[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of enteroviral infection in South Korea during 1999-2011 chronicles nationwide outbreaks and changing detection and subtyping methods used over the 13-year period. Of 14,657 patients whose samples were tested, 4,762 (32.5%) samples were positive for human enterovirus (human EV); as diagnostic methods improved, the rate of positive results increased. A seasonal trend of outbreaks was documented. Genotypes enterovirus 71, echovirus 30, coxsackievirus B5, enterovirus 6, and coxsackievirus B2 were the most common genotypes identified. Accurate test results correlated clinical syndromes to enterovirus genotypes: aseptic meningitis to echovirus 30, enterovirus 6, and coxsackievirus B5; hand, foot and mouth disease to coxsackievirus A16; and hand, foot and mouth disease with neurologic complications to enterovirus 71. There are currently no treatments specific to human EV infections; surveillance of enterovirus infections such as this study provides may assist with evaluating the need to research and develop treatments for infections caused by virulent human EV genotypes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We assessed neurologic sequelae associated with an enterovirus 71 (EV71) outbreak in South Korea during 2009. Four of 94 patients had high signal intensities at brainstem or cerebellum on magnetic resonance imaging. Two patients died of cardiopulmonary collapse; 2 had severe neurologic sequelae. Severity and case-fatality rates may differ by EV71 genotype or subgenotype.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poor interfacial contact is often encountered in nanoparticulate film-based devices. The dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is a representative case in which a nanoporous TiO(2) electrode needs to be prepared on the transparent conducting oxide (TCO)-coated glass substrate. In this study, we demonstrate that the inter-electrode contact resistance accounts for a considerable portion of the total resistance of a DSSC and its efficiency can be greatly enhanced by welding the interface with a laser. TiO(2) films formed on the TCO-coated glass substrate were irradiated with a pulsed ultraviolet laser beam at 355 nm; this transmits through the TCO and glass but is strongly absorbed by TiO(2). Electron microscopy analysis and impedance measurements showed that a thin continuous TiO(2) layer is formed at the interface as a result of the local melting of TiO(2) nanoparticles and this layer completely bridges the gap between the two electrodes, improving the current flow with a reduced contact resistance. We were able to improve the efficiency by 35-65% with this process. DSSCs fabricated using a homemade TiO(2) paste revealed an efficiency improvement from eta = 3.3% to 5.4%, and an increase from 8.2% to 11.2% was achieved with the TiO(2) electrodes made from a commercial paste.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human enterovirus 71 (EV 71) has caused large-scale outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD), particularly in the Asian-Pacific region. In this study, we report a major outbreak of EV 71 infection in Korea and describe the clinical differences between EV 71 and non-EV 71 enterovirus infections. We prospectively enrolled patients with suspected viral infections during a recent 2-year period through a nationwide surveillance system. We identified 719 patients with suspected HFMD or herpangina using real-time PCR and genotyping based on VP1 sequence analysis. The major pathogen causing HFMD changed substantially from 2008 to 2009, with EV 71 becoming the most common cause of HFMD in Korea in 2009. We successfully identified the enteroviral genotypes for 218 of the 719 patients. Patients with EV 71 infections tended to be younger than those with non-EV 71 enteroviral infections and presented with HFMD and meningoencephalitis. In addition, the occurrence of fever, headache, and neck stiffness was significantly higher in patients with EV 71 infections. Multivariable analysis showed that for patients presenting with HFMD, fever, or a sore throat, each covariate was independently associated with EV 71 infection; the adjusted odds ratios (with 95% confidence intervals in parentheses) for these variables were 31.86 (10.04 to 101.09), 4.76 (1.71 to 13.25), and 0.18 (0.04 to 0.77), respectively. Our results indicate that EV 71 was a major cause of HFMD in Korea during the study period. In addition, we found that clinical symptoms may be helpful in the early identification of patients with EV 71 infections.
Journal of clinical microbiology 05/2010; 48(7):2490-4. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We here report that the abrasion resistance of nanoparticulate TiO2 self-cleaning layers can be highly enhanced without a considerable loss of photocatalytic capability. TiO2 coating layers solution-deposited onto the glass substrate were irradiated by a pulsed ultraviolet (UV) laser at 355nm, which modified the surface morphologies via laser-induced local melting of TiO2 nanoparticles. The surface hardness, measured by pencil scratch test, improved with increasing laser power (P). While an unmodified TiO2 layer revealed a hardness of 6B, it increased to 2H after the surface was irradiated at P=0.3W. Almost all of the stearic acid deposited on an unmodified sample disappeared after UV exposure for 12h. The photocatalytic decomposition was slowed down on laser-irradiated TiO2 surfaces and this is attributed to the reduction of specific surface areas as a result of the morphological modifications. However, a TiO2 layer hardened to 2H still exhibited fairly good photocatalytic activity, decomposing more than 75% of the stearic acid after exposure for the same duration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over a 1-month period, a total of 16 ceftriaxone- and cefoxitin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates were isolated from 15 patients hospitalised at a burns intensive care unit (ICU). These isolates showed negative results for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) by the Vitek system and were highly resistant to ceftazidime, aztreonam and cefoxitin (minimum inhibitory concentrations > or =128 microg/mL). The bla(SHV-2a) and bla(DHA-1) genes were detected by polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles of the isolates were identical. AmpC disk tests for AmpC enzymes as well as double-disk tests and Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) confirmatory disk tests for ESBLs yielded positive results for all the isolates. However, only three isolates (18.8%) were shown to produce ESBL by CLSI confirmatory tests using broth microdilution. We report the first outbreak of colonisations and infections due to K. pneumoniae isolates co-producing an SHV-2a ESBL and a DHA-1 AmpC beta-lactamase in a Korean hospital, which were suggested to represent a single clonal spread at a burns ICU. In addition, this report presents problems associated with ESBL detection using broth microdilution in isolates that co-produce an ESBL and an AmpC beta-lactamase.
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 01/2007; 28(6):520-4. · 4.42 Impact Factor