit in inflammatory airways diseases, but whether it leads to changes in the composition of respiratory microbiota is unknown. We aimed to assess whether long-term, low-dose erythromycin treatment changes the composition of respiratory microbiota in people with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Methods Microbiota composition was determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing of sputum samples from participants in the BLESS trial, a 12-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of twice-daily erythromycin ethylsuccinate (400 mg) in adult patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis and at least two infective exacerbations in the preceding year. The primary outcome was within-patient change in respiratory microbiota composition (assessed by Bray-Curtis index) between baseline and week 48, comparing erythromycin with placebo. The BLESS trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, number ACTRN12608000460303. Findings The BLESS trial took place between Oct 15, 2008, and Dec 14, 2011. Paired sputum samples were available from 86 randomly assigned patients, 42 in the placebo group and 44 in the erythromycin group. The change in microbiota composition between baseline and week 48 was significantly greater with erythromycin than with placebo (median Bray-Curtis score 0·52 [IQR 0·14–0·78] vs 0·68 [0·46–0·93]; median difference 0·16, 95% CI 0·01–0·33; p=0·03). In patients with baseline airway infection dominated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, erythromycin did not change microbiota composition significantly. In those with infection dominated by organisms other than P aeruginosa, erythromycin caused a significant change in microbiota composition (p=0·03 [by analysis of similarity]), representing a reduced relative abundance of Haemophilus influenzae (35·3% [5·5–91·6] vs 6·7% [0·8–74·8]; median difference 12·6%, 95% CI 0·4–28·3; p=0·04; interaction p=0·02) and an increased relative abundance of P aeruginosa (0·02% [0·00–0·33] vs 0·13% [0·01–39·58]; median difference 6·6%, 95% CI 0·1–37·1; p=0·002; interaction p=0·45). Compared with placebo, erythromycin reduced the rate of pulmonary exacerbations over the 48 weeks of the study in patients with P aeruginosa-dominated infection (median 1 [IQR 0–3] vs 3 [2–5]; median difference −2, 95% CI −4 to –1; p=0·01), but not in those without P aeruginosa-dominated infection (1 [0–2] vs 1 [0–3]; median difference 0, –1 to 0; p=0·41; interaction p=0·04). Interpretation Long-term erythromycin treatment changes the composition of respiratory microbiota in patients with bronchiectasis. In patients without P aeruginosa airway infection, erythromycin did not significantly reduce exacerbations and promoted displacement of H influenzae by more macrolide-tolerant pathogens including P aeruginosa. These findings argue for a cautious approach to chronic macrolide use in patients without P aeruginosa airway infection. Funding Mater Adult Respiratory Research Trust Fund.
    The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 12/2014; 2(12). DOI:10.1016/S2213-2600(14)70213-9