[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report here the draft genome sequence of
strain SLCC208 from Seeliger’s historical Special
Culture Collection, initially cultured from a human case in France in 1921. This is, to our knowledge, the oldest
isolate available and may be useful for comparative genomic studies of
Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Genome Announcements
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on two cases of necrotizing fasciitis of the lower leg due to nontoxigenic Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae). A 73-year-old woman (case 1) and an 80-year-old man (case 2) were hospitalized with symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis on July 18 and August 15, 2015, respectively. In both cases, symptoms started the day after swimming in local ponds. Swabs gained intraoperatively and a blood culture from the male patient, yielded V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139, negative for cholera toxin gene ctx and positive for hemolysin genes hlyA and hlyB. Water samples taken from pond A on August 17, 2015 (32 days after exposure of case 1) and from pond B on August 20, 2015 (7 days after exposure of case 2) yielded non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae in most-probable numbers of > 11,000 per 100 ml each. The occurrence of two cases of necrotizing fasciitis within a 1 month period related to two Austrian non-saline bathing waters, previously not known to harbor V. cholerae, is probably linked to the prevailing extreme weather conditions (heat wave, drought) this summer in Austria. While case 1 was discharged in good clinical condition after 73 days, case 2 died after four months of hospitalization. Public health authorities are challenged to assess the effects of long-term climate change on pathogen growth and survival in continental bodies of fresh water.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on a cluster of shigellosis including 21 cases in refugees and two in local residents who worked in refugee transit centres, detected in Austria in 2015, between calendar weeks 29 and 47. The species isolated from the cluster cases, including one mixed infection, were S. sonnei (n = 13), S. flexneri (n = 10) and S. boydii (n = 1). Eleven of 18 tested isolates were extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-positive, including five of six ciprofloxacin-resistant and three azithromycin-resistant isolates.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Eurosurveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In May 2013, Italy declared a national outbreak of hepatitis A, which also affected several foreign tourists who had recently visited the country. Molecular investigations identified some cases as infected with an identical strain of hepatitis A virus subgenotype IA. After additional European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries reported locally acquired and travel-related cases associated with the same outbreak, an international outbreak investigation team was convened, a European outbreak case definition was issued and harmonisation of the national epidemiological and microbiological investigations was encouraged. From January 2013 to August 2014, 1,589 hepatitis A cases were reported associated with the multistate outbreak; 1,102 (70%) of the cases were hospitalised for a median time of six days; two related deaths were reported. Epidemiological and microbiological investigations implicated mixed frozen berries as the vehicle of infection of the outbreak. In order to control the spread of the outbreak, suspected or contaminated food batches were recalled, the public was recommended to heat-treat berries, and post-exposure prophylaxis of contacts was performed. The outbreak highlighted how large food-borne hepatitis A outbreaks may affect the increasingly susceptible EU/EEA general population and how, with the growing international food trade, frozen berries are a potential high-risk food.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Eurosurveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A prospective, noninterventional survey was conducted among Clostridium difficile positive patients identified in the time period of July until October 2012 in 18 hospitals distributed across all nine Austrian provinces. Participating hospitals were asked to send stool samples or isolates from ten successive patients with C.difficile infection to the National Clostridium difficile Reference Laboratory at the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety for PCR-ribotyping and in vitro susceptibility testing. A total of 171 eligible patients were identified, including 73 patients with toxin-positive stool specimens and 98 patients from which C. difficile isolates were provided. Of the 159 patients with known age, 127 (74.3 %) were 65 years or older, the median age was 76 years (range: 9-97 years), and the male to female ratio 2.2. Among these patients, 73 % had health care-associated and 20 % community-acquired C. difficile infection (indeterminable 7 %). The all-cause, 30-day mortality was 8.8 % (15/171). Stool samples yielded 46 different PCR-ribotypes, of which ribotypes 027 (20 %), 014 (15.8 %), 053 (10.5 %), 078 (5.3 %), and 002 (4.7 %) were the five most prevalent. Ribotype 027 was found only in the provinces Vienna, Burgenland, and Lower Austria. Severe outcome of C. difficile infection was found to be associated with ribotype 053 (prevalence ratio: 3.04; 95 % CI: 1.24, 7.44), not with the so-called hypervirulent ribotypes 027 and 078. All 027 and 053 isolates exhibited in vitro resistance against moxifloxacin. Fluoroquinolone use in the health care setting must be considered as a factor favoring the spread of these fluoroquinolone resistant C. difficile clones.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The detection of West Nile virus (WNV) nucleic acid in a blood donation from Vienna, Aus-tria, as well as in Culex pipiens pupae and egg rafts, sampled close to the donor's residence , is reported. Complete genomic sequences of the human-and mosquito-derived viruses were established, genetically compared and phylogenetically analyzed. The viruses were not identical, but closely related to each other and to recent Czech and Italian isolates, indicating co-circulation of related WNV strains within a confined geographic area. The detection of WNV in a blood donation originating from an area with low WNV prevalence in humans (only three serologically diagnosed cases between 2008 and 2014) is surprising and emphasizes the importance of WNV nucleic acid testing of blood donations even in such areas, along with active mosquito surveillance programs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most significant pathogens associated with health care. For efficient surveillance, control and outbreak investigation, S. aureus typing is essential. A high resolution melting curve analysis was developed and evaluated for rapid identification of the most frequent spa types found in an Austrian hospital consortium covering 2,435 beds. Among 557 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates 38 different spa types were identified by sequence analysis of the hypervariable region X of the protein A gene (spa). Identification of spa types through their characteristic high resolution melting curve profiles was considerably improved by double spiking with genomic DNA from spa type t030 and spa type t003 and allowed unambiguous and fast identification of the ten most frequent spa types t001 (58%), t003 (12%), t190 (9%), t041 (5%), t022 (2%), t032 (2%), t008 (2%), t002 (1%), t5712 (1%) and t2203 (1%), representing 93% of all isolates within this hospital consortium. The performance of the assay was evaluated by testing samples with unknown spa types from the daily routine and by testing three different high resolution melting curve analysis real-time PCR instruments. The ten most frequent spa types were identified from all samples and on all instruments with 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity. Compared to classical spa typing by sequence analysis, this gene scanning assay is faster, cheaper and can be performed in a single closed tube assay format. Therefore it is an optimal screening tool to detect the most frequent endemic spa types and to exclude non-endemic spa types within a hospital.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Listeriosis during pregnancy usually presents as an unremarkable febrile illness in the mother but can be fatal for the fetus and newborn. Reliable laboratory testing for early diagnosis is lacking. Serological antibody tests and bacteriological stool tests are not helpful since Listeria-specific antibodies and stool cultures yielding the organism can be found in healthy pregnant women. Because early diagnosis is difficult, diagnosis is usually made by culturing the pathogen from blood, cerebrospinal fluid, placenta or meconium. The mortality rate for fetal and newborn listeriosis remains approximately 20%. Two to three cases of pregnancy-associated listeriosis are reported annually in Austria among approximately 79,000 births, 20-30 cases are reported annually in Germany among approximately 680,000 births and 50-100 cases are reported annually in the USA among approximately 4 million births. Although Listeria infections in pregnancy are rare, they should be considered as a cause of fever of unknown origin during pregnancy.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to most pathogenic bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes is psychrotrophic, capable of multiplying at low temperatures. In an era when food production and food storage heavily rely on refrigeration, this ability to grow (albeit slowly) in a cold environment has opened a new ecological niche for L. monocytogenes. Because of the severity of certain clinical manifestations (infections of the central nervous system, septicemia, and abortion), the high case-fatality rate (up to 30 % of cases), and the long incubation time, human listeriosis is now a zoonosis of major public health concern. L. monocytogenes causes invasive illness mainly in certain well-defined high-risk groups, including immunocompromised persons, pregnant women, neonates, and the elderly. However, listeriosis can occur in otherwise healthy individuals, particularly during an outbreak. The evolvement of silage as a dominant feed for ruminants constitutes another key factor, responsible for the emergence of listeriosis as a relevant animal disease. L. monocytogenes has been isolated from numerous species of mammals, birds, fish, crustaceans, and insects. Nevertheless, the primary habitats of L. monocytogenes are considered to be the soil and decaying vegetable matter, in which it survives and grows saprophytically.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contamination of surfaces by spores of Clostridium difficile is a major factor influencing the spread of healthcare-associated C. difficile infection. The aim of this study was to test the effect of an automated room disinfection system that provides an aerosol of 7.5 % hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) disinfectant, on spores of two different strains of C. difficile, and to evaluate the impact of biological soiling on the efficacy of H2O2 disinfection.
The strains used were a C. difficile PCR ribotype 027 and a C. difficile ATCC 9689. Spore suspensions of each strain were applied to ceramic tiles and exposed to aerosolized H2O2 at different locations in a test room. Biological soiling was simulated by bovine serum albumin and sheep erythrocytes. At set time points spores were recovered, plated onto Columbia 5 % sheep blood agar, and surviving bacteria were counted as colony-forming units (cfu).
No viable spores of either strain were recovered after a 3 h exposure to gaseous H2O2. Spores located inside a drawer showed recovery of approximately 1E5 cfu/ml for C. difficile ribotype 027 after 1 h. In the presence of organic matter, a more than fivefold log reduction compared with not exposed controls could be observed for spores of either strain tested.
Appropriate decontamination of surfaces exposed to spores of C. difficile is challenging for conventional cleaning methods. Aerosolized H2O2 delivered by automated room disinfection systems could possibly improve surface decontamination and thereby reduce transmission of healthcare-associated C. difficile infection. Also in the presence of organic matter H2O2 disinfection appears to be an effective adjunct for decontamination of environmental surfaces.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The intestinal microbiome is essential for maintaining human health and defending against intestinal pathogens. Alterations of the intestinal microbiota, also termed dysbiosis, play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of various human diseases. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) aims on correcting these alterations by delivering fecal microorganisms from a healthy person to the intestines of a patient. Up to now, recurrent Clostridium difficile (CDI) infection is the only indication supported by solid scientific evidence, but many ongoing studies are investigating FMT in other dysbiosis-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. As there are no systematic methodological investigations, several questions about techniques, donor screening and safety issues remain. This shortage of evidence, especially on long-term safety concerns, is leading to worldwide controversy on the use of FMT. Regulations by health care authorities vary among different countries. This review reflects the Austrian situation and its FMT guidelines concerning indications, techniques and donor screening, recently developed by local scientific societies.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Clinical Microbiology and Infection