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Chang-hua, Taiwan

Lee M.-S.,National Health Research Institute | Chiang P.-S.,National Health Research Institute | Luo S.-T.,National Health Research Institute | Huang M.-L.,National Health Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2012

Objective: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is causing life-threatening outbreaks in tropical Asia. In Taiwan and other tropical Asian countries, although nationwide EV71 epidemics occur cyclically, age-specific incidence rates of EV71 infections that are critical to estimate disease burden and design vaccine trials are not clear. A nationwide EV71 epidemic occurred in 2008-09 in Taiwan, which provided a unique opportunity to estimate age-specific incidence rates of EV71 infections. Study Design: We prospectively recruited 749 healthy neonates and conducted follow-ups from June 2006 to December 2009. Sera were obtained from participants at 0, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months of age for measuring EV71 neutralizing antibody titers. If the participants developed suspected enterovirus illnesses, throat swabs were collected for virus isolation. Results: We detected 28 EV71 infections including 20 symptomatic and 8 asymptomatic infections. Age-specific incidence rates of EV71 infection increased from 1.71 per 100 person-years at 0-6 months of age to 4.09, 5.74, and 4.97 per 100 person-years at 7-12, 13-24, and 25-36 months of age, respectively. Cumulative incidence rate was 15.15 per 100 persons by 36 months of age, respectively. Conclusions: Risk of EV71 infections in Taiwan increased after 6 months of age during EV71 epidemics. The cumulative incidence rate was 15% by 36 months of age, and 29% of EV71 infections were asymptomatic in young children. © 2012 Lee et al.

Chen C.-J.,Chang Gung Childrens Hospital | Chen C.-J.,Chang Gung University | Lin M.-H.,Chang Gung University | Shu J.-C.,Chang Gung University | Lu J.-J.,Chang Gung University
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Year: 2014

Objectives: Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA) and heterogeneous VISA (hVISA) phenotypes are increasingly reported in methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains of distinct genetic backgrounds. This study tracked genetic evolution during the development of vancomycin non-susceptibility in a prevalent Asian community-associated MRSA clone of sequence type (ST) 59. Methods: ST59 strains were consecutively isolated from a patient who failed chemotherapy for a septic knee over 15 months. The genetic mutations associated with the VISA phenotype were identified by whole-genome sequencing of two strains, which had the vancomycin-susceptible S. aureus (VSSA) and VISA phenotypes. The mutations were subsequently screened in other strains. By correlating the accumulated mutations with vancomycin susceptibility, genetic evolution was tracked at the whole-genome scale. Results: Nine non-synonymous mutations and two steps of genetic evolution were identified during the development of the VISA phenotype. The first step involved a nonsense mutation in agrC and point mutations at five other loci, which were associated with the VSSA-to-hVISA conversion. Mutations of rpoB and fusA following the use of rifampicin and fusidic acid were identified in the second step of evolution, which corresponded to the development of dual resistance to rifampicin and fusidic acid and the conversion of hVISA to VISA. Conclusions: In vivo genetic evolution of S. aureus occurred in stepwise order during the development of incremental vancomycin non-susceptibility and was related to the use of antimicrobial agents. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

Wan G.-H.,Chang Gung University | Yan D.-C.,Chang Gung Childrens Hospital | Yan D.-C.,Chang Gung University | Tung T.-H.,Cheng Hsin General Hospital | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Endotoxin, a component of the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria, is a contaminant in organic dusts (house dust) and aerosols. In humans, small amounts of endotoxin may cause a local inflammatory response. Exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) levels, an inflammation indicator, are associated with the pH values of exhaled breath condensate (EBC). This study evaluated seasonal changes on indoor endotoxin concentrations in homes and the relationships between endotoxin exposure and eNO/EBC pH levels for healthy children and children with allergy-related respiratory diseases. In total, 34 children with allergy-related respiratory diseases and 24 healthy children were enrolled. Indoor air quality measurements and dust sample analysis for endotoxin were conducted once each season inside 58 surveyed homes. The eNO, EBC pH levels, and pulmonary function of the children were also determined. The highest endotoxin concentrations were on kitchen floors of homes of children with allergy-related respiratory diseases and healthy children, and on bedroom floors of homes of asthmatic children and healthy children. Seasonal changes existed in endotoxin concentrations in dust samples from homes of children with allergic rhinitis, with or without asthma, and in EBC pH values among healthy children and those with allergy-related respiratory diseases. Strong relationships existed between endotoxin exposure and EBC pH values in children with allergic rhinitis. © 2013 Wan et al.

Kuo C.-F.,Chang Gung University | See L.-C.,Chang Gung University | Yu K.-H.,Chang Gung University | Chou I.-J.,Chang Gung Childrens Hospital | And 3 more authors.
British Journal of Dermatology | Year: 2011

Background Nationwide data on the epidemiology of dermatomyositis (DM) and polymyositis (PM) were limited. Objectives This study was to estimate the incidence, occurrence of cancer and mortality of DM and PM in Taiwan. Methods Both the register of critical illness of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dataset and the National Death Registry of Taiwan were used to calculate estimates of the incidence, cancer association, and mortality of DM and PM between 2003 and 2007. Results A total of 803 DM and 500 PM cases were identified between 2003 and 2007. Mean age at diagnosis was 44·0 ± 18·3 years for DM and 49·2 ± 15·9 years for PM. The overall annual incidences of DM and PM were 7·1 (95% CI 6·6-7·6) and 4·4 (95% CI 4·0-4·8) cases per million population. The incidence of both DM and PM increased with age and reached a peak at age 50-59 years. One hundred and eleven (13·8%) patients with DM and 31 (6·2%) patients with PM had cancers. The diagnosis of most cancers was made after the diagnoses of DM (n = 71; 64·0%) and PM (n = 21; 67·7%). Overall, the standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for cancer were 5·36 (4·12-6·87) and 1·80 (1·10-2·79) among patients with DM and PM; however, during the first year, SIRs for cancer were 24·55 (95% CI 18·62-31·79) and 9·17 (95% CI 14·82-15·93) in patients with DM and PM, respectively. The most common types of cancer were nasopharyngeal cancer for men and breast cancer for women. Patients with DM and PM had standardized mortality ratios of 7·68 (6·41-9·01) and 5·29 (4·28-6·48). Conclusion This study reports robust estimates of important aspects of the epidemiology of both DM and PM in Taiwan. This highlights the rarity of these diseases, and their associated cancer risks and increased mortality. © 2011 British Association of Dermatologists 2011.

Wang C.-H.,Chang Gung University | Chung F.-T.,Chang Gung University | Lin S.-M.,Chang Gung University | Huang S.-Y.,Chang Gung Memorial Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVES:: Severe H1N1 pneumonia with acute respiratory failure results in infiltration of lungs due to the presence of hyperactive immune cells. Rapamycin and corticosteroids inhibit this immune response by blocking the activation of T and B cells. DESIGN:: Open-label prospective randomized controlled trial. SETTING:: A tertiary medical center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, located in Taiwan. PATIENTS:: Between 2009 and 2011, of 4,012 H1N1-infected patients, 38 patients with severe H1N1 pneumonia and acute respiratory failure were enrolled. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: Thirty-eight patients with confirmed H1N1 pneumonia and on mechanical ventilatory support were randomized to receive adjuvant treatment of corticosteroids with an mTOR inhibitor, either with sirolimus (Rapamune 2 mg/d) (sirolimus group, n = 19) for 14 days or without sirolimus (nonsirolimus group, n = 19). The clinical values measured included PaO2/FIO2, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, duration of ventilatory support, and mortality. The baseline demography was similar between the two groups. After treatment, the PaO 2/FIO2 values on day 3 (167.5 [95% CI, 86.7-209.2 mm Hg], n = 19 vs 106.8 [95% CI, 73.0-140.7 mm Hg], n = 19; p = 0.025] and day 7 (241.6 [95% CI, 185.2-297.9 mm Hg], n = 19 vs 147.0 [95% CI, 100.7-193.7 mm Hg], n = 17; p = 0.008) in the sirolimus group were significantly better over the nonsirolimus group. Similarly, the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score on day 3 (4.3 [95% CI, 3.1-5.5]; p = 0.029) and day 7 (5.9 [95% CI, 4.8-6.9], n = 19 and 6.2 [95% CI, 4.7-7.8], n = 17, respectively) significantly improved in the sirolimus group. The liberation from a mechanical ventilator at 3 months was also better in the sirolimus combined with corticosteroids treatment. Similarly, the duration of ventilator use was significantly shorter in the sirolimus group (median, 7 vs 15 d; p = 0.03 by log-rank test). In the sirolimus combined with corticosteroids treatment group, a rapid clearance of virus also occurred after 7 days of treatment. CONCLUSIONS:: In patients with severe H1N1 pneumonia, early adjuvant treatment with corticosteroids and an mTOR inhibitor was associated with improvement in outcomes, such as hypoxia, multiple organ dysfunction, virus clearance, and shortened liberation of ventilator and ventilator days. © 2013 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott.

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