[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: Diverticular disease and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are common disorders that share several risk factors. Few researchers have evaluated the association between diverticular disease and ACS. We aimed to assess the risk of ACS in patients with diverticular disease. A nationwide retrospective cohort study was conducted by analyzing data from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. All patients aged ≥20 years with a diagnosis of diverticular disease from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2011, were included in this study. For comparison, patients without diverticular disease were randomly selected and matched with the study cohort at a 4:1 ratio according to age, sex, and the year of the diagnosis of diverticular disease. Patients with incomplete age or sex information and a history of cardiovascular diseases were excluded from the study. All patients were followed until an ACS event, withdrawal from the insurance program, or December 31, 2011. In this study, 52,681 patients with diverticular disease and 210,724 patients without diverticular disease were included. Men accounted for 56.1% of patients and 57.8% of patients were ≥50 years old. The overall incidence density of ACS in patients with diverticular disease (45.5 per 10,000 person-years) was significantly higher than in those without diverticular disease (30.3 per 10,000 person-years), with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.23 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14–1.32) after adjustment for age, sex, and comorbidities. The cumulative incidence of ACS in patients with diverticular disease was significantly higher than that in the control cohort (log-rank test, P < 0.001). The adjusted HRs for the development of ACS were 1.25 (95% CI, 1.15–1.37) and 1.19 (95% CI, 1.07–1.32) in patients with diverticulitis and diverticulosis, respectively. The adjusted HRs of ACS in patients with diverticular disease additionally increased from 1.97 (95% CI, 1.73–2.23) in patients with 1 comorbidity to 5.51 (95% CI, 3.88–7.84) in those with ≥5 comorbidities. This large population-based retrospective study revealed an association between diverticular disease and ACS. Further research is warranted to determine the exact mechanism of the link between these diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spleen is a crucial organ in humans. Little is known about the association between stroke and splenic injury or splenectomy. The aim of this study was to determine the risk of stroke in patients with splenic injury and splenectomy.
A nationwide cohort study was conducted by analyzing the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. For comparison, control patients were selected and matched with splenic injury patients in a ratio of 4:1 according to age, sex, and the year of hospitalization. We analyzed the risks of stroke using a Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis.
A total of 11,273 splenic injury patients, including 5294 splenectomized and 5979 nonsplenectomized patients, and 45,092 control patients were included in this study. The incidence rates of stroke were 8.05, 6.53, and 4.25 per 1000 person-years in splenic injury patients with splenectomy, those without splenectomy, and the control cohort, respectively. Compared with the control cohort, splenic injury patients with splenectomy exhibited a 2.05-fold increased risk of stroke (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8–2.34), whereas those without splenectomy exhibited a 1.74-fold increased risk (95% CI 1.51–2). Splenectomy entailed an additional 1.21-fold increased risk of stroke compared with nonsplenectomy in patients with splenic injury.
This study revealed that splenic injury and splenectomy were significantly associated with an increased risk of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. The results of this study may alert physicians and patients to the complications of splenic injury and splenectomy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CM) are the most commonly used pesticides against insects. Little is known regarding the relationship between dementia and acute OP and CM poisoning.
A nationwide population-based cohort study was conducted from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. The incidence and relative risk of dementia were assessed in patients hospitalized for acute OP and CM poisoning from 2000 to 2011. The comparison cohort was matched with the poisoned cohort at a 4:1 ratio based on age, sex, and the year of hospitalization.
During the follow-up period, the incidence of dementia was 29.4 per 10,000 person-years in the poisoned group, and represented a 1.98-fold increased risk of dementia compared with the control cohort (95% confidence interval, 1.59–2.47).
This study provides evidence on the association between dementia and acute OP and CM poisoning. Regular follow-up of poisoned patients for dementia is suggested.
[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: 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: 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Group A Streptococcal (GAS) necrotizing fasciitis is a critical emergency. Patients with necrotizing fasciitis principally present to emergency departments (EDs), but most studies are focused on hospitalized patients.
An ED patient-based retrospective study was conducted to investigate the clinical characteristics, associated factors, and outcomes of GAS necrotizing fasciitis in the ED.
Patients visiting the ED from January 2005 through December 2011 with the diagnosis of GAS necrotizing fasciitis were enrolled. All patients with the diagnosis of noninvasive skin and soft-tissue infections caused by GAS were included as the control group.
During the study period, 75 patients with GAS necrotizing fasciitis were identified. Males accounted for 84% of patients. The most prevalent underlying disease was diabetes mellitus (45.3%). Bullae were recognized in 37.3% of patients. One third of cases were complicated by bacteremia. Polymicrobial infections were found in 30.7% of patients. Overall mortality rate for GAS necrotizing fasciitis was 16%. Patients aged >60 years with diabetes mellitus, liver cirrhosis, and gout were considerably more likely to have GAS necrotizing fasciitis than noninvasive infections. Patients presenting with bacteremia, shock, duration of symptoms/signs <5 days, low white blood cell count, low platelet count, and prolonged prothrombin time were associated with increased mortality. Surgery is a significantly negative factor for mortality of patients with GAS necrotizing fasciitis (odds ratio = 0.16; 95% confidence interval 0.002-0.16; p < 0.001).
A better understanding of the associated factors and initiation of adequate treatments will allow for improved survival after GAS necrotizing fasciitis.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Emergency Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemic stroke is a disease that frequently presents to the emergency department (ED). Diabetes mellitus is a well-known risk factor for stroke. Here, we present a diabetic patient who visited our ED with muscle weakness of unilateral side but who was found to have hyperattenuation on computed tomography and hyperintensity on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at his unilateral basal ganglion, which is frequently found in patients with hyperglycemia-induced chorea-ballismus.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · The American journal of emergency medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Group A Streptococcus, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes, is a common gram-positive bacterium that causes a broad spectrum of human infections ranging from uncomplicated pharyngitis and impetigo to life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis, bacteremia, and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Although it is rarely encountered in emergency departments, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome usually leads to a catastrophic outcome. Here we present 2 young patients who experienced trivial traumas before admission, which, nevertheless, finally resulted in lethal streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
No preview · Article · May 2013 · The American journal of emergency medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Oropharyngeal candidiasis continues to be a major opportunistic infection in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. The objectives of this study were to investigate the prevalence, associated factors, and microbiologic features for oropharyngeal yeast colonization in HIV-infected patients.
From October to December 2009, consecutive HIV-infected patients older than 18 years were recruited in this study. Demographic information, underlying conditions, and clinical histories were collected. Oropharyngeal swab cultures for yeasts and antifungal drug susceptibilities of the isolates were performed.
Of the 105 HIV-infected patients, 54 (51.4%) were colonized with yeasts, including 11 patients (20.4%) with more than one species. Among the 68 isolates, Candida albicans accounted for 73.5%, followed by Candida tropicalis (5.9%), Candida glabrata (5.9%), and Candida dubliniensis (4.4%). There were 7.5% and 6% Candida isolates resistant to fluconazole and voriconazole, respectively. All of the Candida isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B. A higher prevalence of yeast colonization was noted in patients with a CD4 cell count ≤200 cells/μL (p = 0.032). Multivariate regression analysis showed that intravenous drug use was an independent associated factor for oropharyngeal yeast colonization (odds ratio, 5.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.39-20.6; p = 0.015), as well as protease inhibitor-containing antiretroviral therapy (odds ratio, 3.59; 95% confidence interval, 1.41-9.12; p = 0.007).
Despite previous studies showing that protease inhibitors decreased Candida adhesion to epithelial cells in vitro, the current study found protease inhibitor-containing antiretroviral therapy predisposed to oropharyngeal yeast colonization in HIV-infected patients.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 36-year-old man was diagnosed with plasma-cell type Castleman's disease with the presentation of recurrent lymphadenpathy of the neck. HIV infection was not suspected or confirmed until esophageal candidiasis developed one year later. Meanwhile, surgery was performed for intestinal intussusception and obstruction caused by lymphocyte-depletion Hodgkin lymphoma. However, he died of rapidly progressive pneumonia and disseminated intravascular coagulation associated with intracerebral hemorrhage, which occurred 6 months later during the course of chemotherapy. This case suggests that HIV infection should be considered in patients who present with plasma-cell type Castleman's disease or lymphocyte-depletion Hodgkin lymphoma with extra-nodal involvement in order to conduct appropriate diagnosis and initiate treatment for HIV infection.
No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi