[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Taiwan, Q fever cases in humans began increasing in 2004 and peaked in 2007 but dramatically declined in 2008 and 2011. Cases were significantly correlated with the number of goats. The decline might be associated with the collateral effects of measures to control goat pox in 2008 and 2010.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Emerging Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Bladder cancer (BC) is the most common malignancy in urinary system. The prognosis of metastatic BC is poor, but there remains no reliable marker to early detect metastasis. Dysregulated prenylated protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are commonly associated with cancer metastasis. From a published BC transcriptome, we identified that PTP IVA3 (PTP4A3) was the most significantly upregulated gene implicated in tumor progression among genes related to prenylated PTPs. We therefore analyzed PTP4A3 expression in our well-characterized cohort of BC.
By immunohistochemistry, PTP4A3 expression was determined using H-score. PTP4A3 expression of 295 BCs was compared with clinicopathological parameters, and the effect of PTP4A3 on cancer-specific survival (CSS) and metastasis-free survival (MFS) was also examined. Two independent sets of BCs were used to assess PTP4A3 protein and transcript expression in normal urothelium and different stage tumors.
PTP4A3 overexpression was significantly associated with higher pT stage (P < 0.001), nodal metastasis (P < 0.001), vascular invasion (P < 0.001), and perineural invasion (P = 0.021). In multivariate analysis, PTP4A3 overexpression was an independent predictor for CSS (P < 0.001) and MFS (P = 0.007). Notably, the difference in CSS and MFS between high and low PTP4A3-expressing tumors was also significant in muscle-invasive BCs. PTP4A3 protein expression showed significant and stepwise increments from normal urothelium to noninvasive BC, invasive BC, and metastatic foci (P < 0.001). PTP4A3 transcript was also obviously upregulated in high-stage BC (P < 0.001).
PTP4A3 may play a role in BC oncogenesis and is a predictive marker of metastasis. PTP4A3 overexpression represents an independent prognosticator for BC, suggesting its potential theranostic value.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · World Journal of Urology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visfatin, a newly discovered adipocytokine, is a pro-inflammatory cytokine. This study aimed to evaluate the predictive value of visfatin on prognosis of patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma. One-hundred and five patients (median age=64, range=24-84 years) were included in this study. Visfatin expression in upper tract urothelial carcinoma tissues was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Visfatin expression was correlated with clinicopathologic variables using the χ(2) test. The prognostic value of visfatin for recurrence-free and cancer-specific survival was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier estimates, and the significance of differences between curves was evaluated by the log-rank test. Cox regression model was also used to evaluate the hazard ratios of visfatin on survival. High visfatin expression in upper tract urothelial carcinoma tissues was significantly correlated with tumor stage (P=0.001), grade (P=0.007) and p53 expression (P=0.07). High visfatin expression was associated with poor recurrence-free and cancer-specific survival. Cox regression analysis also revealed that visfatin is an independent predictor of recurrence-free (HR=3.22, P=0.009) and cancer-specific survival (HR=5.74, P=0.023). Our findings indicated that higher visfatin expression is a potential biomarker to predict patient survival. Further study is necessary to investigate the role of visfatin in the carcinogenesis of upper tract urothelial carcinoma.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · American Journal of Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peripheral nerve block guidance with a nerve stimulator or echo may not prevent intra-fascicular injury. This study investigated whether intra-fascicular lidocaine induces peripheral neuropathic pain and if this pain can be alleviated by minocycline administration.
One hundred sixty-eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were included. In experimental one, 2% lidocaine (0.1▒mL) was injected into the left sciatic nerve. Hind paw responses to thermal and mechanical stimuli, as well as sodium channel and activating transcription factor (ATF-3) expression in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and glial cells in the spinal dorsal horn (SDH) were measured on days 4, 7, 14, 21 and 28. Based on the results in experiment one, rats in experiment two were divided into sham, extra-neural, intra-fascicular, peri-injury minocycline, and post-injury minocycline groups. The behavioral responses, macrophage recruitment, expression changes of myelin basic protein (MBP) and Schwann cells in the sciatic nerve, dysregulated expression of ATF-3 in the DRG, and activated glial cells in L5 SDH were assessed on days 7 and 14.
Intra-fascicular lidocaine induced mechanical allodynia, down-regulated Nav 1.8, increased ATF-3 expression in the DRG, and activated glial cells in the SDH. Increased expression of macrophages, Schwann cell and MBP were found in the sciatic nerve. Minocycline significantly attenuated intra-fascicular lidocaine-induced neuropathic pain and nerve damage. Peri-injury minocycline better than post-injury minocycline administration in alleviating mechanical behaviors, mitigating macrophage recruitment into the sciatic nerve, and suppressing activated microglial in the spinal cord.
Systemic minocycline administration alleviate intra-fascicular lidocaine injection induced peripheral nerve damage.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The Clinical journal of pain
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation-related parameters based on blood cells, including white blood cell (WBC) count, neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio, platelet count, and red cell distribution width (RDW), have been shown to be associated with prognosis in many cancers. However, no previous study evaluated these inflammation-associated markers simultaneously in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC).
A total of 195 patients with UTUC who received radical nephroureterectomy between 2005 and 2010 were included retrospectively as the derivation cohort to investigate the impact of inflammation markers on overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS). In turn, another independent set of 225 patients were used for validation. Finally, we performed survival analysis in the combined cohort consisting of 420 UTUC patients.
The predictive value of RDW and WBC count on outcome was replicable in different cohorts. Multivariate analysis showed high RDW was independently associated with poor OS (P < 0.001), and WBC count was a significant prognosticator for both OS and CSS (both P < 0.001). In subgroup analysis, we found the prognostic significance of RDW for OS was limited in organ-confined disease (≤pT2 without pN+). More importantly, a clear survival difference can be demonstrated by combining RDW and WBC count with other known prognostic factors in the risk stratification model.
RDW and WBC count have the advantage of their common accessibility and are useful markers to predict outcome of UTUC in the preoperative setting. RDW and WBC count could provide additional prognostic value and help physicians identify patients at high risk for mortality and formulate individualized treatment strategy.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) continues to be a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. To date, no zebrafish animal model has demonstrated the characteristic manifestations of ALD in the setting of chronic alcohol exposure. The aim of this study was to develop a zebrafish animal model for ALD. Male adult zebrafish were housed in a 1% (v/v) ethanol solution up to 3 months. A histopathological study showed the characteristic features of alcoholic liver steatosis and steatohepatitis in the early stages of alcohol exposure, including fat droplet accumulation, ballooning degeneration of the hepatocytes, and Mallory body formation. As the exposure time increased, collagen deposition in the extracellular matrix was observed by Sirius red staining and immunofluorescence staining. Finally, anaplastic hepatocytes with pleomorphic nuclei were arranged in trabecular patterns and formed nodules in the zebrafish liver. Over the time course of 1% ethanol exposure, upregulations of lipogenesis, fibrosis, and tumor-related genes were also revealed by semiquantitative and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. As these data reflect characteristic liver damage by alcohol in humans, this zebrafish animal model may serve as a powerful tool to study the pathogenesis and treatment of ALD and its related disorders in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human nonplague yersiniosis occurs more commonly in temperate regions than in tropical or subtropical regions. In Taiwan, which is located in a subtropical region of Southeast Asia, only environmental isolates and human infection of Yersinia enterocolitica were reported, but a human case of Y. pseudotuberculosis infection had not been identified. We report the first person with Y. pseudotuberculosis serotype O1 septicemia who presented with acute appendicitis-like syndrome and who was probably contracted the infection via ingestion of raw foods in a barbecue restaurant in Japan.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of the Formosan Medical Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The clinical characteristics of Q fever are poorly identified in the tropics. Fever with pneumonia or hepatitis are the dominant presentations of acute Q fever, which exhibits geographic variability. In southern Taiwan, which is located in a tropical region, the role of Q fever in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has never been investigated.
During the study period, May 2012 to April 2013, 166 cases of adult CAP and 15 cases of acute Q fever were prospectively investigated. Cultures of clinical specimens, urine antigen tests for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Legionella pneumophila, and paired serologic assessments for Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, and Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) were used for identifying pathogens associated with CAP. From April 2004 to April 2013 (the pre-study period), 122 cases of acute Q fever were also included retrospectively for analysis. The geographic distribution of Q fever and CAP cases was similar. Q fever cases were identified in warmer seasons and younger ages than CAP. Based on multivariate analysis, male gender, chills, thrombocytopenia, and elevated liver enzymes were independent characteristics associated with Q fever. In patients with Q fever, 95% and 13.5% of cases presented with hepatitis and pneumonia, respectively. Twelve (7.2%) cases of CAP were seropositive for C. burnetii antibodies, but none of them had acute Q fever. Among CAP cases, 22.9% had a CURB-65 score ≧2, and 45.8% had identifiable pathogens. Haemophilus parainfluenzae (14.5%), S. pneumoniae (6.6%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (4.8%), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (3.0%) were the most common pathogens identified by cultures or urine antigen tests. Moreover, M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, and co-infection with 2 pathogens accounted for 9.0%, 7.8%, and 1.8%, respectively.
In southern Taiwan, Q fever is an endemic disease with hepatitis as the major presentation and is not a common etiology of CAP.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite increased identification of spotted fever group rickettsioses (SFGR) in animals and arthropods, human SFGR are poorly characterized in Taiwan.
Patients with suspected Q fever, scrub typhus, murine typhus, leptospirosis, and dengue fever from April 2004 to December 2009 were retrospectively investigated for SFGR antibodies (Abs). Sera were screened for Rickettsia rickettsii Abs by indirect immunofluorescence antibody assay (IFA), and those with positive results were further examined for Abs against R. rickettsii, R. typhi, R. felis, R. conorii, and R. japonica using micro-immunofluorescence (MIF) tests. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of SFGR DNA was applied in those indicated acute infections. Case geographic distribution was made by the geographic information system software.
A total of 413 cases with paired serum, including 90 cases of Q fever, 47 cases of scrub typhus, 12 cases of murine typhus, 6 cases of leptospirosis, 3 cases of dengue fever, and 255 cases of unknown febrile diseases were investigated. Using IFA tests, a total of 49 cases with 47 (11.4%) and 4 (1.0%) cases had sera potentially positive for R. rickettsii IgG and IgM, respectively. In the 49 cases screened from IFA, MIF tests revealed that there were 5 cases of acute infections (3 possible R. felis and 2 undetermined SFGR) and 13 cases of past infections (3 possible R. felis and 10 undetermined SFGR). None of the 5 cases of acute infection had detectable SFGR DNA in the blood specimen by PCR. Possible acute infection of R. felis was identified in both one case of Q fever and scrub typhus. The geographic distribution of SFGR cases is similar with that of scrub typhus.
Human SFGR exist and are neglected diseases in southern Taiwan, particularly for the species closely-related to R. felis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
It is urgent to find alternative agents due to increasing failure rate of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) eradication. The study surveyed the long-term effect of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) on H. pylori based on Mongolian gerbil's model.
Materials and methods:
Fifty gerbils were randomly allocated to six groups (A-F). Group (Gr) A: the gerbils were fed with broth; Gr B and D: the gerbils were fed with AgNP/clay complex (0.1% of weight); Gr C and E: the gerbils were fed with AgNP/clay complex(1% of weight); and Gr D, E, and F: the gerbils were inoculated with H. pylori. At the 20th experimental week, the gerbils were sacrificed. Histology was evaluated according to the classification of the Sydney system. P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
The AgNP/clay has more obvious inhibitory effect on H. pylori in vitro. There was a trend of higher concentrations of AgNP with stronger inhibitory effect on H. pylori growth (P = 0.071). There were no significant differences of inflammation among groups D, E, and F (P = 0.688).
AgNP/clay would be a potential and safe agent for inhibiting H. pylori. It should be helpful for eradication of H. pylori infection.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BioMed Research International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multi-modality electrophysiological techniques were performed to assess the effects of quinidine on peripheral nerve conduction.
Twenty-seven rats were treated with 1, 3, and 5 μmol quinidine in 0.1 ml 5 % glucose. The mixed-nerve somato-sensory evoked potential (M-SSEP), dermatomal-SSEP (D-SSEP), and compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) were evoked and recorded. After positioning Gelfoam strips saturated with quinidine and 5 % glucose around the left and right sciatic nerves, potentials were measured at baseline, immediately after treatment, every 15 min for the 1st hour, and every 30 min for the next 3 h. After 2 weeks, the walking behaviors and potentials were again analyzed and myelinated fibers in the sciatic nerve were counted.
Quinidine applied directly to sciatic nerves reduced the amplitude and prolonged the latency in SSEPs and CMAP, compared to baseline and the contralateral right limbs (controls). This persisted for at least 4 h. After 2 weeks, electrophysiological tests and walking behavior showed no significant difference between the controls and experimental limbs. There was also no difference in the number of myelinated fibers in the sciatic nerves.
Quinidine decreases amplitude and prolongs latency in the sciatic nerve in a dose-related manner without local neural toxicity.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Anesthesia
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is an uncommon but life-threatening disease caused by Streptococcus pyogenes.
To understand the clinical and molecular characteristics of STSS, we analyzed clinical data and explored the emm types, superantigen genes, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of causative S. pyogenes isolates obtained between 2005 and 2012.
In total, 53 patients with STSS were included in this study. The median age of the patients was 57 years (range: 9-83 years), and 81.1% were male. The most prevalent underlying disease was diabetes mellitus (45.3%). Skin and soft-tissue infection accounted for 86.8% of STSS. The overall mortality rate was 32.1%. Underlying diseases had no statistical impact on mortality. A total of 19 different emm types were identified. The most prevalent emm type was emm102 (18.9%), followed by emm11 (17%), emm1 (11.3%), emm87 (9.4%), and emm89 (7.5%). There was no statistically significant association between emm type and a fatal outcome. Among the superantigen genes, speB was the most frequently detected one (92.5%), followed by smeZ (90.6%), speG (81.1%), speC (39.6%), and speF (39.6%). The majority of emm102 strains were found to have speB, speC, speG, and smeZ. The presence of speG was negatively associated with a fatal outcome (P = 0.045).
Our surveillance revealed the emergence of uncommon emm types, particularly emm102, causing STSS in southern Taiwan. Characterization of clinical, epidemiological, and molecular characteristics of STSS will improve our understanding of this life-threatening disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. The suppression of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) decreases H. pylori-related diseases. The probiotics have an inhibitory effect on H. pylori. Aim. We investigated the effects of long-term use of yogurt on H. pylori based on Mongolian gerbils' model. Materials and Methods. Yogurt (containing a supplement of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, etc.) was used. Forty-six gerbils were divided into five groups. All groups were inoculated with H. pylori for 5 to 8 weeks. The yogurt was given as follows: Group (Gr.) A: from 1st to 4th week; Gr. B from 5th to 8th week; Gr. C: from 17th week to sacrifice; Gr. D: from 5th week to sacrifice. Gerbils were sacrificed on the 52nd week. Histology was evaluated according to the Sydney system. Results. The positive rates of H. pylori were 60% (Gr. A), 75% (Gr. B), 67% (Gr. C), 44% (Gr. D), and 100% (Gr. E). Gr. D showed lower inflammatory score. Only Gr. E (60%) had intestinal metaplasia. Gr. D showed higher IL-10 and lower TNF- α expression than Gr. E. Conclusion. Long-term intake of yogurt could decrease H. pylori infection. The long-term use of yogurt would be an alternative strategy to manage H. pylori infection.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Biochemistry Research International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Q fever is serologically cross-reactive with other intracellular microorganisms. However, studies of the serological status of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae during Q fever are rare. We conducted a retrospective serological study of M. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a method widely used in clinical practice, in 102 cases of acute Q fever, 39 cases of scrub typhus, and 14 cases of murine typhus. The seropositive (57.8%, 7.7%, and 0%, p<0.001) and seroconversion rates (50.6%, 8.8%, and 0%, p<0.001) of M. pneumoniae IgM, but not M. pneumoniae IgG and C. pneumoniae IgG/IgM, in acute Q fever were significantly higher than in scrub typhus and murine typhus. Another ELISA kit also revealed a high seropositivity (49.5%) and seroconversion rate (33.3%) of M. pneumoniae IgM in acute Q fever. The temporal and age distributions of patients with positive M. pneumoniae IgM were not typical of M. pneumoniae pneumonia. Comparing acute Q fever patients who were positive for M. pneumoniae IgM (59 cases) with those who were negative (43 cases), the demographic characteristics and underlying diseases were not different. In addition, the clinical manifestations associated with atypical pneumonia, including headache (71.2% vs. 81.4%, p=0.255), sore throat (8.5% vs. 16.3%, p=0.351), cough (35.6% vs. 23.3%, p=0.199), and chest x-ray suggesting pneumonia (19.3% vs. 9.5%, p=0.258), were unchanged between the two groups. Clinicians should be aware of the high seroprevalence of M. pneumoniae IgM in acute Q fever, particularly with ELISA kits, which can lead to misdiagnosis, overestimations of the prevalence of M. pneumoniae pneumonia, and underestimations of the true prevalence of Q fever pneumonia.