[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The performance values of available techniques used in serodiagnosis of toxoplasmosis are satisfactory but they raise problems of equivocal and discordant results for very low IgG titers. Recently marketed, LDBio-Toxo II IgG Western blot (IB) showed an excellent correlation with the dye test. We estimated the proportion of equivocal and discordant results between the enzyme immunoassay Platelia Toxo IgG (EIA-IgG) and fluorescent antibody test (FAT) and assessed the usefulness of the IB as a confirmatory test. Out of 2,136 sera collected from pregnant women, 1,644 (77.0%) tested unequivocally positive and 407 (19.0%) were negative in both EIA-IgG and FAT. The remaining 85 (4%) sera showed equivocal or discordant results. Among them, 73 (85.9%) were positive and 12 (14.1%) were negative in IB. Forty-one (89.1%) equivocal sera in EIA-IgG and 46 (86.8%) equivocal sera in FAT were positive in IB. Reducing the cut-off values of both screening techniques improved significantly their sensitivity in detecting very low IgG titers at the expense of their specificity. In conclusion, equivocal results in routine-used techniques and their discordance in determination of the immune status in pregnancy women were not uncommon. IB test appeard to be highly useful in these situations as a confirmatory technique.
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 08/2013; 51(4):485-8. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Onychomycosis is one of the most prevalent dermatophytic diseases. Mycological methods used in the conventional diagnosis may not be optimal. Multiplex (MX) PCR was reported as a reliable alternative. Dermatophyte gene sequence records were used to design a MX PCR for detection and identification of dermatophytes in nail specimens. A MX PCR method based on the amplification of the chitin synthase 1 and internal transcribed spacer genes was developed. The study included 93 strains of dermatophytes and non-dermatophytic fungi, six dermatophytic reference strains and 201 nail specimens from patients with dermatophytic onyxis. DNA extraction directly from nail samples was carried out by using the QIAamp DNA extraction kit (Quiagen). A set of primers was designed and their specificity was assessed. MX PCR detected the causal agent in specimens from which Trichophyton rubrum and T. interdigitale grew in culture and also identified a dermatophyte species in an additional 32 specimens that were negative in microscopy and culture. None of the investigated non-dermatophytic strains was positive. Sensitivity of MX PCR was higher as compared to mycological examination (97% vs. 81.1%). MX PCR for direct detection of dermatophytes from nail samples yielded mixed flora in 32.8% of samples. MX PCR proved sensitive and adequate for the diagnosis of dermatophytic onychomycosis. It is much adapted to cases where culture is negative or contaminated by overgrowing moulds, which makes the identification of the causal agent problematic.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Tunisia, despite the absence of a national program of congenital toxoplasmosis prevention, serodiagnosis is regularly carried out in pregnant women for prenatal screening. We report our experience on congenital toxoplasmosis over the last 11 years (2000–2011).
We reviewed the clinical, biological and therapeutic features of 21 cases of congenital toxoplasmosis.
The infection occurred in the first trimester in four cases, in the second trimester in six cases and in the third trimester in four cases. Presumed date of maternal contamination could not be specified in seven cases. Spiramycin was prescribed in 16 cases and pyrimethamine-sulfadiazine in one case with a positive PCR. Fetal ultrasound was poorly contributive in the antenatal screening. It showed intra-uterine growth retardation in one case. At birth, 16 neonates were asymptomatic, four presented neurological symptoms and four presented ocular involvement. The postnatal serology was positive for 21 neonates during the first month of life. IgA were positive in 76.9 % of cases and IgM in 66.6 % of cases. Comparison of immunoblot profiles showed a neo-synthesis of IgG and/or IgM in 57.1 % of cases. Twenty neonates were treated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. The evolution was marked by the early death of two neonates.
Severe congenital toxoplasmosis is still relevant in our country. The management of pregnant women at risk needs to be improved.
Journal de Pédiatrie et de Puériculture 04/2013; 26(2):83–89.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpureocillium lilacinum is a saprophytic fungus found in soil and decaying organic matter, but has been reported as an emerging pathogen in immunocompromised patients and following surgical procedures. Infections caused by this mold are often difficult to treat because of its intrinsic resistance to conventional antifungal agents and variable susceptibility to novel triazoles. In immunocompetent subjects, infections caused by P. lilacinum are unusual and mainly involve the skin. We describe herein a case of cutaneous hyalohyphomycosis due to this fungus in an immunocompetent girl without any predisposing risk factors and review the previously reported cases in immunocompetent hosts.
Medical mycology: official publication of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology 01/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Discrimination of the Old World Leishmania parasites is important for diagnosis and epidemiological studies of leishmaniasis. We have developed PCR assays that allow the discrimination between L. major, L. tropica and L. infantum Tunisian species. The identification was performed by a simple PCR targeting cysteine protease B (cpb) gene copies. These PCR can be a routine molecular biology tools for discrimination of Leishmania spp. from different geographical origins and different clinical forms. Our assays can be an informative source for cpb gene studying concerning drug, diagnostics and vaccine research. The PCR products of the cpb gene and the N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate transferase (nagt) Leishmania gene were sequenced and aligned. Phylogenetic trees of Leishmania based cpb and nagt sequences are close in topology, and present the classic distribution of Leishmania in the Old World. The phylogenetic analysis has enabled the characterization and identification of different strains, using both multicopy (cpb) and single copy (nagt) genes. Indeed, the cpb phylogenetic analysis allowed us to identify the Tunisian L. killicki species, and a group which gathers the least evolved isolates of the L. donovani complex, that was originated from East Africa. This clustering confirms the African origin for the visceralizing species of the L. donovani complex.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Onychomycosis is the most frequently encountered nail disease and may be difficult to diagnose and treat. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, the clinical and mycological characteristics of onychomycosis in central Tunisia. It is a retrospective study performed over a 22-year period (1986-2007). It included 7151 patients (4709 women and 2442 men) with suspected fingernails and/or toenails onychomycosis. The patients were referred to the Mycology-Parasitology Laboratory of Farhat Hached hospital in Sousse for mycological examination. Both direct microscopy and culture of the nail material were performed to diagnose and identify the causative fungal species. Onychomycosis was confirmed in 78.6% of investigated patients (5624/7151). The positivity rate was higher in women as compared with men. In both men and women, fingernails were most frequently involved than toenails. No significant relation was found between gender and toenails onychomycosis, whereas fingernails were frequently involved in women. As far as aetiological agents are considered, dermatophytes, yeast and moulds were responsible for 49.9%, 47.4% and 2.7% of onyxis cases respectively. In fingernail infections, yeast were the most frequent fungi (83.6%), Candida albicans being the leading species (51.6%). In contrast, in toenail infections, dermatophytes were more frequent (74.1%). Trichophyton rubrum was by far the dominant species (88.1%). Yeast were observed more frequently in women whereas dermatophytes were more common in men. Moulds were involved in 4.2% of cases. The most frequent species were Aspergillus sp. and Chrysosporium sp. Onychomycosis is a frequent disease in central Tunisia. T. rubrum is the predominant agent in toenails infection and yeast, mainly C. albicans, in fingernails onychomycosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Onychomycosis is one of the most prevalent dermatophytic diseases. Mycological methods used in the conventional diagnosis may not be optimal. PCR was reported as a reliable alternative in the diagnosis of dermatophytosis.
A PCR method based on the amplification of the chitin synthase 1 gene was developed. The study included 119 strains of dermatophytes and non dermatophytic fungi, eight dermatophytic reference strains and 201 nail specimens from patients with dermatophytic onyxis. DNA extraction was carried out by using the QIAamp DNA extraction kit (Quiagen).
PCR positivity was based on the production of a specific 432bp fragment. None of the investigated non dermatophytic strains was positive. Sensitivity of PCR was higher as compared to mycological examination (90.5% vs. 81.1%). PCR was positive in 31 onyxis cases with positive direct examination but negative or contaminated culture. In contrast, PCR was negative in 10 cases where both direct examination and culture were found positive.
PCR is an adequate tool for the diagnosis of dermatophytic onychomycosis. It is much adapted to cases where culture is negative or contaminated by overgrowing molds, which makes the identification of the causal agent problematic.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
The aim of our study was to evaluate the level of fungal contamination of food served to patients in the hematology unit of Farhat Hached hospital, Sousse (Tunisia).Methods
We analyzed 159 food served to 90 patients during the post-chemotherapy aplasia period.ResultsThe overall rate of fungal contamination was 66.6%. Fruits and green salads’ contamination was very high (90 and 100%, respectively). Aspergillus species were the most frequent (48.4%) followed by Candida (25.1%), Penicillium (22%), Rhizopus (17.6%) and Cladosporium (17%). The presence of Aspergillus on fruits (66.6%) represents a real source of contamination by inhalation of spores and the presence of Candida (25.1%) in any type of food is a source of gastrointestinal colonization.Conclusion
The diet of neutropenic patients should be submitted to a strict surveillance to reduce the risk of fungal infections of food.
Nutrition Clinique et Métabolisme. 09/2012; 26(3):114–118.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over a period of ten years, a series of 694 Leishmania strains from Tunisian leishmaniasis foci were isolated and identified by isoenzymatic analysis. Strains were obtained from human cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis in immunocompetent subjects, visceral leishmaniasis in imunocompromised individuals and from dogs with visceral leishmaniasis. Two classically dermotropic species, Leishmania (L.) major and Leishmania killicki were found. L. major with the single zymodeme MON-25 was the most isolated in cutaneous leishmaniasis foci of the Centre and South of Tunisia with a recent northern extension. L. killicki zymodeme MON-8 was sporadically found both in its classical microfocus of Tataouine in southeastern Tunisia as well as in some new foci in Southwestern, Central and Northern Tunisia. Leishmania infantum with its three zymodemes MON-1, MON-24 and MON-80 was isolated from both visceral and cutaneous human cases. The majority of L. infantum strains were found in the Northern part of the country; however, some strains were reported for the first time in the Southern part. L. infantum MON-1 was the only zymodeme isolated from canine leishmaniasis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fungemia is classically caused by a single species and the detection of more than one species in blood samples is uncommon. We report four cases of mixed fungemia (MF) diagnosed in the parasitology-mycology laboratory of Farhat-Hached hospital in Sousse, Tunisia. The MF episodes occurred in two neonates and two adults suffering from acute myeloid leukemia. Two fungal species were detected concomitantly within the same blood culture in all cases. Species combination was detected by the subculture of the blood culture on Candida ID(®) chromogenic medium in three cases and on Sabouraud agar in one case. Predisposing factors were: indwelling catheters (4/4), broad-spectrum antibiotics (3/4), neutropenia (2/4), exclusive parenteral nutrition (2/4) and Candida colonization (1/4). Patients presented febrile sepsis with no response to broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy in all cases. Outcome under antifungal treatment was favorable in two cases and the two other patients died. CONCLUSION: MF appears similar to the more common monomicrobial fungemia. The use of chromogenic media in routine can improve the detection of MF episodes allowing appropriate antifungal therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The serological tests commonly used for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis raise the problem of the interpretation of the borderline immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels and discordant results between various tests.Objective
The purpose of our study was to evaluate the contribution of the immunoblotting in the detection of specific IgG in acquired toxoplasmosis of immunocompetent patients especially when levels are equivocal or discordant in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Elisa) and indirect fluorescent antigen test (IFAT).Materiel and methodsWe tested three groups of sera. The first included 87 positive sera, the second 33 negative sera, and the last one 29 equivocal sera.ResultsResults obtained with the first and the second group of sera led us to identify the bands 30 kDa and 32 kDa as markers of the toxoplasmic infection. The simultaneous presence of both bands showed a sensitivity of 91.5%, a specificity of 96.9%, a VPP of 98.7%, a VPN of 74.4% and a Youden's index of 0.88. Our findings suggest that the presence of these two bands is a reliable criterion for the confirmation of the presence of anti-toxoplasmic IgG in the corresponding serum. The immunoblot allowed us to ascertain serological status of 27 (93.1%) patients from the third group in which results were discrepant or equivocal in Elisa and/or in IFAT.Conclusion
Immunoblot is a useful serological test for detection of very low or equivocal titers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fungemia is classically caused by a single species and the detection of more than one species in blood samples is uncommon. We report four cases of mixed fungemia (MF) diagnosed in the parasitology-mycology laboratory of Farhat-Hached hospital in Sousse, Tunisia. The MF episodes occurred in two neonates and two adults suffering from acute myeloid leukemia. Two fungal species were detected concomitantly within the same blood culture in all cases. Species combination was detected by the subculture of the blood culture on Candida ID® chromogenic medium in three cases and on Sabouraud agar in one case. Predisposing factors were: indwelling catheters (4/4), broad-spectrum antibiotics (3/4), neutropenia (2/4), exclusive parenteral nutrition (2/4) and Candida colonization (1/4). Patients presented febrile sepsis with no response to broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy in all cases. Outcome under antifungal treatment was favorable in two cases and the two other patients died.
MF appears similar to the more common monomicrobial fungemia. The use of chromogenic media in routine can improve the detection of MF episodes allowing appropriate antifungal therapy.
Journal de Mycologie Médicale / Journal of Medical Mycology. 06/2012; 22(2):192–196.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of our study was to assess epidemiological features of neonatal invasive candidiasis in Farhat Hached hospital of Sousse, Tunisia, including incidence, risk factors, mortality, species distribution and antifungal susceptibility. Laboratory data from 1995 to 2010 and medical records of 127 invasive candidiasis cases were reviewed. We tested the susceptibility of 100 Candida sp isolates by using ATB fungus(®) 3 and to fluconazole by using E-test(®) strips. A total of 252 cases of neonatal invasive candidiasis occurred over the study period. The incidence increased 1.8-fold from 1995 to 2006 and decreased fourfold from 2007 to 2010. Candida albicans was the predominant species up to 2006 and a shift in the species spectrum was observed with increase of the non-albicans species mainly C. parapsilosis. The agreement between the ATB Fungus(®) and the E-test(®) for determining fluconazole susceptibility was high. All tested isolates were susceptible to fluconazole, flucytosine, amphotéricine B and voriconazole and the itraconazole resistance rate was 5%. The mortality rate was 63%. The invasive candidiasis incidence increased from 1995 to 2006 and decreased from 2007 to 2010. The spectrum of Candida species and the lack of fluconazole-resistant strains argue for the usefulness of fluconazole as an empiric treatment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nosocomial transmission of Candida albicans in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) is an increasing concern and understanding the route of this transmission is critical for adequate infection control measures. The aim of our study was to assess the likeliness of nosocomial acquisition of C. albicans in the NICU of Farhat Hached hospital in Sousse (Tunisia). We genotyped 82 isolates from 40 neonates and 7 isolates from 5 health care workers (HCWs) with onychomycosis, by using CDC3 microsatellite length polymorphism (MLP) and the high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis. Combined MLP and HRM CD3 analysis led to the delineation of 12 genotypes. Five temporal clustering caused by five genotypes occurred during the study period. Three of these genotypes were isolated in both neonates and HCWs. The first clustering included 28 isolates obtained between January 2003 and May 2004 from 16 neonates and 2 HCWs. The second clustering included three isolates collected in 2004 from three neonates and two HCWs. The third clustering included 11 isolates obtained from 6 neonates and 1 HCW in 2006. The two remaining clustering could not be associated with any HCW's contamination. These results argue for the nosocomial transmission of C. albicans in our NICU. The combined MLP and HRM analysis is a rapid first approach for tracking cross-contamination.
DNA and cell biology 02/2012; 31(7):1161-6. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nosocomial invasive candidiasis (IC) has emerged as a major problem in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). We investigated herein the temporal clustering of six cases of neonatal IC due to Candida albicans in an NICU. Eighteen isolates obtained from the six neonates and two isolates from two health care workers (HCWs) working at the same unit and suffering from fingers' onychomycosis were genotyped by electrophoretic karyotyping (EK) and restriction endonuclease analysis of genomic DNA by using Sfi I (PFGE-Sfi I). PFGE-Sfi I was more effective in discriminating between temporally related isolates. It showed that (i) both HCWs had specific strains excluding them as a source of infections in neonates. (ii) Isolates collected from three neonates were identical providing evidence of their clonal origin and the occurrence of a horizontal transmission of C. albicans in the unit. (iii) The three remaining neonates had specific strains confirming that the IC cases were coincidental. (iv) Microevolution occurred in one catheter-related candidemia case. Our results illustrate the relevance of the molecular approach to investigate suspected outbreaks in hospital surveys and the effectiveness of PFGE-Sfi I for typing of epidemiologically related C. albicans isolates.
The Scientific World Journal 01/2012; 2012:138989. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Geotrichum capitatum infection is uncommon, and has been exclusively reported in immunocompromised patients. The prognosis is poor with a mortality rate ranging from 50 to 90%. We report 3 cases of Geotrichum capitatum fungemia in neutropenic patients receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloblastic leukemia.The infection was successfully cured with voriconazole in 1 case and was fatal in the 2 remaining cases despite treatment with amphotericin B.
Medical Mycology Case Reports. 01/2012; 1(1):88–90.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Tunisia, asymptomatic carriage of Leishmania is poorly documented.
The aim of the present study was to estimate the frequency of asymptomatic infection among the family members of patients with patent visceral leishmaniasis by using the Western blotting kit based on 14 and 16kDa bands.
We tested 94 sera collected from 24 patients with patent visceral leishmaniasis and 70 from their families' members.
The rate of seropositivity was 100% in the group of patients and 54.3% in the group of families' members. The analysis of the Western blotting patterns showed that the 33kDa, 24kDa and to a lesser extent the 22kDa band were very indicative of patent visceral leishmaniasis in contrast to asymptomatic infection where these bands were very rarely detected.
The results reported herein showed the high frequency of asymptomatic carriers of Leishmania among the families' members of visceral leishmaniasis cases and the usefulness of the Western blotting as a screening technique and in distinguishing between patent visceral leishmaniasis and the asymptomatic carriage of Leishmania.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L’aspergillose cutanée est une entité clinique rare qui affecte généralement les patients immunodéprimés. Nous rapportons un cas d’aspergillose cutanée primaire compliquant l’évolution d’une plaie d’adénectomie cervicale chez un patient de 32 ans atteint d’un lymphome anaplasique à grandes cellules T. L’adénectomie a été réalisée afin de confirmer la rechute de l’hémopathie. L’infection de la plaie est survenue au cours de la deuxième semaine de la neutropénie post-chimiothérapie. L’examen anatomopathologique de la biopsie cutanée a montré de nombreux filaments mycéliens, la culture a permis d’isoler Aspergillus flavus et l’antigénémie aspergillaire s’est révélée positive. Le traitement a consisté en la combinaison du voriconazole et d’un débridement chirurgical. Le patient est décédé d’une défaillance multiviscérale causée par une septicémie bactérienne sans dissémination secondaire de l’infection aspergillaire.
L’infection aspergillaire doit être systématiquement évoquée comme diagnostic différentiel des infections des plaies, en particulier chez les patients neutropéniques.
Journal de Mycologie Médicale / Journal of Medical Mycology. 12/2011; 21(4):285–288.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening infectious complication in hematological patients undergoing immunosuppressive chemotherapy.
We report 29 cases of invasive aspergillosis diagnosed in the Sousse Farhat Hached hospital Hematology unit, Tunisia, between 2002 and 2010.
The most frequent disease (65.5%) was acute myeloid leukemia. All patients were severely neutropenic (<500/mm(3), mean duration=27 days). Pulmonary invasive aspergillosis was suggested in 28 (96.5%) cases. The most frequent respiratory signs were cough (64.3%), chest pain (53.6%), and hemoptysis (50%). The chest X-ray showed suggestive lesions in 60.7% of cases. CT scans revealed nodules with cavitation in 65% of cases, a halo sign in 20% of cases, and nodules in 15% of cases. Galactomannan antigenemia was positive in 88%, mycological examination positive in 51.6%, and seroconversion was noted in 35.7% of the cases. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis was classified, according to EORTC/MSG criteria, as probable in 26 cases, possible in one case, and proven in one case. Aspergillus flavus was the dominant species in pulmonary invasive aspergillosis accounting for 73.7% of isolates. Extrapulmonary involvement was suggested in 39.3% of cases, the most frequent were sinusitis and brain abscess. Primary cutaneous aspergillosis was observed in one case. The overall mortality rate was 64.2%; the 12-week survival rate was 71.4%.
Our results are correlated to published data. A. flavus was the most frequent species in our region.