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A lineage of multidrug resistant P. falciparum malaria has widely spread and is now established in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, causing high treatment failure rates for the main falciparum malaria medicines, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs)
sTREM-1 predicts mortality in hospitalized patients with infection in a tropical, middle-income country.
BackgroundFew studies of biomarkers as predictors of outcome in infection have been performed in tropical, low- and middle-income countries where the burden of sepsis is highest. We evaluated whether selected biomarkers could predict 28-day mortality in infected patients in rural Thailand.MethodsFour thousand nine hundred eighty-nine adult patients admitted with suspected infection to a referral hospital in northeast Thailand were prospectively enrolled within 24 h of admission. In a secondary analysis of 760 patients, interleukin-8 (IL-8), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNFR-1), angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), and soluble triggering receptor expressed by myeloid cells 1 (sTREM-1) were measured in the plasma. Association with 28-day mortality was evaluated using regression; a parsimonious biomarker model was selected using the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) method. Discrimination of mortality was assessed by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and verified by multiple methods.ResultsIL-8, sTNFR-1, Ang-2, and sTREM-1 concentrations were strongly associated with death. LASSO identified a three-biomarker model of sTREM-1, Ang-2, and IL-8, but sTREM-1 alone provided comparable mortality discrimination (p = 0.07). sTREM-1 alone was comparable to a model of clinical variables (area under receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77-0.85 vs AUC 0.79, 95% CI 0.74-0.84; p = 0.43). The combination of sTREM-1 and clinical variables yielded greater mortality discrimination than clinical variables alone (AUC 0.83, 95% CI 0.79-0.87; p = 0.004).ConclusionssTREM-1 predicts mortality from infection in a tropical, middle-income country comparably to a model derived from clinical variables and, when combined with clinical variables, can further augment mortality prediction.Trial registrationThe Ubon-sepsis study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT02217592 ), 2014.
BackgroundMelioidosis, infection caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a common cause of sepsis with high associated mortality in Southeast Asia. Identification of patients at high likelihood of clinical deterioration is important for guiding decisions about resource allocation and management. We sought to develop a biomarker-based model for 28-day mortality prediction in melioidosis.MethodsIn a derivation set (N = 113) of prospectively enrolled, hospitalized Thai patients with melioidosis, we measured concentrations of interferon-γ, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor-ɑ, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, and interleukin-17A. We used least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression to identify a subset of predictive biomarkers and performed logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to evaluate biomarker-based prediction of 28-day mortality compared with clinical variables. We repeated select analyses in an internal validation set (N = 78) and in a prospectively enrolled external validation set (N = 161) of hospitalized adults with melioidosis.ResultsAll 8 cytokines were positively associated with 28-day mortality. Of these, interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 were selected by LASSO regression. A model consisting of interleukin-6, interleukin-8, and clinical variables significantly improved 28-day mortality prediction over a model of only clinical variables [AUC (95% confidence interval [CI]): 0.86 (.79-.92) vs 0.78 (.69-.87); P = .01]. In both the internal validation set (0.91 [0.84-0.97]) and the external validation set (0.81 [0.74-0.88]), the combined model including biomarkers significantly improved 28-day mortality prediction over a model limited to clinical variables.ConclusionsA 2-biomarker model augments clinical prediction of 28-day mortality in melioidosis.
Antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative colonization in infants from a neonatal intensive care unit in Thailand.
Antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative bacteria are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized neonates in South and South-East Asia. This study aimed to determine the dynamics of colonization with antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative bacteria amongst patients in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Thailand. From 97 enrolled patients, 52% were colonized by an extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) organism at some point during their stay and 64% were colonized by a carbapenem-resistant organism. Rapid acquisition of ESBL-positive and carbapenem-resistant organisms was found. Once colonized with an antibiotic-resistant organism, patients remained colonized for the remainder of their NICU stay.
Genetic variation associated with infection and the environment in the accidental pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei.
The environmental bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei causes melioidosis, an important endemic human disease in tropical and sub-tropical countries. This bacterium occupies broad ecological niches including soil, contaminated water, single-cell microbes, plants and infection in a range of animal species. Here, we performed genome-wide association studies for genetic determinants of environmental and human adaptation using a combined dataset of 1,010 whole genome sequences of B. pseudomallei from Northeast Thailand and Australia, representing two major disease hotspots. With these data, we identified 47 genes from 26 distinct loci associated with clinical or environmental isolates from Thailand and replicated 12 genes in an independent Australian cohort. We next outlined the selective pressures on the genetic loci (dN/dS) and the frequency at which they had been gained or lost throughout their evolutionary history, reflecting the bacterial adaptability to a wide range of ecological niches. Finally, we highlighted loci likely implicated in human disease.
The Asia Pacific region, home to two-thirds of the world's population and ten of the least developed countries, is considered a regional hot-spot for the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Despite this, there is a dearth of high-quality regional data on the extent of AMR. Recognising the urgency to close this gap, Singapore organised a meeting to discuss the problems in the region and frame a call for action. Representatives from across the region and beyond attended the meeting on the "Antimicrobial Resistance in the Asia Pacific & its impact on Singapore" held in November 2018. This meeting report is a summary of the discussions on the challenges and progress in surveillance, drivers and levers of AMR emergence, and the promising innovations and technologies that could be used to combat the increasing threat of AMR in the region. Enhanced surveillance and research to provide improved evidence-based strategies and policies are needed. The major themes that emerged for an action plan are working towards a tailored solution for the region by harnessing the One Health approach, enhancing inter-country collaborations, and collaboratively leverage upon new emerging technologies. A regionally coordinated effort that is target-driven, sustainable and builds on a framework facilitating communication and governance will strengthen the fight against AMR in the Asia Pacific region.
Human Immune Responses to Melioidosis and Cross-Reactivity to Low-Virulence Burkholderia Species, Thailand1.
Melioidosis is a neglected tropical disease with an estimated annual mortality rate of 89,000 in 45 countries across tropical regions. The causative agent is Burkholderia pseudomallei, a gram-negative soil-dwelling bacterium. In Thailand, B. pseudomallei can be found across multiple regions, along with the low-virulence B. thailandensis and the recently discovered B. thailandensis variant (BTCV), which expresses B. pseudomallei-like capsular polysaccharide. Comprehensive studies of human immune responses to B. thailandensis variants and cross-reactivity to B. pseudomallei are not complete. We evaluated human immune responses to B. pseudomallei, B. thailandensis, and BTCV in melioidosis patients and healthy persons in B. pseudomallei-endemic areas using a range of humoral and cellular immune assays. We found immune cross-reactivity to be strong for both humoral and cellular immunity among B. pseudomallei, B. thailandensis, and BTCV. Our findings suggest that environmental exposure to low-virulence strains may build cellular immunity to B. pseudomallei.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a serious global health problem currently affecting over 450 million people worldwide. Defining its interaction with major global infections is an international public health priority. Melioidosis is caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, an exemplar pathogen for studying intracellular bacterial infection in the context of DM due to the 12-fold increased risk in this group. We characterized immune correlates of survival in peripheral blood of acute melioidosis patients with and without DM and highlight different immune response patterns. We demonstrate the importance of circulating NK cells and show that CX3CR1 expression on lymphocytes is a novel correlate of survival from acute melioidosis. Furthermore, excessive serum levels of IL-15 and IL-18BP contribute to poor outcome independent of DM comorbidity. CD8+ T cells and granzyme B expression in NK cells are important for survival of non-DM patients, whereas high antibody titers against B. pseudomallei and double-negative T cells are linked to survival of DM patients. Recall responses support a role of γδ T-cell-derived IFN-γ in the establishment of protective immunity in the DM group. Defining the hallmarks of protection in people with DM is crucial for the design of new therapies and vaccines targeting this rapidly expanding risk group.
Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Progress and Challenges in Eight South Asian and Southeast Asian Countries
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious global health threat and is predicted to cause significant health and economic impacts, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). AMR surveillance is critical in LMICs due to high burden of bacterial infections; however, conducting AMR surveillance in resource-limited settings is constrained by poorly functioning health systems, scarce financial resources, and lack of skilled personnel. In 2015, the United Nations World Health Assembly endorsed the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan to tackle AMR; thus, several countries are striving to improve their AMR surveillance capacity, including making significant investments and establishing and expanding surveillance networks.
ABSTRACT Community-acquired (CA) sepsis is a major public health problem worldwide, yet the etiology remains unknown for >50% of the patients. Here we applied metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) to characterize the human virome in 492 clinical samples (384 sera, 92 pooled nasal and throat swabs, 10 stools, and 6 cerebrospinal fluid samples) from 386 patients (213 adults and 173 children) presenting with CA sepsis who were recruited from 6 hospitals across Vietnam between 2013 and 2015. Specific monoplex PCRs were used subsequently to confirm the presence of viral sequences detected by mNGS. We found sequences related to 47 viral species belonging to 21 families in 358 of 386 (93%) patients, including viruses known to cause human infections. After PCR confirmation, human viruses were found in 52 of 386 patients (13.4%); picornavirus (enteroviruses [n = 14], rhinovirus [n = 5], and parechovirus [n = 2]), hepatitis B virus (n = 10), cytomegalovirus (n = 9), Epstein-Barr virus (n = 5), and rotavirus A (n = 3) were the most common viruses detected. Recently discovered viruses were also found (gemycircularvirus [n = 5] and WU polyomavirus, Saffold virus, salivirus, cyclovirus-VN, and human pegivirus 2 [HPgV2] [n, 1 each]), adding to the growing literature about the geographic distribution of these novel viruses. Notably, sequences related to numerous viruses not previously reported in human tissues were also detected. To summarize, we identified 21 viral species known to be infectious to humans in 52 of 386 (13.4%) patients presenting with CA sepsis of unknown cause. The study, however, cannot directly impute sepsis causation to the viruses identified. The results highlight the fact that it remains a challenge to establish the causative agents in CA sepsis patients, especially in tropical settings such as Vietnam.
In 2013, a Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission described the state of antimicrobial resistance worldwide. Since then, greater awareness of the public health ramifications of antimicrobial resistance has led to national actions and global initiatives, including a resolution at the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly in 2016. Progress in addressing this issue has ranged from a ban on irrational drug combinations in India to commitments to ban colistin as a growth promoter in animals, improve hospital infection control, and implement better antimicrobial stewardship. Funds have been mobilised, and regulatory barriers to new antibiotic development have been relaxed. These efforts have been episodic and uneven across countries, however. Sustained funding for antimicrobial resistance and globally harmonised targets to monitor progress are still urgently needed. Except for in a few leading countries, antimicrobial resistance has not captured the sustained focus of national leaders and country-level actors, including care providers.
Detection of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium hospital-adapted lineages in municipal wastewater treatment plants indicates widespread distribution and release into the environment.
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) is a leading cause of healthcare-associated infection. Reservoirs of VREfm are largely assumed to be nosocomial although there is a paucity of data on alternative sources. Here, we describe an integrated epidemiological and genomic analysis of E. faecium associated with bloodstream infection and isolated from wastewater. Treated and untreated wastewater from 20 municipal treatment plants in the East of England, United Kingdom was obtained and cultured to isolate E. faecium, ampicillin-resistant E. faecium (AREfm), and VREfm. VREfm was isolated from all 20 treatment plants and was released into the environment by 17/20 plants, the exceptions using terminal ultraviolet light disinfection. Median log10 counts of AREfm and VREfm in untreated wastewater from 10 plants in direct receipt of hospital sewage were significantly higher than 10 plants that were not. We sequenced and compared the genomes of 423 isolates from wastewater with 187 isolates associated with bloodstream infection at five hospitals in the East of England. Among 481 E. faecium isolates belonging to the hospital-adapted clade, we observed genetic intermixing between wastewater and bloodstream infection, with highly related isolates shared between a major teaching hospital in the East of England and 9/20 plants. We detected 28 antibiotic resistance genes in the hospital-adapted clade, of which 23 were represented in bloodstream, hospital sewage, and municipal wastewater isolates. We conclude that our findings are consistent with widespread distribution of hospital-adapted VREfm beyond acute healthcare settings with extensive release of VREfm into the environment in the East of England.
In vitro passage alters virulence, immune activation and proteomic profiles of Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Serial passage is a problem among many bacterial species, especially those where strains have been stored (banked) for several decades. Prior to banking with an organization such as ATCC, many bacterial strains were passaged for many years, so the characteristics of each strain may be extremely different. This is in addition to any differences in the original host environment. For Burkholderia pseudomallei, the number of serial passages should be carefully defined for each experiment because it undergoes adaptation during the course of serial passages. In the present study, we found that passaged B. pseudomallei fresh clinical isolates and reference strain in Luria-Bertani broth exhibited increased plaque formation, invasion, intracellular replication, Galleria mellonella killing abilities, and cytokine production of host cells. These bacteria also modulated proteomic profiles during in vitro passage. We presume that the modulation of protein expression during in vitro passage caused changes in virulence and immunogenicity phenotypes. Therefore, we emphasize the need for caution regarding the use of data from passaged B. pseudomallei. These findings of phenotypic adaptation during in vitro serial passage can help researchers working on B. pseudomallei and on other species to better understand disparate findings among strains that have been reported for many years.
Survival of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Pathogenic Leptospira in Cola, Beer, Energy Drinks, and Sports Drinks.
Burkholderia pseudomallei and pathogenic Leptospira in contaminated drinking water can cause melioidosis and leptospirosis, respectively. Here, we evaluated their survival in beverages. We mixed six isolates (three isolates per organism) in four beverages (Coca-Cola®, Red Bull®, Singha® beer, and Gatorade®) and distilled water as the control at two final concentrations (1 × 107 colony-forming units [CFU]/mL and 1 × 103 CFU/mL). The solution was kept at two temperatures (37°C and 4°C). At 4°C and at the high concentration, pathogenic Leptospira survived in Coca-Cola® up to 3 minutes and in Singha, Red Bull®, and Gatorade up to 15 minutes, whereas B. pseudomallei survived in these beverages up to 8 hours, and 14, 14, and 28 days, respectively. The survival time of both organisms was shorter at 37°C (P = 0.01) and at the lower concentration (P = 0.001). In conclusion, Leptospira can survive in some beverages for up to 15 minutes, whereas B. pseudomallei can survive in some beverages for up to 4 weeks.
Outcome of Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) Infection in Pediatric and Adult Patients at Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Although Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection is an important cause of acute febrile illness in Lao PDR (Laos), patient outcome has not been evaluated. We prospectively followed up 123 JEV-infected patients (70 children ≤ 15 years and 53 adults ≥ 15 years) admitted at Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, from 2003 to 2013. Japanese encephalitis virus infection was diagnosed by the detection of anti-JEV IgM in cerebrospinal fluid and/or IgM seroconversion. Neurological sequelae were assessed using the Liverpool Outcome Score (LOS), total (maximum score = 75), and final (maximum score = 5). The median (interquartile range [IQR]) age of the patients was 12.0 (7.5-18.8) years, and 57% were male. The median (IQR) duration of patients' follow-up was 4.5 (3.2-7.3) years. Of all patients, 10/123 (8.1%) died during hospitalization, and 13/123 (10.6%) died at home after discharge, giving a mortality of 18.7% (23/123) (33 [26.8%] patients were lost to follow-up). The frequency of neurological sequelae at the last follow-up was 61.2% (48.4% in adults and 69.4% in children, P = 0.135). The proportion of patients with severe and moderate functional impairment at the last follow-up was significantly higher in children (25%) than adults (6.5%), P = 0.042. Half of the patients who were still alive at the last follow-up (67) and for whom LOS data were available (22) had improvements in their total and final LOS between discharge and the last follow-up. The total and final LOS at discharge were not significantly different between children and adults, but total LOS at the last follow-up was significantly higher in adults than children (median [IQR]: 74.5 [73-75] versus 73.0 [73-75], P = 0.019).
A randomized controlled trial of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, artesunate-mefloquine and extended artemether-lumefantrine treatments for malaria in pregnancy on the Thailand-Myanmar border.
BackgroundArtemisinin and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) partner drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum have spread across the Greater Mekong Subregion compromising antimalarial treatment. The current 3-day artemether-lumefantrine regimen has been associated with high treatment failure rates in pregnant women. Although ACTs are recommended for treating Plasmodium vivax malaria, no clinical trials in pregnancy have been reported.MethodsPregnant women with uncomplicated malaria on the Thailand-Myanmar border participated in an open-label randomized controlled trial comparing dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP), artesunate-mefloquine (ASMQ) and a 4-day artemether-lumefantrine regimen (AL+). The primary endpoint for P. falciparum infections was the PCR-corrected cure rate and for P. vivax infections was recurrent parasitaemia, before delivery or day 63, whichever was longer, assessed by Kaplan-Meier estimate.ResultsBetween February 2010 and August 2016, 511 pregnant women with malaria (353 P. vivax, 142 P. falciparum, 15 co-infections, 1 Plasmodium malariae) were randomized to either DP (n=170), ASMQ (n=169) or AL+ (n=172) treatments. Successful malaria elimination efforts in the region resulted in premature termination of the trial. The majority of women had recurrent malaria (mainly P. vivax relapses, which are not prevented by these treatments). Recurrence-free proportions (95% confidence interval [95% CI]) for vivax malaria were 20.6% (5.1-43.4) for DP (n=125), 46.0% (30.9-60.0) for ASMQ (n=117) and 28.7% (10.0-50.8) for AL+ (n=126). DP and ASMQ provided longer recurrence-free intervals. PCR-corrected cure rates (95% CI) for falciparum malaria were 93.7% (81.6-97.9) for DP (n=49), 79.6% (66.1-88.1) for AMSQ (n=55) and 87.5% (74.3-94.2) for AL+ (n=50). Overall 65% (85/130) of P. falciparum infections had Pfkelch13 propeller mutations which increased over time and recrudescence occurred almost exclusively in them; risk ratio 9.42 (95% CI 1.30-68.29). Among the women with falciparum malaria, 24.0% (95% CI 16.8-33.6) had P. vivax parasitaemia within 4 months. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sleep disturbance were more frequent with ASMQ. Miscarriage, small-for-gestational-age and preterm birth did not differ significantly among the treatment groups, including first trimester exposures (n=46).ConclusionsDP was well tolerated and safe, and was the only drug providing satisfactory efficacy for P. falciparum-infected pregnant woman in this area of widespread artemisinin resistance. Vivax malaria recurrences are very common and warrant chloroquine prophylaxis after antimalarial treatment in this area.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01054248 , registered on 22 January 2010.