191 research outputs found

    Potential for nosocomial transmission of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis in a South African tertiary hospital

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    Background. Tuberculosis (TB) is a major health problem in the Western Cape, with an incidence exceeding 900 per 100 000 people. Nosocomial transmission of TB, and particularly drug-resistant TB, is a potential risk that may be undetected. Rapid diagnosis and rapid institution of effective anti-TB treatment, combined with appropriate infection control measures, are essential to prevent nosocomial transmission of TB. To estimate the potential for nosocomial transmission, we aimed to determine the in-hospital delays in diagnosis and treatment of patients with multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB at a tertiary care hospital. Methods. A descriptive study, based on retrospective review of patient records and laboratory data, including all adult patients (>13 years) where TB culture and susceptibility testing confirmed MDR-TB on specimens submitted to Tygerberg Hospital’s National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) laboratory in 2007. Results. Thirty-one patients with MDR-TB were identified. The median laboratory turnaround time (TAT) from collection of specimen to confirmation of MDR-TB was 40 days, while the median time from the time of first presentation at Tygerberg Hospital to institution of MDR treatment was 44 days. Twenty patients were considered infectious during their hospital stay, generating 345 inpatient infectious days. Conclusions. The study suggests that there is an ongoing substantial risk for nosocomial transmission of MDR-TB at Tygerberg Hospital. We propose improvements, including the use of rapid drug susceptibility testing. The consistent application of infection control measures to prevent nosocomial spread of TB, including MDR-TB, remains vital

    Molecular characterisation and epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of blaOXA-181 carbapenemaseproducing isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae in South Africa

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    Background. Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen often associated with nosocomial  infections. A suspected outbreak of K. pneumoniae isolates, exhibiting reduced susceptibility to  carbapenem antibiotics, was detected during the month of May 2012 among patients admitted to a haematology unit of a tertiary academic hospital in Cape Town, South Africa (SA).Objectives. An investigation was done to determine possible epidemiological links between the case patients and to describe the mechanisms of carbapenem resistance of these bacterial isolates.Methods. Relevant demographic, clinical and laboratory information was extracted from hospital  records and an observational review of infection prevention and control practices in the affected unit was performed. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing including phenotypic testing and genotypic detection of the most commonly described carbapenemase genes was done. The phylogenetic relationship of all isolates containing the blaOXA-181 carbapenemase gene was determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis  (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing.Results. Polymerase chain reaction analysis identified a total of seven blaOXA-181-positive,  carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates obtained from seven patients, all from a single unit. These isolates were indistinguishable using PFGE analysis and belonged to sequence type ST-14. No other carbapenemase enzymes were detected.Conclusion. This is the first documented laboratory-confirmed outbreak of OXA-181-producing K.  pneumoniae in SA, and highlights the importance of enforcing strict adherence to infection control  procedures and the need for ongoing surveillance of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in local hospitals

    Appropriate disclosure of a diagnosis of dementia : identifying the key behaviours of 'best practice'

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    Background: Despite growing evidence that many people with dementia want to know their diagnosis, there is wide variation in attitudes of professionals towards disclosure. The disclosure of the diagnosis of dementia is increasingly recognised as being a process rather than a one-off behaviour. However, the different behaviours that contribute to this process have not been comprehensively defined. No intervention studies to improve diagnostic disclosure in dementia have been reported to date. As part of a larger study to develop an intervention to promote appropriate disclosure, we sought to identify important disclosure behaviours and explore whether supplementing a literature review with other methods would result in the identification of new behaviours. Methods: To identify a comprehensive list of behaviours in disclosure we conducted a literature review, interviewed people with dementia and informal carers, and used a consensus process involving health and social care professionals. Content analysis of the full list of behaviours was carried out. Results: Interviews were conducted with four people with dementia and six informal carers. Eight health and social care professionals took part in the consensus panel. From the interviews, consensus panel and literature review 220 behaviours were elicited, with 109 behaviours over-lapping. The interviews and consensus panel elicited 27 behaviours supplementary to the review. Those from the interviews appeared to be self-evident but highlighted deficiencies in current practice and from the panel focused largely on balancing the needs of people with dementia and family members. Behaviours were grouped into eight categories: preparing for disclosure; integrating family members; exploring the patient's perspective; disclosing the diagnosis; responding to patient reactions; focusing on quality of life and well-being; planning for the future; and communicating effectively. Conclusion: This exercise has highlighted the complexity of the process of disclosing a diagnosis of dementia in an appropriate manner. It confirms that many of the behaviours identified in the literature (often based on professional opinion rather than empirical evidence) also resonate with people with dementia and informal carers. The presence of contradictory behaviours emphasises the need to tailor the process of disclosure to individual patients and carers. Our combined methods may be relevant to other efforts to identify and define complex clinical practices for further study.This project is funded by UK Medical Research Council, Grant reference number G0300999

    Mechanisms of Cognitive Impairment in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease: Multimodal MRI Results from the St George's Cognition and Neuroimaging in Stroke (SCANS) Study.

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    Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is a common cause of vascular cognitive impairment. A number of disease features can be assessed on MRI including lacunar infarcts, T2 lesion volume, brain atrophy, and cerebral microbleeds. In addition, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is sensitive to disruption of white matter ultrastructure, and recently it has been suggested that additional information on the pattern of damage may be obtained from axial diffusivity, a proposed marker of axonal damage, and radial diffusivity, an indicator of demyelination. We determined the contribution of these whole brain MRI markers to cognitive impairment in SVD. Consecutive patients with lacunar stroke and confluent leukoaraiosis were recruited into the ongoing SCANS study of cognitive impairment in SVD (n = 115), and underwent neuropsychological assessment and multimodal MRI. SVD subjects displayed poor performance on tests of executive function and processing speed. In the SVD group brain volume was lower, white matter hyperintensity volume higher and all diffusion characteristics differed significantly from control subjects (n = 50). On multi-predictor analysis independent predictors of executive function in SVD were lacunar infarct count and diffusivity of normal appearing white matter on DTI. Independent predictors of processing speed were lacunar infarct count and brain atrophy. Radial diffusivity was a stronger DTI predictor than axial diffusivity, suggesting ischaemic demyelination, seen neuropathologically in SVD, may be an important predictor of cognitive impairment in SVD. Our study provides information on the mechanism of cognitive impairment in SVD

    A comparison of location of acute symptomatic vs. 'silent' small vessel lesions

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    Background: Acute lacunar ischaemic stroke, white matter hyperintensities, and lacunes are all features of cerebral small vessel disease. It is unclear why some small vessel disease lesions present with acute stroke symptoms, whereas others typically do not. Aim: To test if lesion location could be one reason why some small vessel disease lesions present with acute stroke, whereas others accumulate covertly. Methods: We identified prospectively patients who presented with acute lacunar stroke symptoms with a recent small subcortical infarct confirmed on magnetic resonance diffusion imaging. We compared the distribution of the acute infarcts with that of white matter hyperintensity and lacunes using computational image mapping methods. Results: In 188 patients, mean age 67 ± standard deviation 12 years, the lesions that presented with acute lacunar ischaemic stroke were located in or near the main motor and sensory tracts in (descending order): posterior limb of the internal capsule (probability density 0·2/mm3), centrum semiovale (probability density = 0·15/mm3), medial lentiform nucleus/lateral thalamus (probability density = 0·09/mm3), and pons (probability density = 0·02/mm3). Most lacunes were in the lentiform nucleus (probability density = 0·01–0·04/mm3) or external capsule (probability density = 0·05/mm3). Most white matter hyperintensities were in centrum semiovale (except for the area affected by the acute symptomatic infarcts), external capsules, basal ganglia, and brainstem, with little overlap with the acute symptomatic infarcts (analysis of variance, P < 0·01). Conclusions: Lesions that present with acute lacunar ischaemic stroke symptoms may be more likely noticed by the patient through affecting the main motor and sensory tracts, whereas white matter hyperintensity and asymptomatic lacunes mainly affect other areas. Brain location could at least partly explain the symptomatic vs. covert development of small vessel disease

    Structural and biochemical characterization of the exopolysaccharide deacetylase Agd3 required for Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm formation

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    The exopolysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) is an important virulence factor of the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Deletion of a gene encoding a putative deacetylase, Agd3, leads to defects in GAG deacetylation, biofilm formation, and virulence. Here, we show that Agd3 deacetylates GAG in a metal-dependent manner, and is the founding member of carbohydrate esterase family CE18. The active site is formed by four catalytic motifs that are essential for activity. The structure of Agd3 includes an elongated substrate-binding cleft formed by a carbohydrate binding module (CBM) that is the founding member of CBM family 87. Agd3 homologues are encoded in previously unidentified putative bacterial exopolysaccharide biosynthetic operons and in other fungal genomes. The exopolysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) is an important virulence factor of the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here, the authors study an A. fumigatus enzyme that deacetylates GAG in a metal-dependent manner and constitutes a founding member of a new carbohydrate esterase family.Bio-organic Synthesi

    Infarction in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery: clinical study of 51 patients

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Little is known about clinical features and prognosis of patients with ischaemic stroke caused by infarction in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery (ACA). This single centre, retrospective study was conducted with the following objectives: a) to describe the clinical characteristics and short-term outcome of stroke patients with ACA infarction as compared with that of patients with ischaemic stroke due to middle cerebral artery (MCA) and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) infarctions, and b) to identify predictors of ACA stroke.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Fifty-one patients with ACA stroke were included in the "Sagrat Cor Hospital of Barcelona Stroke Registry" during a period of 19 years (1986–2004). Data from stroke patients are entered in the stroke registry following a standardized protocol with 161 items regarding demographics, risk factors, clinical features, laboratory and neuroimaging data, complications and outcome. The characteristics of these 51 patients with ACA stroke were compared with those of the 1355 patients with MCA infarctions and 232 patients with PCA infarctions included in the registry.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Infarctions of the ACA accounted for 1.3% of all cases of stroke (<it>n </it>= 3808) and 1.8% of cerebral infarctions (<it>n </it>= 2704). Stroke subtypes included cardioembolic infarction in 45.1% of patients, atherothrombotic infarction in 29.4%, lacunar infarct in 11.8%, infarct of unknown cause in 11.8% and infarction of unusual aetiology in 2%. In-hospital mortality was 7.8% (<it>n </it>= 4). Only 5 (9.8%) patients were symptom-free at hospital discharge. Speech disturbances (odds ratio [OR] = 0.48) and altered consciousness (OR = 0.31) were independent variables of ACA stroke in comparison with MCA infarction, whereas limb weakness (OR = 9.11), cardioembolism as stroke mechanism (OR = 2.49) and sensory deficit (OR = 0.35) were independent variables associated with ACA stroke in comparison with PCA infarction.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Cardioembolism is the main cause of brain infarction in the territory of the ACA. Several clinical features are more frequent in stroke patients with ACA infarction than in patients with ischaemic stroke due to infarction in the MCA and PCA territories.</p

    Study design and methods of the BoTULS trial: a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the clinical effect and cost effectiveness of treating upper limb spasticity due to stroke with botulinum toxin type A

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    Background Following a stroke, 55–75% of patients experience upper limb problems in the longer term. Upper limb spasticity may cause pain, deformity and reduced function, affecting mood and independence. Botulinum toxin is used increasingly to treat focal spasticity, but its impact on upper limb function after stroke is unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of botulinum toxin type A plus an upper limb therapy programme in the treatment of post stroke upper limb spasticity. Methods Trial design : A multi-centre open label parallel group randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation. Participants : Adults with upper limb spasticity at the shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand and reduced upper limb function due to stroke more than 1 month previously. Interventions : Botulinum toxin type A plus upper limb therapy (intervention group) or upper limb therapy alone (control group). Outcomes : Outcome assessments are undertaken at 1, 3 and 12 months. The primary outcome is upper limb function one month after study entry measured by the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT). Secondary outcomes include: spasticity (Modified Ashworth Scale); grip strength; dexterity (Nine Hole Peg Test); disability (Barthel Activities of Daily Living Index); quality of life (Stroke Impact Scale, Euroqol EQ-5D) and attainment of patient-selected goals (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure). Health and social services resource use, adverse events, use of other antispasticity treatments and patient views on the treatment will be compared. Participants are clinically reassessed at 3, 6 and 9 months to determine the need for repeat botulinum toxin type A and/or therapy. Randomisation : A web based central independent randomisation service. Blinding : Outcome assessments are undertaken by an assessor who is blinded to the randomisation group. Sample size : 332 participants provide 80% power to detect a 15% difference in treatment successes between intervention and control groups. Treatment success is defined as improvement of 3 points for those with a baseline ARAT of 0–3 and 6 points for those with ARAT of 4–56
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