[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An early virological response (EVR) after the start of interferon (IFN) treatment for chronic hepatitis C leads to a successful virological outcome. To analyze an association between sustained virological response (SVR) and EVR by comparing TaqMan with Amplicor assays in HCV genotype 1-infected patients treated with pegylated (PEG)-IFN alpha-2b plus ribavirin (RBV).
We retrospectively analyzed a total of 80 HCV genotype 1 patients (39 SVR and 41 non-SVR patients), who received an enough dosage and a complete 48-week treatment of PEG-IFN alpha-2b plus RBV. Serum HCV RNA levels were measured by both TaqMan and Amplicor assays for each patients at Weeks 2, 4, 8 and 12 after the start of the antiviral treatment.
Of the 80 patients with undetectable HCV RNA by Amplicor, 17 (21.3%) patients were positive for HCV RNA by TaqMan at Weeks 12. The quantification results showed that no significant difference in the decline of HCV RNA level between TaqMan and Amplicor 10-fold method assays within the initial 12 weeks of the treatment was found. However, the qualitative analysis showed significant differences of the positive predictive rates for SVR were found between TaqMan (100% at weeks 4 and 100% at weeks 8) and Amplicor (80.0% and 69.6%, respectively).
The COBAS TaqMan HCV assay is very useful for monitoring HCV viremia during antiviral treatment to predict a SVR in HCV genotype 1 patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is defined as a condition in which excess protein loss into the gastrointestinal lumen, due to various causes, is severe enough to produce hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia. We report a 28-year-old Japanese woman with PLE. She had been diagnosed with AIDS and disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection at age 26. Although highly active antiretroviral and antimycobacterial treatments helped her overcome this critical situation, 2 years after initiation of the treatments, she was readmitted to our hospital because of hypoalbuminemia and edema of the lower extremities, and she was diagnosed, by the use of double-balloon enteroscopy, with PLE due to intestinal lymphangiectasia (IL). The etiology was thought to be obstruction of the mesenteric and retroperitoneal lymphatic drainage systems by MAC lymphadenitis. Even with intensive antimycobacterial treatment, octreotide treatment as a long-acting somatostatin analogue, and a low-fat diet enriched with medium-chain triglyceride, IL was not cured during the follow-up period. In patients with AIDS, complete clinical remission of MAC (especially disseminated MAC) infection is very difficult.
Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 09/2009; 15(4):252-6. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An association has been demonstrated between Chlamydophila pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) infection and atherosclerosis, but data on the relationship between C. pneumoniae DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and antibodies to this organism are lacking. We investigated the C. pneumoniae DNA in PBMC by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and C. pneumoniae IgG and IgA antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of 168 patients with atherosclerotic diseases and 27 controls (healthy control subjects). C. pneumoniae DNA was detected for 48/168 (29%) atherosclerosis patients, IgG for 79 (47%), and IgA for 98 (58%), whereas the corresponding numbers for the controls were 11 (41%), 13 (48%), and 7 (26%). There was no significant difference of the C. pneumoniae DNA positivity rate between the atherosclerosis patients and the controls. However, the C. pneumoniae IgA-positive rate was significantly higher for carotid atherosclerosis patients who had C. pneumoniae DNA in their PBMC than for those without it (74% vs. 18%, P < 0.05). Among the patients with coronary artery disease, the C. pneumoniae IgA antibody positive rate was significantly higher for the patients with DNA than for those without it (68% vs. 18%, P < 0.05). Our results suggest that a high C. pneumoniae IgA antibody titer and C. pneumoniae DNA positivity are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic diseases due to endovascular C. pneumoniae infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the association between liver stiffness measured by transient elastography (FibroScan) and the efficacy of pegylated interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin combination treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We prospectively studied 145 Japanese patients with chronic HCV infection. FibroScan was done at baseline, at the end of treatment, and at 48 and 96 weeks after the end of treatment. The FibroScan values were significantly decreased for sustained virological response (SVR) patients (the mean rate of change; -16.2%, -32.2% and -43.5%) in comparison with non-SVR patients (-7.2%, -2.1% and +17.3%) at the end of treatment (P=0.0127), and 48 weeks (P<0.0001) and 96 weeks (P<0.0001) after the end of treatment. Among the non-SVR patients, the FibroScan values were significantly decreased for patients with biochemical response (BR) (-17.9%, -30.0% and -27.1%) in comparison with non-BR (-4.1%, +6.4% and +30.6%) at the end of treatment (P=0.0270), and 48 weeks (P<0.0001) and 96 weeks (P<0.0001) after the end of treatment. The FibroScan values may predict a progressively better clinical outcome for patients with successful virological and biochemical responses.
Antiviral research 05/2009; 83(2):127-34. · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atherosclerotic vascular diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality for end-stage renal disease patients. We followed prospectively 226 hemodialysis patients by carotid ultrasonography to determine if ultrasonographic markers are predictive of the prognosis of these patients. The end-point was death or completion of the five-year follow-up period. Fatal cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events were the most common cause of death. By multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus (DM) (P = 0.005), plaque number (PN) by ultrasonography (P = 0.023), age (P = 0.001), calcium–phosphate product (P = 0.049), and serum albumin (P = 0.009) were extracted as independent risk factors. The five-year increase of PN was significantly greater for DM patients than for non-DM patients. Moreover, PN was an independent marker of a fatal event, irrespective of DM status. Our results suggest that PN may be a useful predictor of the long-term prognosis of hemodialysis patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections occurred after thoracic surgeries performed between May and June 2003. Clinical data of seven patients were reviewed and the fact was revealed that bronchoscopes were used during endotracheal intubation for one-lung ventilation in most patients. P. aeruginosa was recovered from the sputum of these patients at a very early stage post-operation. Environmental samples from bronchoscopes and an automated endoscope reprocessor (AER) were cultured and P. aeruginosa strains were recovered from all of them. All of these strains were confirmed to be identical by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Inspection of the sterilization cycles of bronchoscopes revealed inappropriate management of bronchoscopes and a flaw in the AER; once its detergent tank was contaminated, it was not possible to disinfect it. After all the bronchoscopes had been disinfected, and the washing machine had been remodeled, with the washing process confirmed to be appropriate, the outbreak finally ended. This outbreak had two causes, a flaw in the AER and inappropriate disinfection procedures. Outbreaks associated with bronchoscopic examinations have been reported elsewhere. Bronchoscopes are widely used to facilitate endotracheal intubation, especially for one-lung anesthesia. Although they are used for only a short time during anesthetic procedures, we should handle them more carefully.
Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 01/2009; 14(6):418-23. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in the general population of Japan by determining presence of the antibody to HEV (anti-HEV).
The prevalence of HEV infection was determined by positivity of serum antibody to HEV (anti-HEV).
On retrospective analysis, a significant decrease in anti-HEV prevalence was found in Okinawa healthy residents from 1995 (15.8%) to 2005 (5.5%) (P < 0.0001). In 2005, the anti-HEV prevalence was significantly higher in Okinawa wild boar hunters (25.3%) than in the residents (male 7.7% and female 4.1%) (P < 0.0001). A significant difference was found in the history of consumption of undercooked or raw boar meat between anti-HEV positive and negative hunters (100% vs 64.3%) (P = 0.0018).
In conclusion, the anti-HEV prevalence has decreased in the residents of this area, but HEV infection has continued at a high rate in the hunters through the custom of eating undercooked or raw boar meat.
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 12/2008; 23(12):1885-90. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Symptoms caused by acute human parvovirus B19 (HPV-B19) infection can vary considerably, from asymptomatic to severely symptomatic. A 39-year-old Japanese woman complained of sudden, severe arthralgia with edematous limbs coincident with an outbreak of HPV-B19 infection at the elementary school attended by her daughter. A diagnosis of acute HPV-B19 infection was made by the detection of serum antibody to HPV-B19 IgM and HPV-B19 DNA. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed bilateral synovitis of the cubital joints. The patient was immunocompetent and suffered from severe arthralgia associated with persistent HPV-B19 viremia for more than 4 months after the diagnosis of acute HPV-B19 infection. The administration of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin resulted in remission, with little change in the serum HPV-B19 DNA level. Even in our immunocompetent patient, severe and prolonged arthritis was found to be associated with persistent viremia.
Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 11/2008; 14(5):377-82. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has dramatically decreased the incidence of HIV-1-associated morbidity and mortality. During the initial months of HAART, immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), an adverse consequence of restoration of the pathogen-specific immune response, often occurred in terminal-stage in patients, with MAC infection the most frequently implicated in IRIS. In August 2004, a 26-year-old Japanese woman with fever and general lymphadenopathy was diagnosed with AIDS (HIV-1 RNA 5.7 x 10(5) copies/mL, CD4+ T cell count 10/microL) and disseminated Mycobacterium avium (M. avium) infection, for which antimycobacterial treatment was initiated. The M. avium infection responded well to two months of this treatment, and HAART was begun. Despite good virologic response to HAART (HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL), she contracted pulmonary disease with parenchymal lung changes, endobronchial lesions, and localized supraclavicular lymphadenitis, which are M. avium-associated IRIS. Good immunological response (CD4+ T cell count 136/microL) and a stronger antimycobacterial treatment helped her overcoming M. avium-associated IRIS without systemic corticosteroids or the discontinuation of HAART. The possibility of IRIS should always be watched for when treating AIDS patients with HAART and an antimycobacterial treatment regimen formulated that considers potential drug interactions with HAART.
Kansenshogaku zasshi. The Journal of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases 07/2008; 82(4):341-6.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is reported that Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with coronary atherosclerosis both epidemiologically and pathogenetically, but no conclusions have yet been reached. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between H. pylori infection and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Sixty-nine patients with PAD attending Harasanshin General Hospital (Fukuoka, Japan) were compared with 143 controls (age-matched asymptomatic outpatients with hyperlipidemia). H. pylori infection was diagnosed by the detection of IgG antibodies, the (13)C-urea breath test, and histological examination. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the data. The 69 PAD patients and 143 controls were aged from 50 to 92 years. According to the Fontaine classification, 43/69 PAD patients (62.3%) were grade I, 25 (36.2%) were grade II, and 1 (0.14%) was grade III. The prevalence of H. pylori infection was higher in the PAD patients than in the controls (79.7% versus 44.8%; P < 0.01). Stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that H. pylori infection and hypertension had a significant influence on the occurrence of PAD. Our results suggest that chronic H. pylori infection may be one of the risk factors for PAD.
Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 07/2008; 14(3):250-4. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An elevated plasma level of homocysteine (Hcy) and infection by Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) have been suggested as independent risk factors for carotid atherosclerosis (CA) and coronary artery disease (CAD), but the mechanisms involved are unclear. We investigated the correlation between positivity for antibody to C. pneumonia (anti-C. pneumoniae) and the Hcy level in patients with CA and CAD. The total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) concentration was determined in 99 patients with CA and 31 patients with CAD, as well as 119 controls with matched risk factors for atherosclerosis. The tHcy level was measured with a Bio-Rad microplate enzyme immunoassay. In the CAD group, the tHcy level (13.67 micromol/l) was significantly higher than that in other groups (CA group, 10.96 micromol/l; control group, 9.95 micromol/l; ANOVA, P = 0.0006). Positivity for anti-C. pneumoniae IgG was significantly more common in the CAD group (77.4%) than in the other groups (CA group, 53.5%; control group, 54.6%; ANOVA, P = 0.0490). There was no association between anti-C. pneumoniae IgA positivity or tHcy and conventional risk factors. However, anti-C. pneumoniae IgG positivity was significantly more common in subjects with higher tHcy levels than in those with low tHcy levels from each of the 3 groups. The CAD group had significantly higher tHcy levels, and tHcy was significantly associated with anti-C. pneumoniae IgG positivity. These findings indicate that elevation of tHcy is related to positivity for anti-C. pneumoniae IgG in patients with CAD.
Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 07/2008; 14(3):232-7. · 1.55 Impact Factor