Most fungi isolated from patients with deep-seated mycosis are yeast-like organisms such as Candida and Cryptococcus. As their respective susceptibilities to antifungal agents can vary depending on the species,rapid identification is important for the administration of appropriate antifungal therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of a new automated identification panel, Phoenix Yeast ID (Becton, Dickinson Diagnostics, USA) as well as the time required for identification. The identification results of 106 isolates generated by this system were then compared with those of the API 20C AUX system (SYSMEX bioMérieux Co., Ltd. Japan). Among the 106 isolates, the identification agreement between the two yeast panels was 97/106 (91.5%). Of the 9 (8.5%) discrepant identifications, 5 identification using the Phoenix Yeast ID system and 1 identification using the API 20C AUX system agreed with the genotypic identification. Genotypic identification did not agree with the Phoenix Yeast ID or API 20C AUX findings for the remaining 3 discrepant identifications. Approximately 60% of the C. albicans, C. tropicalis, and C. parapsilosis isolates were identified within 4 hours. In total, about 90% of the 4 major Candida sp. (C. albicans, C. tropicalis and C. glabrata) were identified within 8 hours. In conclusion, the Phoenix Yeast ID findings agreed well with the API 20C AUX findings. Genotypic identification of the discrepant identifications confirmed most of the Phoenix Yeast ID panel identifications. As approximately 80% of the major Candida sp. could be identified within 8 hours using the Phoenix Yeast ID identification system, our results suggest that this system is a clinically useful addition to commercially available yeast identification panels. The Phoenix Yeast ID system showed excellent concordance with genotypic identification for the classification of organisms with discrepant API 20C AUX findings.
In 2013, two outbreaks of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) occurred in Saitama city. According to reports from each of the medical institutions that detected the EHEC isolates, the isolates seemed to differ in their production of Vero Toxin (VT / Shiga Toxin：Stx) since one isolate produced only Stx1 and the other produced both Stx1 and Stx2. However, a patient survey conducted by a public health center revealed that common foodstuffs had been consumed in both outbreaks. Because, the two EHEC isolates were newly detected from two people in one patientʼs family, we analyzed the phenotypic and genetic relationships among four isolates in total. All the isolates were serotyped as O157：H-, and both stx1 and stx2 were detected. Subsequently, all four isolates were shown to have the same pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) banding pattern. The findings suggested that these isolates belonged to the same strain group. Among these cases, the isolates had stx2c which is one of the stx2 subtypes. Reportedly, some cases with the Stx2 subtype can not be detected using conventional tests for toxin. In addition, Stx2 can be overlooked as a result of this limitation of Stx-production tests. Both epidemiological research by public health centers and genetic analysis by prefectural and municipal public health institutes (PHIs) are very important for clarifying possible relationships among outbreaks, as in the present cases. Moreover, collaborations and networks among medical institutions, PHIs and public health centers should be further strengthened to prevent the spread of infections.
Background：The incidence of syphilis has globally increased over the last decade, particularly among men who have sex with men coinfected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV infection may make the clinical symptoms and seroreactivity of syphilis atypical, which requires careful consideration in terms of diagnoses and treatments by clinicians. Syphilis is known as a great imitator, and is often difficult to be diagnosed or it can be overlooked if clinicians depend only on its symptoms or signs. It is also highly contagious and could be transmitted without sexual intercourse, and reinfection is common. Guidelines recommend that all HIV-infected persons be provided with STD screening, including syphilis, at least annually. However, to our knowledge, there are no published data on the actual frequency of testing and instances of syphilis among HIV-infected persons in Japan. Materials and Methods：We collected data from HIV infected male patients who had sex with men (MSM) at Tokyo Medical University Hospital from June 2011 to June 2012. Data from the patients, who had been tested with the rapid plasma reagin assay (RPR) at least once during the study period, were retrospectively obtained from clinical records and were analyzed. Results：Among 1000 patients with HIV infection, 935 patients were MSM. 723 patients (77.4%) were tested using the Treponema pallidum latex agglutination test (TPLA) and RPR more than once during the study period. Out of the 723 patients, 443 patients (61.3%) were reactive for TPLA and 238 patients(32.9%) had reactive tests for RPR. All patients who were reactive for RPR were reactive for TPLA. Among the patients who were reactive for RPR, 93 patients (12.9%) were considered newly diagnosed or with a repeat infection. In this cohort, all patients were MSM with a median age of 37 years, and a median CD4+Tlymphocyte cell count of 465/uL. A total of 76 patients had been prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and 61 patients had a documented HIV-1 RNA viral load of ＜40 copies/mL at their most recent test. Two patients both developed two episodes of syphilis during the study period. Of the 95 episodes, 44% were symptomatic syphilis and the most common symptom among them was a skin rash at the second stage. Nearly half of the patients (47%) were diagnosed at regular screenings. Two thirds (67%) had syphilis infections before the study period, whereas at least 20% of them were newly diagnosed during the study period. Conclusions：A substantial percentage of the participants were newly or recurrently diagnosed with syphilis during the study period. More public health awareness should be encouraged regarding the current epidemic of syphilis among HIV-infected persons in Japan. It is also important for clinicians to provide HIV infected persons with periodical syphilis screening, regardless of the apparent clinical signs or symptoms to achieve earlier treatment intervention.
Hand hygiene is important in the prevention of healthcare-associated infection in hospitals, but the compliance rate of healthcare workers for hand hygiene is lower than expected. Hand hygiene compliance is usually monitored employing visual methods that are open to the Hawthorne effect and limited in terms of time and place. An automated monitoring system may provide the hand-hygiene compliance rate automatically and continuously, without suffering from the Hawthorne effect. An automated monitoring system may also improve hand hygiene by providing feedback data and real-time reminders. We report herein on an automated monitoring system that permits the tracking of hand hygiene opportunities and the disinfection compliance of healthcare workers. The aim is to establish the accuracy of the system in monitoring hand hygiene compliance and to estimate the effect of the system in promoting hand hygiene behaviour. Two studies were conducted. First, to evaluate the accuracy of hand hygiene compliance recorded by the automated monitoring system, we compared the hand hygiene compliance rate recorded by the automated monitoring system with that recorded by direct visual observation for 3 days during the same period in the same ward. For the overall period of simultaneous automated and human observations, the hand hygiene compliance rate was automatically observed to be 78% and visually observed to be 75.4%. Second, to estimate the effect of the automated monitoring system in improving health workersʼcompliance with hand hygiene, we installed monitoring equipment in one ward and measured the compliance rate via the automated monitoring system for 13 weeks. This study included Phase 1 with a reminder only, Phase 2 with a reminder and feedback, and Phase 3 again with a reminder only. A significant increase in hand hygiene performance was observed during phase 2, and a high rate was sustained over phase 3. In phase 1, however,there was no increase in the hand hygiene compliance rate. We found the automated monitoring system to be a useful tool for not only monitoring hand hygiene but also for improving hand hygiene compliance.
We report a case of iatrogenic vesical tuberculosis diagnosed 4 years after intravesical immunotherapy using Bacillus Calmette- Guérin (BCG) for the treatment of bladder carcinoma. A 72-year-old man underwent a transurethral resection (TUR) of multiple noninvasive urothelial carcinomas and intravesical BCG infusion (40mg/week) for 7 weeks to prevent the recurrence of bladder carcinoma. BCG infusion therapy was terminated because of the appearance of Reiterʼs syndrome, including arthritis of the left toe joint, conjunctivitis and non-gonococcal urethritis as complications. The patient suffered from repeated cystitis, bladder atrophy and urethral stenosis. The cystitis improved with the administration of antibiotics (Levofloxacin) but persisted without a complete cure. Four years later, a cystoscopy revealed mucosal erosion and a white coating. An acid-fast bacteria examination of a urine sample using bacteria incubation and DNA PCR revealed the presence of Mycobacterium bovis. Finally, anti-tuberculosis therapy (INH＋REP＋EB) was initiated after the patient was diagnosed as having iatrogenic bladder tuberculosis resulting from BCG immunotherapy. The tuberculosis bacteria subsequently disappeared from the urine samples, and the gross appearance of the bladder mucosa improved. Bladder carcinoma has not recurred to date. Intravesical BCG infusion therapy has a good anti-tumor effect and can help prevent tumor recurrence after TUR therapy in case of noninvasive bladder carcinoma. However, there is a risk of severe complications arising from the BCG infusion. In the present case, an adequate bacteria examination was not performed, even though antibiotics were repeatedly administered for cystitis. In particular, the patient was not tested for the presence of acid-fast bacteria for 4 years after the intravesical BCG infusion therapy. Furthermore, among patients who received anti-bacteria therapy for repeated cystitis after BCG infusion, a bacteria examination including bacteria incubation, was not ordered in 19 out of 30 cases treated at our hospital over the past 5 years. In conclusion, bacteria examination, including tests for acid-fast bacteria, should be immediately performed when repeated and/or persistent cystitis occurs after BCG infusion therapy.
We report a 48-year-old healthy man who presented with a 1-week history of fever and epigastric pain. He had traveled to Indonesia and had been in sexual contact with a local woman 4 weeks prior to admission. His peripheral blood film showed atypical reactive lymphocytes. A serological test for cytomegalovirus IgM was positive and the quantitative cytomegalovirus DNA level was 1.1×102copies/mL, whereas EpsteinBarr virus IgM, HIV antigen and antibody tests were negative. He was diagnosed as having an acute cytomegalovirus infection and was treated with acetaminophen. However, his clinical symptoms deteriorated on the 4th day after admission and a computed tomography examination showed splenomegaly with wedgeshaped splenic infarctions. Blood culture, antinuclear antibodies, antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibodies, anticardiolipin antibodies, and lupus anticoagulant tests were negative. The protein C and protein S activities were normal. He was diagnosed as having a splenic infarction caused by an acute cytomegalovirus infection, and intravenous heparin administration was performed. On day 12, his symptoms had improved and he was discharged. Splenic infarctions caused by acute cytomegalovirus infection can develop in immunocompetent patients without any coagulation disorder. The possibility of splenic infarctions should be considered in patients with acute cytomegalovirus infection, especially those experiencing a worsening of abdominal pain.
Toxocariasis causes a variety of symptoms. We experienced a case of toxocariasis which was initially treated with steroids for Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangitis (EGPA). A 53-year-old woman with the past medical history of bronchial asthma presented at the outpatient department in the middle of August. She complained of chest discomfort lasting for one week. Ischemic heart disease was initially suspected due to ST depression on ECG and positive Troponin I. However coronary angiography did not reveal any abnormality. Her symptoms continued and after one month she presented at the hospital again with an elevated eosionophil count. Chest computed tomography showed ground glass opacities on both lungs. She was diagnosed as having EGPA based on her clinical symptoms and the results of the blood test which were consistent with the diagnostic criteria of EGPA. After prednisolone was prescribed, her symptoms and eosinophilia dramatically improved. However, we found that the histology of the lung and kidney was not compatible with EGPA and the result of serum parasite antibodies turned out to be strongly positive for toxocariasis after initiating predonisolone. Based on this result, we concluded that our patient had a case of toxocariasis and prescribed albendazole in addition to prednisolone. The patient completed a 3-week course of albendazole and a 3-month course of prednisolone without any problems. In general, steroids are not commonly used as a treatment of toxocariasis, however it seems to have been effective in this case. Toxocariasis shows a variety of symptoms and can be misdiagnosed as other diseases such as EGPA.
A 42-year-old woman was referred to our hospital with a diagnosis of influenza A and pneumonia out of the influenza season. Chest CT findings resembled interstitial pneumonia, but we initiated anti viral agents and antibiotics. Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy was performed on hospital day 3. Based on the results of an RT-PCR analysis of broncho-alveolar lavage, this patient was diagnosed as having influenza viral pneumonia. In the influenza season, we can easily suspect influenza as a differential diagnosis, even if the patientʼs chest CT findings resemble interstitial pneumonia. Out of the influenza season, clinicians should take into consideration influenza viral pneumonia as a differential diagnosis.