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Limmathurotsakul D.,Mahidol University | Dance D.A.B.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | Dance D.A.B.,University of Oxford | Wuthiekanun V.,Mahidol University | And 16 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Burkholderia pseudomallei, a Tier 1 Select Agent and the cause of melioidosis, is a Gram-negative bacillus present in the environment in many tropical countries. Defining the global pattern of B. pseudomallei distribution underpins efforts to prevent infection, and is dependent upon robust environmental sampling methodology. Our objective was to review the literature on the detection of environmental B. pseudomallei, update the risk map for melioidosis, and propose international consensus guidelines for soil sampling. Methods/Principal Findings: An international working party (Detection of Environmental Burkholderia pseudomallei Working Party (DEBWorP)) was formed during the VIth World Melioidosis Congress in 2010. PubMed (January 1912 to December 2011) was searched using the following MeSH terms: pseudomallei or melioidosis. Bibliographies were hand-searched for secondary references. The reported geographical distribution of B. pseudomallei in the environment was mapped and categorized as definite, probable, or possible. The methodology used for detecting environmental B. pseudomallei was extracted and collated. We found that global coverage was patchy, with a lack of studies in many areas where melioidosis is suspected to occur. The sampling strategies and bacterial identification methods used were highly variable, and not all were robust. We developed consensus guidelines with the goals of reducing the probability of false-negative results, and the provision of affordable and 'low-tech' methodology that is applicable in both developed and developing countries. Conclusions/Significance: The proposed consensus guidelines provide the basis for the development of an accurate and comprehensive global map of environmental B. pseudomallei. © 2013 Limmathurotsakul et al.


Slesak G.,SFE Medical Project | Inthalad S.,SFE Medical Project | Inthalad S.,Luang Namtha Provincial Hospital | Strobel M.,Institute Of La Francophonie Pour La Medecine Tropicale | And 4 more authors.
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic mycotic infection, most common in the tropics and subtropics, following traumatic fungal implantation.Case presentation: A 72 year-old farmer was admitted to Luang Namtha Provincial Hospital, northern Laos, with a growth on the left lower leg which began 1 week after a forefoot leech bite 10 years previously. He presented with a cauliflower-like mass and plaque-like lesions on his lower leg/foot and cellulitis with a purulent tender swelling of his left heel. Twenty-two Chrysomya bezziana larvae were extracted from his heel. PCR of a biopsy of a left lower leg nodule demonstrated Fonsecaea pedrosoi, monophora, or F. nubica. He was successfully treated with long term terbinafin plus itraconazole pulse-therapy and local debridement.Conclusions: Chromoblastomycosis is reported for the first time from Laos. It carries the danger of bacterial and myiasis superinfection. Leech bites may facilitate infection. © 2011 Slesak et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Cheeseman I.H.,The Texas Institute | Miller B.A.,University of Notre Dame | Nair S.,The Texas Institute | Nkhoma S.,The Texas Institute | And 28 more authors.
Science | Year: 2012

Evolving resistance to artemisinin-based compounds threatens to derail attempts to control malaria. Resistance has been confirmed in western Cambodia and has recently emerged in western Thailand, but is absent from neighboring Laos. Artemisinin resistance results in reduced parasite clearance rates (CRs) after treatment. We used a two-phase strategy to identify genome region(s) underlying this ongoing selective event. Geographical differentiation and haplotype structure at 6969 polymorphic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 91 parasites from Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos identified 33 genome regions under strong selection. We screened SNPs and microsatellites within these regions in 715 parasites from Thailand, identifying a selective sweep on chromosome 13 that shows strong association (P = 10-6 to 10 -12) with slow CRs, illustrating the efficacy of targeted association for identifying the genetic basis of adaptive traits.


Vongphayloth K.,Institute Of La Francophonie Pour La Medecine Tropicale | Rattanavong S.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | Moore C.E.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | Moore C.E.,University of Oxford | And 8 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2012

The causal agent of melioidosis, Burkholderia pseudomallei, has been cultured from paddy fields in the Lao PDR. We carried out a pilot study to examine the relationship between bacterial soil contamination and that of nearby surface waters in Saravane Province. Soil sampling was conducted at a depth of 30 cm (100 holes in a 45 x 45 m grid) at two sites, East and West Saravane. Moore's swabs were used for water sampling of paddy fields, lakes, rivers, boreholes, and storage tanks within 2 km of the two soil sampling sites. B. pseudomallei from soil and water were cultured on Ashdown's agar. Thirty-six percent and 6% of water samples collected around East and West Saravane, respectively, were culture positive for B. pseudomallei. Low pH and high turbidity were independently associated with culture of B. pseudomallei. Most positive water samples were from the Sedone River, downstream of the East Saravane site. Moore's swabs are simple and inexpensive tools for detecting B. pseudomallei in surface waters. Copyright © 2012 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Rattanavong S.,Institute Of La Francophonie Pour La Medecine Tropicale | Rattanavong S.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | Wuthiekanun V.,Mahidol University | Langla S.,Mahidol University | And 10 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Melioidosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Southeast Asia, where the causative organism (Burkholderia pseudomallei) is present in the soil. In the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos), B. pseudomallei is a significant cause of sepsis around the capital, Vientiane, and has been isolated in soil near the city, adjacent to the Mekong River. We explored whether B. pseudomallei occurs in Lao soil distant from the Mekong River, drawing three axes across northwest, northeast, and southern Laos to create nine sampling areas in six provinces. Within each sampling area, a random rice field site containing a grid of 100 sampling points each 5 m apart was selected. Soil was obtained from a depth of 30 cm and cultured for B. pseudomallei. Four of nine sites (44%) were positive for B. pseudomallei, including all three sites in Saravane Province, southern Laos. The highest isolation frequency was in east Saravane, where 94% of soil samples were B. pseudomallei positive with a geometric mean concentration of 464 CFU/g soil (95% confidence interval, 372 to 579 CFU/g soil; range, 25 to 10,850 CFU/g soil). At one site in northwest Laos (Luangnamtha), only one sample (1%) was positive for B. pseudomallei, at a concentration of 80 CFU/g soil. Therefore, B. pseudomallei occurs in Lao soils beyond the immediate vicinity of the Mekong River, alerting physicians to the likelihood of melioidosis in these areas. Further studies are needed to investigate potential climatic, soil, and biological determinants of this heterogeneity. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.


Tantibhedhyangkul W.,IRD Montpellier | Angelakis E.,IRD Montpellier | Tongyoo N.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | Newton P.N.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents | Year: 2010

Scrub typhus is a public health concern for a population of over a billion humans, with an estimated incidence of one million cases/year in endemic areas. Although doxycycline remains the standard therapy, fluoroquinolones have been used successfully in a few patients. However, there is also clinical evidence that fluoroquinolones are ineffective in the treatment of scrub typhus. To clarify this matter, we determined the in vitro susceptibility of Orientia tsutsugamushi strain Kato to ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin and sequenced the quinolone resistance-determining region (QRDR) of the gyrA gene, the target of fluoroquinolones, of 18 fresh isolates from the Lao PDR. Orientia tsutsugamushi strain Kato was resistant to ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin in vitro (minimum inhibitory concentration = 8 μg/mL). All sequences obtained, including those from the two available genomes of O. tsutsugamushi (strains Boryong and Ikeda), had a Ser83Leu mutation in their QRDR domain that is known to be associated with fluoroquinolone resistance. These findings re-emphasise the usefulness of in silico analysis for the prediction of antibiotic resistance and suggest that fluoroquinolones should not be used in the treatment of scrub typhus. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy.


Kinkel H.-F.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Kinkel H.-F.,University of Pretoria | Dittrich S.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Dittrich S.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | And 4 more authors.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2012

The diagnosis of schistosomiasis in individuals from countries where the disease is not endemic is challenging, and few data are available on the accuracy of serological diagnosis in those patients. We evaluated the performance of eight serological assays, including four commercial kits, in the diagnosis of imported schistosomiasis in individuals from areas where the disease is not endemic, including six enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays using three different antigens, an indirect hemagglutination assay, and an indirect immunofluorescent-antibody test. To analyze the assays, we used a total of 141 serum samples, with 121 derived from patients with various parasitic infections (among which were 37 cases of schistosomiasis) and 20 taken from healthy volunteers. The sensitivity values for detection of schistosomiasis cases ranged from 41% to 78% and were higher for Schistosoma mansoni than for S. haematobium infections. Specificity values ranged from 76% to 100%; false-positive results were most frequent for samples from patients with cestode infections. By combining two or more tests, sensitivity improved markedly and specificity decreased only moderately. Serological tests are useful instruments for diagnosing imported schistosomiasis in countries where the disease is not endemic, but due to limitations in test sensitivities, we recommend the use of two or more assays in parallel. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Paris D.H.,Mahidol University | Paris D.H.,Churchill Hospital | Phetsouvanh R.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | Tanganuchitcharnchai A.,Mahidol University | And 12 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2012

Scrub typhus is a common and underdiagnosed cause of febrile illness in Southeast Asia, caused by infection with Orientia tsutsugamushi. Inoculation of the organism at a cutaneous mite bite site commonly results in formation of a localized pathological skin reaction termed an eschar. The site of development of the obligate intracellular bacteria within the eschar and the mechanisms of dissemination to cause systemic infection are unclear. Previous postmortem and in vitro reports demonstrated infection of endothelial cells, but recent pathophysiological investigations of typhus patients using surrogate markers of endothelial cell and leucocyte activation indicated a more prevalent host leucocyte than endothelial cell response in vivo. We therefore examined eschar skin biopsies from patients with scrub typhus to determine and characterize the phenotypes of host cells in vivo with intracellular infection by O. tsutsugamushi, using histology, immunohistochemistry, double immunofluorescence confocal laser scanning microscopy and electron microscopy. Immunophenotyping of host leucocytes infected with O. tsutsugamushi showed a tropism for host monocytes and dendritic cells, which were spatially related to different histological zones of the eschar. Infected leucocyte subsets were characterized by expression of HLADR+, with an "inflammatory" monocyte phenotype of CD14/LSP-1/CD68 positive or dendritic cell phenotype of CD1a/DCSIGN/S100/FXIIIa and CD163 positive staining, or occasional CD3 positive T-cells. Endothelial cell infection was rare, and histology did not indicate a widespread inflammatory vasculitis as the cause of the eschar. Infection of dendritic cells and activated inflammatory monocytes offers a potential route for dissemination of O. tsutsugamushi from the initial eschar site. This newly described cellular tropism for O. tsutsugamushi may influence its interaction with local host immune responses. © 2012 Paris et al.


Paris D.H.,Mahidol University | Paris D.H.,Churchill Hospital | Chansamouth V.,Wellcome Trust Mahosot Hospital Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration | Nawtaisong P.,Mahidol University | And 13 more authors.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2012

Scrub typhus (caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi) and murine typhus (caused by Rickettsia typhi) cause up to 28% of febrile episodes in Thailand and Laos. The current understanding of coagulation and inflammation in the pathogenesis of these clinically very similar vasculotropic diseases is limited. This study compared human in vivo changes in 15 coagulation, inflammation and endothelial activation markers in prospectively collected admission and follow-up samples of 121 patients (55 scrub typhus, 55 murine typhus, and 11 typhus-like illness) and 51 healthy controls from Laos. As compared with controls, all but one of the markers assessed were significantly affected in typhus patients; however, the activation patterns differed significantly between scrub and murine typhus patients. The levels of markers of coagulation activation and all inflammatory cytokines, except for interleukin-12, were significantly higher in patients with scrub typhus than in those with murine typhus. In patients with murine typhus, however, the levels of endothelium-derived markers were significantly higher. Anticoagulant factors were inhibited in both typhus patient groups. This is the first study demonstrating that, in scrub typhus, in vivo coagulation activation is prominent and is related to a strong proinflammatory response, whereas in murine typhus, changes in coagulant and fibrinolytic pathways are suggestive of endothelial cell perturbation. These data suggest that, although late-stage endothelial infection is common in both diseases, the in vivo pathogenic mechanisms of R. typhi and O. tsutsugamushi could differ in the early phase of infection and may contribute to disease differentiation. © 2011 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.


Koh G.C.K.W.,Mahidol University | Koh G.C.K.W.,University of Amsterdam | Koh G.C.K.W.,University of Cambridge | Maude R.J.,Mahidol University | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2010

Scrub typhus is transmitted by trombiculid mites and is endemic to East and Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. The clinical syndrome classically consists of a fever, rash, and eschar, but scrub typhus also commonly presents as an undifferentiated fever that requires laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis, usually by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) assay. We discuss the limitations of IFA, debate the value of other methods based on antigen detection and nucleic acid amplification, and outline recommendations for future study. Copyright © 2010 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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