[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pathophysiology of meningitis caused by Cryptococcus gattii in apparently immunocompetent individuals remains unclear. We measured multiple cytokines in CSF from a HIV-seronegative, apparently immunocompetent, Thai patient with C. gattii meningitis, over the first 2 weeks of antifungal therapy. Levels of proinflammatory IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 were very low compared to patients with HIV-related Cryptococcus neoformans meningitis and of IL-10 very high. While patients with C. gattii meningitis may be a heterogeneous group, these data suggest in this case a maladapted immune response to cryptococcal exposure had allowed progression to clinical cryptococcal disease.
The Journal of infection 04/2007; 54(3):e165-8. · 4.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a randomized controlled trial of amphotericin B-based therapy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated cryptococcal meningitis in Thailand, we also compared the mycological efficacy, toxicity, and pharmacokinetics of oral versus intravenous flucytosine at 100 mg/kg of body weight/day for the initial 2 weeks. Half of 32 patients assigned to the two arms containing flucytosine were randomized to oral and half to intravenous flucytosine. Early fungicidal activity was determined from serial quantitative cultures of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and toxicity was assessed by clinical and laboratory monitoring. Flucytosine and fluorouracil concentrations in plasma and CSF were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. No significant bone marrow or hepatotoxicity was seen, there was no detectable difference in bone marrow toxicity between patients on intravenous and those on oral formulation, and no patients discontinued treatment. In patients receiving intravenous flucytosine, the median 24-h area under the concentration-time curve was significantly higher than in the oral group. Despite this difference, there was no difference in early fungicidal activity between patients on intravenous compared with patients on oral flucytosine. The results suggest that either formulation can be used safely at this dosage in a developing country setting, without drug concentration monitoring. The bioavailability of the oral formulation may be reduced in late-stage HIV-infected patients in Thailand. Concentrations of flucytosine with intravenous formulation at 100 mg/kg/day may be in excess of those required for maximal fungicidal activity.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 04/2007; 51(3):1038-42. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reliable measures of antifungal drug susceptibility are needed. We tested the susceptibility of Cryptococcus neoformans from patients treated with amphotericin B. In vitro susceptibility employed a modified broth macrodilution method. We demonstrate a strong correlation between the quantitative measures of in vitro amphotericin B susceptibility and the quantitative response observed in patients.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 02/2007; 51(1):343-5. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A survey of bloodstream infections was conducted in the large regional hospital in Ubon Ratchatani, northeastern Thailand between 1989 and 1998, during the onset of the HIV epidemic. The incidence of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella/Enterobacter and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteraemias remained constant whereas infections caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, non-typhoid Salmonellae, Cryptococcus neoformans, Penicillum marneffei and to a lesser extent Streptococcus pneumoniae all rose. Burkholderia pseudomallei infections were unrelated to HIV, whereas the other infections were associated directly with HIV. Group D non-typhoid Salmonellae bloodstream infections (mainly Salmonella enteritidis) rose coincident with the increase in HIV seroprevalence, and preceded the increase in the other HIV-associated infections. Other non-typhoid Salmonella bacteraemias increased two years after the rise in group D infections, and invasive yeast infections increased four years later, coincident with the increase in AIDS. Increasing Group D non-typhoid Salmonella bloodstream infections are an early warning signal of an impending rise in AIDS.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 12/2004; 98(11):678-86. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with cryptococcal meningitis (CM) show elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) and blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption in most cases. Elevated ICP is an important contributor to mortality. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) might be the mediator of BBB disruption during CM.
We measured VEGF levels in serum, plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 95 patients and 63 control subjects, and we analyzed the required trigger and cellular source of VEGF secretion in vitro.
Cryptococcus neoformans and its capsular antigens dose-dependently induced VEGF secretion by polymorphonuclear neutrophils, monocytes, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). VEGF production by PBMCs induced by antigens strongly exceeded production by monocytes (P<.001). The addition of major histocompatibility complex class II antibody inhibited this production of VEGF (P=.005). Confirming the in vitro data, patients with CM showed significantly elevated VEGF levels in CSF (P<.001), plasma (P=.028), and serum (P<.001), compared with healthy control subjects. Calculated VEGF indices demonstrated that VEGF was produced intrathecally.
Our findings suggest that VEGF plays a role in the pathophysiology of CM. We propose that CD4(+) T lymphocytes--stimulated by monocytes acting as antigen-presenting cells--are the cells that produce VEGF in response to cryptococcal antigens.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2004; 190(7):1310-7. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It frequently takes more than 2 weeks for drug treatments for cryptococcal meningitis to sterilise cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In-vitro and animal studies lend support to the use of combinations of amphotericin B, flucytosine, and fluconazole for treatment of cryptococcosis. We compared the fungicidal activity of combinations of these drugs for initial treatment of patients with cryptococcal meningitis.
64 patients with a first episode of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis were randomised to initial treatment with: amphotericin B (0.7 mg/kg daily); amphotericin B plus flucytosine (100 mg/kg daily); amphotericin B plus fluconazole (400 mg daily); or triple therapy with amphotericin B, flucytosine, and fluconazole. Our primary endpoint was fungicidal activity, measured by the rate of reduction in CSF cryptococcal colony-forming units (CFU) from serial quantitative CSF cultures on days 3, 7, and 14 of treatment.
Baseline CSF CFU counts were an important prognostic factor. Clearance of cryptococci from the CSF was exponential and was significantly faster with amphotericin B plus flucytosine than with amphotericin B alone (p=0.0006), amphotericin B plus fluconazole ( p=0.02), or triple therapy (p=0.02).
At these doses, amphotericin B plus flucytosine is the most rapidly fungicidal regimen. Quantification of CSF cultures provides a powerful new means to accurately assess the fungicidal activity of new treatment regimens for cryptococcal meningitis.
The Lancet 06/2004; 363(9423):1764-7. · 39.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Penicilliosis, caused by the dimorphic fungus Penicillium marneffei, is an important opportunistic systemic fungal infection affecting immunocompromised individuals living in areas where penicilliosis is endemic. We have demonstrated previously that a urinary enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with purified rabbit polyclonal antibody against killed whole-fission-form arthroconidia of P. marneffei was specific and highly sensitive for the diagnosis of penicilliosis. In this study, a dot blot ELISA and a latex agglutination (LA) test were developed with the same polyclonal antibody and compared with the ELISA for the detection of P. marneffei urinary antigen. Urine specimens from 37 patients with culture-proven penicilliosis and 300 controls (52 healthy subjects and 248 hospitalized patients without penicilliosis) were tested. Antigen was detected in urine from all 37 (100%) penicilliosis patients by the LA test, 35 (94.6%) penicilliosis patients by the dot blot ELISA, and 36 (97.3%) penicilliosis patients by the ELISA. False-positive results were found by the three assays for 2 (0.7%), 8 (2.7%), and 6 (2%) of 300 controls, respectively. The overall sensitivities of the diagnostic tests were as follows: dot blot ELISA, 94.6%; ELISA, 97.3%; and LA test, 100% (specificities, 97.3, 98, and 99.3%, respectively). The LA test is simple, robust, rapid, and convenient and should prove to be an important addition to the existing diagnostic tests for penicilliosis.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 10/2002; 40(9):3179-83. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a trial of oral acetazolamide for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in 22 Thai adults with headache and an opening cerebrospinal fluid pressure of >/=200 mm H(2)0. The trial was terminated prematurely because patients who received acetazolamide developed significantly lower venous bicarbonate levels and higher chloride levels and had more-frequent serious adverse events than did subjects who received placebo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An open, prospective, randomized, comparative treatment trial was conducted to compare the therapeutic efficacy of high-dose intravenous imipenem and ceftazidime for acute severe melioidosis. Adult Thai patients with suspected acute, severe melioidosis were randomized to receive either imipenem, at a dosage of 50 mg/(kg x d), or ceftazidime, at a dosage of 120 mg/(kg x d), for a minimum of 10 days. The main outcome measures were death or treatment failure. Of the 296 patients enrolled, 214 had culture-confirmed melioidosis, and 132 (61.7%) of them had positive blood cultures. Mortality among patients with melioidosis was 36.9% overall. There were no differences in survival overall (P = .96) or after 48 hours (P = .3). Treatment failure after 48 hours was more common among patients treated with ceftazidime (P = .011). Both treatments were well tolerated. Imipenem is a safe and effective treatment for acute severe melioidosis and may be considered an alternative to ceftazidime.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Penicillium marneffei is a major cause of opportunistic infection in patients with AIDS in north and northeastern Thailand. A method for the quantitation of P. marneffei antigen in urine was developed by using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled purified rabbit hyperimmune immunoglobulin G in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This method was evaluated with 33 patients with culture-proven penicilliosis and 300 controls (52 healthy subjects, 248 hospitalized patients without penicilliosis) from the same area in which penicilliosis is endemic. Urinary antigen was found in all 33 (100%) patients with penicilliosis, with a median titer of 1:20,480. With undiluted samples, 67 (27%) of 248 hospital patients and 3 (6%) of 52 healthy controls were reactive. At a cutoff titer of 1:40, the urine antigen detection assay had a diagnostic sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 98% (positive predictive value, 84%; negative predictive value, 99.7%). This test offers a valuable and rapid method for the diagnosis of penicilliosis in patients with AIDS and could be a useful addition to conventional diagnostic methods in areas in which penicilliosis is endemic.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 02/1999; 37(1):117-21. · 4.07 Impact Factor