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Publications (6)

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    Gillian M Scott · Sharon S W Chow · Maria E Craig · [...] · William D Rawlinson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) can induce immune responses and placental damage. By use of immunoassay panels, 27 cytokines were assessed in midtrimester amniotic fluid from 8 patients with congenital CMV, in midtrimester sera from 12 pregnant women with primary CMV infection, and in amniotic fluid and serum from uninfected maternal controls. Levels of the cytokines tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 1β, interleukin 12, and interleukin 17; the chemokines CCL2, CCL4, and CXCL10; and the growth factors granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and platelet-derived growth factor bb were significantly elevated in amniotic fluid from congenital CMV patients (P < .01). Only CXCL10 was significantly higher in sera from CMV-infected pregnant women. CMV infection during pregnancy is associated with a shift in cytokine expression toward a proinflammatory state.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2012 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose a novel amniotic fluid inflammatory score from a comprehensive cytokine analysis of patients with mid-trimester short cervix. Amniotic fluid from singleton gestations (n = 44) with a cervical length of ≤25 mm between 16-24 weeks was assayed for 25 inflammatory mediators. Patient data were stratified according to gestational age at delivery (<34 vs ≥34 weeks). Mediators that reached statistical significance were included in the amniotic fluid inflammatory score. Patients were assigned 1 point for each significant mediator if their level was in the upper quartile. The amniotic fluid inflammatory score was determined, and its relationship to other clinical characteristics was examined. Fourteen mediators met the criteria. A score of ≥8 was predictive of delivery at <34 weeks' gestation (sensitivity, 87.0%; specificity, 100%; positive predictive value, 100%; negative predictive value, 87.5%). Twenty patients had a high inflammatory score (≥8); 24 patients had a low score. All patients with a high inflammatory score delivered at <30 weeks' gestation. The amniotic fluid inflammatory score is related to delivery outcome and clinical characteristics.
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2012 · American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
  • Sharon S.W. Chow · Maria E Craig · Cheryl A Jones · [...] · William D Rawlinson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The amniotic fluid cytokine profile has been shown to be indicative of various disease states, and changes may be associated with preterm labor or infection. Anti-inflammatory cytokine profiles may be essential for successful normal pregnancy. However, there are currently few normative data on the concentration of cytokines in amniotic fluids during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to provide new amniotic fluid cytokine data for future comparative studies in disease states, notably in utero viral infections, and to compare these with maternal serum levels. Amniotic fluid was obtained from 100 pregnant women undergoing elective amniocentesis at the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick. Concentrations of 27 cytokines were simultaneously measured in amniotic fluid and a subset of matching maternal sera (n=33) using a multiplex bead-based immunoassay system (Bio-Plex, Bio-Rad). To exclude infection, nested multiplex PCR targeting 17 known congenital infectious agents were performed on all amniotic fluid and maternal serum samples, and serological testing was also performed against some of these agents. Maternal serum concentration was positively correlated with amniotic fluid levels for MIP-1beta (r=0.39, P=0.027). IL-1ra was positively correlated to maternal age (r=0.210, P=0.036), and mean IL-5 levels were significantly higher in amniotic fluids from pregnancies with male fetuses than those with female fetuses (P=0.036). Normal amniotic fluid concentrations for five cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, IP-10, MCP-1, IL-1ra) were found to be significantly elevated over maternal serum concentrations in matched pairs (P<0.05). Concentrations of 12 cytokines (eotaxin, IFN-gamma, IL-9, IL-12, IL-15, IL-17, MIP-1alpha, MIP-1beta, RANTES, TNF-alpha, VEGF, PDGF bb) were significantly elevated in maternal serum compared to paired amniotic fluid at midtrimester (P<0.05). Amniotic fluid may be more representative of the fetal cytokine profile than cytokine analysis on antenatal sera as it represents predominantly fetal urinary and respiratory secretions. This study provides new normative data for multiple cytokine levels in amniotic fluid and maternal sera at 14-16 weeks gestation, and is a valuable tool for future diagnostic and comparative studies.
    Article · Aug 2008 · Cytokine
  • S.S.W. Chow · M.E. Craig · C.F.H. Jacques · [...] · W.D. Rawlinson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vertical transmission of viruses is an important cause of morbidity in the fetus and neonate. Placental viral infection indicates risk of vertical transmission, but not always transmission to, or disease of the fetus. Specimens from mothers and babies from three groups-two prospective and one retrospective cohort-were tested for pathogens of teratogenic potential using multiplex PCR. Placental infection was present in 13% of the 105 samples collected. Assessment of the prospective cohorts showed cytomegalovirus (CMV) detected in 4% of placentae from unselected women, parvovirus B19 in 1% and Ureaplasma parvum in 1% of placentae. In a retrospective cohort of women at high risk of transmitting congenital infection due to seroconversion during pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth, CMV was detected in 64% and human herpes virus type 7 in 9% of placentae. Of 14 PCR-positive placentae, two were associated with the birth of a living symptomatic infant, two with stillbirth, one with miscarriage, and two with elective terminations of pregnancy. Directed laboratory assessment of women at high risk of transmitting congenital infection, on the basis of clinical or laboratory markers, is important for accurate diagnosis of adverse outcomes of pregnancy. However, routine screening for viruses in the placentae from women with a low-risk serological profile for transmitting congenital infection is unlikely to result in significant numbers of additional diagnoses and is confounded by inadequacy of current diagnostic methods. The major pathogen detected in all cases of placental infection associated with fetal death was human CMV.
    Article · Jun 2006 · Journal of Medical Virology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterovirus 71 (EV71), first isolated in 1969, has been responsible for numerous outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) with a small proportion of cases associated with neurological disease. Since 1997 there has been a significant increase in both the prevalence and virulence of EV71 in the Asia-Pacific region. We have examined the genetic diversity of EV71 in a large Australian city (Sydney N.S.W.) over a nineteen-year period. We determined the VP1 gene sequence of forty-eight EV71 strains isolated between 1983 and 2001. Analysis by molecular phylogeny revealed the presence of four subgenogroups B2, B4, C1 and C2. The results indicate that the major lineage circulating in Sydney N.S.W. was subgenogroup C1 with a recent switch in dominance to B4 in 2000 and 2001.
    Article · Jun 2006 · Archives of Virology
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    C J McIver · C F H Jacques · S S W Chow · [...] · W D Rawlinson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Potential causes of congenital infection include Toxoplasma gondii and viruses such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), enterovirus, hepatitis C virus, herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and -2), human herpesvirus types 6, 7, and 8, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, parvovirus, rubella virus, and varicella-zoster virus. Testing for each of these agents using nucleic acid tests is time consuming and the availability of clinical samples such as amniotic fluid or neonatal blood is often limited. The aim of this study was to develop multiplex PCRs (mPCRs) for detection of DNA and RNA agents in the investigation of congenital infection and an mPCR for the viruses most commonly requested in a diagnostic virology laboratory (CMV, Epstein-Barr virus, enterovirus, HSV-1, HSV-2, and varicella-zoster virus). The assays were assessed using known pathogen-positive tissues (cultures, placentae, plasma, and amniotic fluid) and limits of detection were determined for all the agents studied using serial dilutions of plasmid targets. Nested PCR was performed as the most sensitive assay currently available, and detection of the amplicons using hybridization to labeled probes and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detection was incorporated into three of the four assays. This allowed detection of 10 to 10(2) copies of each agent in the samples processed. In several patients, an unexpected infection was diagnosed, including a case of encephalitis where HSV was the initial clinical suspicion but CMV was detected. In the majority of these cases the alternative agent could be confirmed using reference culture, serology, or fluorescence methods and was of relevance to clinical care of the patient. The methods described here provide useful techniques for diagnosing congenital infections and a paradigm for assessment of new multiplex PCRs for use in the diagnostic laboratory.
    Full-text available · Article · Nov 2005 · Journal of Clinical Microbiology