Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: serology

17 Avidity and IgE versus IgG and IgM in Diagnosis of Maternal Toxoplasmosis

Authors: Ghada A. Gamea, Nabila A. Yaseen, Ahmed A. Othman, Ahmed S. Tawfik

Abstract:

Infection with Toxoplasma gondii can cause serious complications in pregnant women, leading to abortion, stillbirth, and congenital anomalies in the fetus. Definitive diagnosis of T. gondii acute infection is therefore critical for the clinical management of a mother and her fetus. This study was conducted on 250 pregnant females in the first trimester who were inpatients or outpatients at Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department at Tanta University Hospital. Screening of the selected females was done for the detection of immunoglobulin (IgG and IgM), and all subjects were submitted to history taking through a questionnaire including personal data, risk factors for Toxoplasma, complaint and history of the present illness. Thirty-eight samples, including 18 IgM +ve and 20 IgM-ve cases were further investigated by the avidity and IgE ELISA tests. The seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women was (42.8%) based on the presence of IgG antibodies in their sera. Contact with cats and consumption of raw or undercooked meat are important risk factors that were associated with toxoplasmosis in pregnant women. By serology, it could be observed that in the IgM +ve group, only one case (5.6%) showed an acute pattern by using the avidity test, though 10 (55.6%) cases were found to be acute by the IgE assay. On the other hand, in the IgM –ve group, 3 (15%) showed low avidity, but none of them was positive by using the IgE assay. In conclusion, there is no single serological test that can be used to confirm whether T. gondii infection is recent or was acquired in the distant past. A panel of tests for detection of toxoplasmosis will certainly have higher discriminatory power than any test alone.

Keywords: diagnosis, serology, seroprevalence, toxoplasmosis

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16 Comparison of Serological and Molecular Diagnosis of Cerebral Toxoplasmosis in Blood and Cerebrospinal Fluid in HIV Infected Patients

Authors: Berredjem Hajira, Benlaifa Meriem, Becheker Imene, Bardi Rafika, Djebar Med Reda

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Recent acquired or reactivation T.gondii infection is a serious complication in HIV patients. Classical serological diagnosis relies on the detection of anti-Toxoplasma immunoglobulin ; however, serology may be unreliable in HIV immunodeficient patients who fail to produce significant titers of specific antibodies. PCR assays allow a rapid diagnosis of Toxoplasma infection. In this study, we compared the value of the PCR for diagnosing active toxoplasmosis in cerebrospinal fluid and blood samples from HIV patients. Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies IgG and IgM titers were determined by ELISA. In parallel, nested PCR targeting B1 gene and conventional PCR-ELISA targeting P30 gene were used to detect T. gondii DNA in 25 blood samples and 12 cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients in whom toxoplasmic encephalitis was confirmed by clinical investigations. A total of 15 negative controls were used. Serology did not contribute to confirm toxoplasmic infection, as IgG and IgM titers decreased early. Only 8 out 25 blood samples and 5 out 12 cerebrospinal fluid samples PCRs yielded a positive result. 5 patients with confirmed toxoplasmosis had positive PCR results in either blood or cerebrospinal fluid samples. However, conventional nested B1 PCR gave best results than the P30 gene one for the detection of T.gondii DNA in both samples. All samples from control patients were negative. This study demonstrates the unusefulness of the serological tests and the high sensitivity and specificity of PCR in the diagnosis of toxoplasmic encephalitis in HIV patients.

Keywords: cerebrospinal fluid, HIV, Toxoplasmosis, PCR

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15 New Isolate of Cucumber Mosaic Virus Infecting Banana

Authors: Abdelsabour G. A. Khaled, Ahmed W. A. Abdalla And Sabry Y. M. Mahmoud

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Banana plants showing typical mosaic and yellow stripes on leaves as symptoms were collected from Assiut Governorate in Egypt. The causal agent was identified as Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) on the basis of symptoms, transmission, serology, transmission electron microscopy and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Coat protein (CP) gene was amplified using gene specific primers for coat protein (CP), followed by cloning into desired cloning vector for sequencing. In this study the CMV was transmitted into propagation host either by aphid or mechanically. The transmission was confirmed through Direct Antigen Coating Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay (DAC-ELISA). Analysis of the 120 deduced amino acid sequence of the coat protein gene revealed that the EG-A strain of CMV shared from 97.50 to 98.33% with those strains belonging to subgroup IA. The cluster analysis grouped the Egyptian isolate with strains Fny and Ri8 belonging sub-group IA. It appears that there occurs a high incidence of CMV infecting banana belonging to IA subgroup in most parts of Egypt.

Keywords: banana, CMV, transmission, CP gene, RT-PCR

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14 Hanta Virus Infection in a Child and Sequelae

Authors: Vijay Samuel, Tina Thekkekkara, Shoma Ganguly

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There is no reported Hanta Seoul virus infection in children in the UK so far, making it quite challenging for clinicians in diagnosing, predicting and prognosticating the outcome of the infection to patients and parents. We report a case of a ten-year-old girl who presented with pyrexia associated with headache, photophobia and abdominal pain. The family had recently acquired two pet rats six weeks ago. She appeared flushed with peri-oral pallor, coated the strawberry tongue, inflamed tonsils and bilateral cervical lymphadenopathy. Her liver and splenic edges were palpable. Investigations showed that she was thrombocytopenic with deranged renal and liver functions. An ultrasound abdomen demonstrated a mildly enlarged spleen, peripancreatic lymph node and an acalculous cholecystitis. In view of her clinical presentation, a diagnosis of leptospirosis was considered and she was commenced on intravenous benzylpenicillin. The following day she became oliguric, developed significant proteinuria and her renal function deteriorated. Following conservative management, her urine output gradually improved along with her renal function, proteinuria and thrombocytopaenia. Serology for leptospirosis and various other viruses were negative. Following discussion with the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at Porton hanta virus serology was requested and found to be strongly positive for Seoul hanta virus. Following discharge she developed palpitations, fatigue, severe headache and cognitive difficulties including memory loss and difficulties in spelling, reading and mathematics. Extensive investigations including ECG, MRI brain and CSF studies were performed and revealed no significant abnormalities. Since 2012, there have been six cases of acute kidney injury due to Hantavirus infection in the UK. Two cases were from the Humber region and were exposure to wild rats and the other four were exposed to specially bred pet fancy rats. Hanta virus infections can cause mild flu like symptoms but two clinical syndromes are associated with severe disease including haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, which may be associated with thrombocytopenia and Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. Neuropsychological impairments reported following hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and following Puumala virus infection have been reported. Minor white matter lesions were found in about half of the patients investigated with MRI brain. Seoul virus has a global distribution owing to the dispersal of its carrier host rats, through global trade. Several ports in the region could explain the possible establishment of Seoul virus in local populations of rats in the Yorkshire and Humber region. The risk of infection for occupationally exposed groups is 1-3% compared to 32.9% for specialist pet rat owners. The report highlight’s the importance of routinely asking about pets in the family. We hope to raise awareness of the emergence of hantavirus infection in the UK, particularly in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Clinicians should consider hantavirus infection as a potential cause of febrile illness causing renal impairment in children. Awareness of the possible neuro-cognitive sequele would help the clinicians offer appropriate information and support to children and their families. Contacting Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at Porton is a useful resource for clinicians in UK when they consider unusual infections.

Keywords: Seoul hantavirus in child Porton, UK Acute kidney injury

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13 Challenges for Implementing Standards Compliant with Iso/Iec 17025, for Narcotics and DNA Laboratory’s

Authors: Blerim Olluri

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A forensic science laboratory in Kosovo has never been organized at the level of most modern forensic science laboratories. This was made possible after the war of 1999 with the help and support from the United States. The United States Government/ICITAP provided 9.5 million dollars to support this project, this support have greatly benefitted law enforcement in Kosovo. With the establishment of Operative Procedures of Work and the law for Kosovo Agency of Forensic, the accreditation with ISO/IEC 17025 of the KAF labs it becomes mandatory. Since 2012 Laboratory’s DNA/Serology and Narcotics has begun reviewing and harmonizing their procedures according to ISO/IEC 17025. The focus of this work was to create quality manuals, procedures, work instructions, quality documentation and quality records. Furthermore, during this time is done the validation of work methods from scientific qualified personnel of KAF, without any help from other foreign agencies or accreditation body.In October 2014 we had the first evaluation based on ISO 17025 standards. According to the initial report of this assessment we have non conformity in test and Calibration methods method’s, and accommodation and environmental conditions. We identified several issues that are of extreme importance to KAF. One the most important issue is to create a professional group with experts of KAF, which will work in all the obligations, requested from ISO/IEC 17025. As conclusions that we earn in this path of accreditation, are that laboratory’s need to take corrective action, and all nonconformance’s must be addressed and corrective action taken before accreditation can be granted.

Keywords: accreditation, assessment, narcotics, DNA

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12 Extra-Pulmonary Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infection in a Healthy 25-Year-Old Female: A Case Report

Authors: Minna Chang

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Introduction: M. pneumoniae is a respiratory pathogen, which commonly causes upper and lower respiratory infections. It primarily affects children and young adults. Respiratory symptoms are well recognized, but extrapulmonary involvement is also common. Other systems that have been implicated in the disease include: skin, mucus membranes, central, peripheral nervous systems, cardiovascular, haematological, renal, and musculoskeletal systems. Here, we report a case of an otherwise healthy, young female with M. pneumonia, who presented with right upper quadrant abdominal pain. Case presentation: a healthy 25-year-old female was referred to A&E by her general practitioner, after presenting with fever, malaise, and right upper quadrant pain. M. pneumoniae was confirmed retrospectively by serology. The patient made a full recovery after a six-day course of doxycycline 100mg. Conclusion: M. pneumonia is a well-established cause of respiratory infections in children and young adults. Febrile illness with multisystem involvement, even in the absence of respiratory symptoms, should raise suspicion of M. pneumoniae infection in healthy, young adults. Our case illustrates the multi-system involvement of M. pneumoniae, which was initially missed, due to paucity of respiratory symptoms at presentation.

Keywords: infectious diseases, mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory infections, extra-pulmonary manifestations

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11 Characterization of Shiga Toxin Escherichia coli Recovered from a Beef Processing Facility within Southern Ontario and Comparative Performance of Molecular Diagnostic Platforms

Authors: Jessica C. Bannon, Cleso M. Jordao Jr., Mohammad Melebari, Carlos Leon-Velarde, Roger Johnson, Keith Warriner

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There has been an increased incidence of non-O157 Shiga Toxin Escherichia coli (STEC) with six serotypes (Top 6) being implicated in causing haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Beef has been suggested to be a significant vehicle for non-O157 STEC although conclusive evidence has yet to be obtained. The following aimed to determine the prevalence of the Top 6 non-O157 STEC in beef processing using three different diagnostic platforms then characterize the recovered isolates. Hide, carcass and environmental swab samples (n = 60) were collected from a beef processing facility over a 12 month period. Enriched samples were screened using Biocontrol GDS, BAX or PALLgene molecular diagnostic tests. Presumptive non-O157 STEC positive samples were confirmed using conventional PCR and serology. STEC was detected by GDS (55% positive), BAX (85% positive), and PALLgene (93%). However, during confirmation testing only 8 of the 60 samples (13%) were found to harbour STEC. Interestingly, the presence of virulence factors in the recovered isolates was unstable and readily lost during subsequent sub-culturing. There is a low prevalence of Top 6 non-O157 STEC associated with beef although other serotypes are encountered. Yet, the instability of the virulence factors in recovered strains would question their clinical relevance.

Keywords: beef, food microbiology, shiga toxin, STEC

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10 Use of a Chagas Urine Nanoparticle Test (Chunap) to Correlate with Parasitemia Levels in T. cruzi/HIV Co-Infected Patients

Authors: Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen, Robert H. Gilman, Carolina Mejia, Daniel E. Clark, Jeong Choi, Melissa J. Reimer-Mcatee, Rocio Castro, Jorge Flores, Edward Valencia-Ayala, Faustino Torrico, Ricardo Castillo-Neyra, Lance Liotta, Caryn Bern, Alessandra Luchini

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Early diagnosis of reactivation of Chagas disease in HIV patients could be lifesaving; however, in Latin American the diagnosis is performed by detection of parasitemia by microscopy which lacks sensitivity. To evaluate if levels of T. cruzi antigens in urine determined by Chunap (Chagas urine nanoparticle test) are correlated with parasitemia levels in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients. T. cruzi antigens in urine of HIV patients (N=55: 31 T. cruzi infected and 24 T. cruzi serology negative) were concentrated using hydrogel particles and quantified by Western Blot and a calibration curve. The percentage of Chagas positive patients determined by Chunap compared to blood microscopy, qPCR, and ELISA was 100% (6/6), 95% (18/19) and 74% (23/31), respectively. Chunap specificity was 91.7%. Linear regression analysis demonstrated a direct relationship between parasitemia levels (determined by qPCR) and urine T. cruzi antigen concentrations (p<0.001). A cut-off of > 105 pg was chosen to determine patients with reactivation of Chagas disease (6/6). Urine antigen concentration was significantly higher among patients with CD4+ lymphocyte counts below 200/mL (p=0.045). Chunap shows potential for early detection of reactivation and with appropriate adaptation can be used for monitoring Chagas disease status in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients.

Keywords: antigenuria, Chagas disease, Chunap, nanoparticles, parasitemia, poly N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAm)/trypan blue particles (polyNIPAm/TB), reactivation of Chagas disease.

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9 Clinical, Demographic and Molecular Characterization of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika Viruses Causing Hemorrhagic Fever in North India

Authors: Suruchi Shukla, Shantanu Prakash, Amita Jain

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Introduction: Arboviral diseases are one of the most common causes of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF). Of which, Dengue and Chikungunya pose a significant health problem in India. Arbovirus has a tendency to cross the territories and emerge in the new region. Considering the above issues, in the current study active surveillance was conducted among viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) cases reported from Uttar Pradesh (UP), India. We studied the arboviral etiology of VHF; mainly Dengue, Chikungunya, and ZIKA. Methods: Clinical samples of 465 suspected VHF cases referred to tertiary care referral center of UP, India were enrolled in the study during a period from 15th May 2016 to 9th March 2018. Serum specimens were collected and analyzed for the presence of Dengue, Chikungunya, and ZIKA either by serology and/or by molecular assays. Results: Of all tested, 165 (35.4%) cases were positive for either Dengue or Chikungunya. Dengue (21.2%) was found to be the most prevalent, followed by Chikungunya, (6.6%). None of the cases tested positive for ZIKA virus. Serum samples of 35 (7.5%) cases were positive for both Dengue and Chikungunya. DEN-2 serotype was the most predominant serotype. Phylogenetic and sequence analysis of DEN-2 strains showed 100% clustering with the Cosmopolitan genotype strain. Bleeding from several sites, jaundice, abdominal pain, arthralgia, haemoconcentration, and thrombocytopenia were significantly higher in dengue hemorrhagic cases. However, the rash was significantly more common in Chikungunya patients. Most of the Dengue and Chikungunya positive cases (Age group 6-40 years) were seen in post monsoon season (September to November). Conclusion: Only one-third of total VHF cases are positive for either Dengue/Chikungunya or both. This necessitates the screening of other etiologies capable of causing hemorrhagic manifestations.

Keywords: viral hemorrhagic fever, dengue, chikungunya, zika, India

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8 Autoimmune Diseases Associated with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: A Retrospective Study of 51 Patients

Authors: Soumaya Mrabet, Imen Akkari, Amira Atig, Elhem Ben Jazia

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Introduction: Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a cholestatic cholangitis of unknown etiology. It is frequently associated with autoimmune diseases, which explains their systematic screening. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence and the type of autoimmune disorders associated with PBC and to assess their impact on the prognosis of the disease. Material and methods: It is a retrospective study over a period of 16 years (2000-2015) including all patients followed for PBC. In all these patients we have systematically researched: dysthyroidism (thyroid balance, antithyroid autoantibodies), type 1 diabetes, dry syndrome (ophthalmologic examination, Schirmer test and lip biopsy in case of Presence of suggestive clinical signs), celiac disease(celiac disease serology and duodenal biopsies) and dermatological involvement (clinical examination). Results: Fifty-one patients (50 women and one men) followed for PBC were collected. The Mean age was 54 years (37-77 years). Among these patients, 30 patients(58.8%) had at least one autoimmune disease associated with PBC. The discovery of these autoimmune diseases preceded the diagnosis of PBC in 8 cases (26.6%) and was concomitant, through systematic screening, in the remaining cases. Autoimmune hepatitis was found in 12 patients (40%), defining thus an overlap syndrome. Other diseases were Hashimoto's thyroiditis (n = 10), dry syndrome (n = 7), Gougerot Sjogren syndrome (n=6), celiac disease (n = 3), insulin-dependent diabetes (n = 1), scleroderma (n = 1), rheumatoid arthritis (n = 1), Biermer Anemia (n=1) and Systemic erythematosus lupus (n=1). The two groups of patients with PBC with or without associated autoimmune disorders were comparable for bilirubin levels, Child-Pugh score, and response to treatment. Conclusion: In our series, the prevalence of autoimmune diseases in PBC was 58.8%. These diseases were dominated by autoimmune hepatitis and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Even if their association does not seem to alter the prognosis, screening should be systematic in order to institute an early and adequate management.

Keywords: autoimmune diseases, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, prognosis

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7 Molecular Identification and Genotyping of Human Brucella Strains Isolated in Kuwait

Authors: Abu Salim Mustafa

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Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease endemic in Kuwait. Human brucellosis can be caused by several Brucella species with Brucella melitensis causing the most severe and Brucella abortus the least severe disease. Furthermore, relapses are common after successful chemotherapy of patients. The classical biochemical methods of culture and serology for identification of Brucellae provide information about the species and serotypes only. However, to differentiate between relapse and reinfection/epidemiological investigations, the identification of genotypes using molecular methods is essential. In this study, four molecular methods [16S rRNA gene sequencing, real-time PCR, enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR and multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA)-16] were evaluated for the identification and typing of 75 strains of Brucella isolated in Kuwait. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing suggested that all the strains were B. melitensis and real-time PCR confirmed their species identity as B. melitensis. The ERIC-PCR band profiles produced a dendrogram of 75 branches suggesting each strain to be of a unique type. The cluster classification, based on ~ 80% similarity, divided all the ERIC genotypes into two clusters, A and B. Cluster A consisted of 9 ERIC genotypes (A1-A9) corresponding to 9 individual strains. Cluster B comprised of 13 ERIC genotypes (B1-B13) with B5 forming the largest cluster of 51 strains. MLVA-16 identified all isolates as B. melitensis and divided them into 71 MLVA-types. The cluster analysis of MLVA-16-types suggested that most of the strains in Kuwait originated from the East Mediterranean Region, a few from the African group and one new genotype closely matched with the West Mediterranean region. In conclusion, this work demonstrates that B. melitensis, the most pathogenic species of Brucella, is prevalent in Kuwait. Furthermore, MLVA-16 is the best molecular method, which can identify the Brucella species and genotypes as well as determine their origin in the global context. Supported by Kuwait University Research Sector grants MI04/15 and SRUL02/13.

Keywords: Brucella, ERIC-PCR, MLVA-16, RT-PCR, 16S rRNA gene sequencing

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6 Laboratory Diagnostic Testing of Peste des Petits Ruminants in Georgia

Authors: Nino G. Vepkhvadze, Tea Enukidze

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Every year the number of countries around the world face the risk of the spread of infectious diseases that bring significant ecological and social-economic damage. Hence, the importance of food product safety is emphasized that is the issue of interest for many countries. To solve them, it’s necessary to conduct preventive measures against the diseases, have accurate diagnostic results, leadership, and management. The Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) disease is caused by a morbillivirus closely related to the rinderpest virus. PPR is a transboundary disease as it emerges and evolves, considered as one of the top most damaging animal diseases. The disease imposed a serious threat to sheep-breeding when the farms of sheep, goats are significantly growing within the country. In January 2016, PPR was detected in Georgia. Up to present the origin of the virus, the age relationship of affected ruminants and the distribution of PPRV in Georgia remains unclear. Due to the nature of PPR, and breeding practices in the country, reemerging of the disease in Georgia is highly likely. The purpose of the studies is to provide laboratories with efficient tools allowing the early detection of PPR emergence and re-emergences. This study is being accomplished under the Biological Threat Reduction Program project with the support of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The purpose of the studies is to investigate the samples and identify areas at high risk of the disease. Georgia has a high density of small ruminant herds bred as free-ranging, close to international borders. Kakheti region, Eastern Georgia, will be considered as area of high priority for PPR surveillance. For this reason, in 2019, in Kakheti region investigated n=484 sheep and goat serum and blood samples from the same animals, utilized serology and molecular biology methods. All samples were negative by RT-PCR, and n=6 sheep samples were seropositive by ELISA-Ab. Future efforts will be concentrated in areas where the risk of PPR might be high such as international bordering regions of Georgia. For diagnostics, it is important to integrate the PPRV knowledge with epidemiological data. Based on these diagnostics, the relevant agencies will be able to control the disease surveillance.

Keywords: animal disease, especially dangerous pathogen, laboratory diagnostics, virus

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5 Efficacy and Safety of COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: Looking Forward to Post-COVID-19

Authors: Achiron Anat, Mathilda Mandel, Mayust Sue, Achiron Reuven, Gurevich Michael

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Introduction: As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is currently spreading around the world, it is of importance to assess the ability of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients to mount an appropriate immune response to the vaccine in the context of disease-modifying treatments (DMT’s). Objectives: Evaluate immunity generated following COVID-19 vaccination in MS patients, and assess factors contributing to protective humoral and cellular immune responses in MS patients vaccinated against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) virus infection. Methods: Review our recent data related to (1) the safety of PfizerBNT162b2 COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in adult MS patients; (2) the humoral post-vaccination SARS-CoV2 IgG response in MS vaccinees using anti-spike protein-based serology; and (3) the cellular immune response of memory B-cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and memory T-cells secreting IFN-g and/or IL-2 in response to SARS-CoV2 peptides using ELISpot/Fluorospot assays in MS patients either untreated or under treatment with fingolimod, cladribine, or ocrelizumab; (4) covariate parameters related to mounting protective immune responses. Results: COVID-19 vaccine proved safe in MS patients, and the adverse event profile was mainly characterised by pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. Not any increased risk of relapse activity was noted and the rate of patients with acute relapse was comparable to the relapse rate in non-vaccinated patients during the corresponding follow-up period. A mild increase in the rate of adverse events was noted in younger MS patients, among patients with lower disability, and in patients treated with DMTs. Following COVID-19 vaccination protective humoral immune response was significantly decreased in fingolimod- and ocrelizumab- treated MS patients. SARS-CoV2 specific B-cell and T-cell cellular responses were respectively decreased. Untreated MS patients and patients treated with cladribine demonstrated protective humoral and cellular immune responses, similar to healthy vaccinated subjects. Conclusions: COVID-19 BNT162b2 vaccine proved as safe for MS patients. No increased risk of relapse activity was noted post-vaccination. Although COVID-19 vaccination is new, accumulated data demonstrate differences in immune responses under various DMT’s. This knowledge can help to construct appropriate COVID-19 vaccine guidelines to ensure proper immune responses for MS patients.

Keywords: covid-19, vaccination, multiple sclerosis, IgG

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4 Prevalence of Positive Serology for Celiac Disease in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: A. Venkatakrishnan, M. Juneja, S. Kapoor

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Background: Gastrointestinal dysfunction is an emerging co morbidity seen in autism and may further strengthen the association between autism and celiac disease. This is supported by increased rates (22-70%) of gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, abdominal discomfort/pain, and gastrointestinal inflammation in children with the etiology of autism is still elusive. In addition to genetic factors, environmental factors such as toxin exposure, intrauterine exposure to certain teratogenic drugs, are being proposed as possible contributing factors in the etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in cognizance with reports of increased gut permeability and high rates of gastrointestinal symptoms noted in children with ASD, celiac disease has also been proposed as a possible etiological factor. Despite insufficient evidence regarding the benefit of restricted diets in Autism, GFD has been promoted as an alternative treatment for ASD. This study attempts to discern any correlation between ASD and celiac disease. Objective: This cross sectional study aims to determine the proportion of celiac disease in children with ASD. Methods: Study included 155 participants aged 2-12 yrs, diagnosed as ASD as per DSM-5 attending the child development center at a tertiary care hospital in Northern India. Those on gluten free diet or having other autoimmune conditions were excluded. A detailed Performa was filled which included sociodemographic details, history of gastrointestinal symptoms, anthropometry, systemic examination, and pertinent psychological testing was done using was assessed using Developmental Profile-3(DP-3) for Developmental Quotient, Childhood Autism Rating Scale-2 (CARS-2) for severity of ASD, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) for adaptive behavior, Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for behavioral problems and BAMBI (Brief Autism Mealtime Behavior Scales) for feeding problems. Screening for celiac was done by TTG-IgA levels, and total serum IgA levels were measured to exclude IgA deficiency. Those with positive screen were further planned for HLA typing and endoscopic biopsy. Results: A total of 155 cases were included, out of which 5 had low IgA levels and were hence excluded from the study. The rest 150 children had TTG levels below the ULN and normal total serum IgA level. History of Gastrointestinal symptoms was present in 51 (34%) cases abdominal pain was the most frequent complaint (16.6%), followed by constipation (12.6%). Diarrhea was seen in 8 %. Gastrointestinal symptoms were significantly more common in children with ASD above 5 yrs (p-value 0.006) and those who were verbal (p = 0.000). There was no significant association between socio-demographic factors, anthropometric data, or severity of autism with gastrointestinal symptoms. Conclusion: None of the150 patients with ASD had raised TTG levels; hence no association was found between ASD and celiac disease. There is no justification for routine screening for celiac disease in children with ASD. Further studies are warranted to evaluate association of Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity with ASD and any role of gluten-free diet in such patients.

Keywords: autism, celiac, gastrointestinal, gluten

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3 Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus Co-Infection with Hepatitis B Virus and Baseline Cd4+ T Cell Count among Patients Attending a Tertiary Care Hospital, Nepal

Authors: Soma Kanta Baral

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Background: Since 1981, when the first AIDS case was reported, worldwide, more than 34 million people have been infected with HIV. Almost 95 percent of the people infected with HIV live in developing countries. As HBV & HIV share similar routes of transmission by sexual intercourse or drug use by parenteral injection, co-infection is common. Because of the limited access to healthcare & HIV treatment in developing countries, HIV-infected individuals are present late for care. Enumeration of CD4+ T cell count at the time of diagnosis has been useful to initiate the therapy in HIV infected individuals. The baseline CD4+ T cell count shows high immunological variability among patients. Methods: This prospective study was done in the serology section of the Department of Microbiology over a period of one year from august 2012 to July 2013. A total of 13037 individuals subjected for HIV test were included in the study comprising of 4982 males & 8055 females. Blood sample was collected by vein puncture aseptically with standard operational procedure in clean & dry test-tube. All blood samples were screened for HIV as described by WHO algorithm by Immuno-chromatography rapid kits. Further confirmation was done by biokit ELISA method as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. After informed consent, HIV positive individuals were screened for HBsAg by Immuno-chromatography rapid kits (Hepacard). Further confirmation was done by biokit ELISA method as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. EDTA blood samples were collected from the HIV sero-positive individuals for baseline CD4+ T count. Then, CD4+ T cells count was determined by using FACS Calibur Flow Cytometer (BD). Results: Among 13037 individuals screened for HIV, 104 (0.8%) were found to be infected comprising of 69(66.34%) males & 35 (33.65%) females. The study showed that the high infection was noted in housewives (28.7%), active age group (30.76%), rural area (56.7%) & in heterosexual route (80.9%) of transmission. Out of total HIV infected individuals, distribution of HBV co-infection was found to be 6(5.7%). All co- infected individuals were married, male, above the age of 25 years & heterosexual route of transmission. Baseline CD4+ T cell count of HIV infected patient was found higher (mean CD4+ T cell count; 283cells/cu.mm) than HBV co-infected patients (mean CD4+ T cell count; 91 cells/cu.mm). Majority (77.2%) of HIV infected & all co-infected individuals were presented in our center late (CD4+ T cell count;< 350/cu. mm) for diagnosis and care. Majority of co- infected 4 (80%) were late presented with advanced AIDS stage (CD4+ count; <200/cu.mm). Conclusions: The study showed a high percentage of HIV sero-positive & co- infected individuals. Baseline CD4+ T cell count of majority of HIV infected individuals was found to be low. Hence, more sustained and vigorous awareness campaigns & counseling still need to be done in order to promote early diagnosis and management.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, HBsAg, co-infection, CD4+

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2 Valorization of Surveillance Data and Assessment of the Sensitivity of a Surveillance System for an Infectious Disease Using a Capture-Recapture Model

Authors: Jean-Philippe Amat, Timothée Vergne, Aymeric Hans, Bénédicte Ferry, Pascal Hendrikx, Jackie Tapprest, Barbara Dufour, Agnès Leblond

Abstract:

The surveillance of infectious diseases is necessary to describe their occurrence and help the planning, implementation and evaluation of risk mitigation activities. However, the exact number of detected cases may remain unknown whether surveillance is based on serological tests because identifying seroconversion may be difficult. Moreover, incomplete detection of cases or outbreaks is a recurrent issue in the field of disease surveillance. This study addresses these two issues. Using a viral animal disease as an example (equine viral arteritis), the goals were to establish suitable rules for identifying seroconversion in order to estimate the number of cases and outbreaks detected by a surveillance system in France between 2006 and 2013, and to assess the sensitivity of this system by estimating the total number of outbreaks that occurred during this period (including unreported outbreaks) using a capture-recapture model. Data from horses which exhibited at least one positive result in serology using viral neutralization test between 2006 and 2013 were used for analysis (n=1,645). Data consisted of the annual antibody titers and the location of the subjects (towns). A consensus among multidisciplinary experts (specialists in the disease and its laboratory diagnosis, epidemiologists) was reached to consider seroconversion as a change in antibody titer from negative to at least 32 or as a three-fold or greater increase. The number of seroconversions was counted for each town and modeled using a unilist zero-truncated binomial (ZTB) capture-recapture model with R software. The binomial denominator was the number of horses tested in each infected town. Using the defined rules, 239 cases located in 177 towns (outbreaks) were identified from 2006 to 2013. Subsequently, the sensitivity of the surveillance system was estimated as the ratio of the number of detected outbreaks to the total number of outbreaks that occurred (including unreported outbreaks) estimated using the ZTB model. The total number of outbreaks was estimated at 215 (95% credible interval CrI95%: 195-249) and the surveillance sensitivity at 82% (CrI95%: 71-91). The rules proposed for identifying seroconversion may serve future research. Such rules, adjusted to the local environment, could conceivably be applied in other countries with surveillance programs dedicated to this disease. More generally, defining ad hoc algorithms for interpreting the antibody titer could be useful regarding other human and animal diseases and zoonosis when there is a lack of accurate information in the literature about the serological response in naturally infected subjects. This study shows how capture-recapture methods may help to estimate the sensitivity of an imperfect surveillance system and to valorize surveillance data. The sensitivity of the surveillance system of equine viral arteritis is relatively high and supports its relevance to prevent the disease spreading.

Keywords: Bayesian inference, capture-recapture, epidemiology, equine viral arteritis, infectious disease, seroconversion, surveillance

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1 Phenotypical and Molecular Characterization of Burkholderia mallei from Horses with Glanders: Preliminary Data

Authors: A. F. C. Nassar, D. K. Tessler, L. Okuda, C. Del Fava, D. P. Chiebao, A. H. C. N. Romaldini, A. P. Alvim, M. J. Sanchez-Vazquez, M. S. Rosa, J. C. Pompei, R. Harakava, M. C. S. Araujo, G. H. F. Marques, E. M. Pituco

Abstract:

Glanders is a zoonotic disease of Equidae caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei presented in acute or chronic clinical forms with inflammatory nodules in the respiratory tract, lymphangitis and caseous lymph nodes. There is not a treatment with veterinary drugs to this life-threatening disease; thus, its occurrence must be notified to official animal health services and any infected animal must be eliminated. This study aims to detect B. mallei from horses euthanized in outbreaks of glanders in Brazil, providing a better understanding of the bacterial characteristics and determine a proper protocol for isolation. The work was carried out with the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Sao Paulo State Animal Health Department, while its procedures were approved by the Committee of Ethics in Animal Experimentation from the Instituto Biologico (CETEA n°156/2017). To the present time, 16 horses from farms with outbreaks of glanders detected by complement fixation test (CFT) serology method were analyzed. During the necropsy, samples of possibly affected organs (lymph nodes, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and trachea) were collected for bacterial isolation, molecular tests and pathology. Isolation was performed using two enriched mediums, a potato infusion agar with 5% sheep blood, 4% glycerol and antibiotics (penicilin100U/ mL), and another with the same ingredients except the antibiotic. A PCR protocol was modified for this study using primers design to identify a region of the Flip gen of B. mallei. Thru isolation, 12.5% (2/16) animals were confirmed positive using only the enriched medium with antibiotic and confirmed by PCR: from mediastinal and submandibular lymph nodes and lungs in one animal and from mediastinal lymph node in the other. The detection of the bacterium using PCR showed positivity of 100% (16/16) horses from 144 samples of organs. Pathology macroscopic lesions observed were catarrhal nasal discharge, fetlock ulcers, emaciation, lymphangitis in limbs, suppurative lymphangitis, lymph node enlargement, star shaped liver, and spleen scars, adherence of the renal capsule, pulmonary hemorrhage, and miliary nodules. Microscopic lesions were suppurative bronchopneumonia with microabscesses and Langhans giant cells in lungs; lymph nodes with abscesses and intense lymphoid reaction; hemosiderosis and abscesses in spleen. Positive samples on PCR will be sequenced later and analyzed comparing with previous records in the literature. A throughout description of the recent acute cases of glanders occurring in Brazil and characterization of the bacterium related will contribute to advances in the knowledge of the pathogenicity, clinical symptoms, and epidemiology of this zoonotic disease. Acknowledgment: This project is sponsored by FAPESP.

Keywords: equines, bacterial isolation, zoonosis, PCR, pathology

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