(1/2140) Association of simian virus 40 with a central nervous system lesion distinct from progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in macaques with AIDS.

The primate polyomavirus SV40 is known to cause interstitial nephritis in primary infections and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) upon reactivation of a latent infection in SIV-infected macaques. We now describe a second central nervous system manifestation of SV40: a meningoencephalitis affecting cerebral gray matter, without demyelination, distinct from PML. Meningoencephalitis appears also to be a primary manifestation of SV40 infection and can be seen in conjunction with SV40-induced interstitial nephritis and pneumonitis. The difference in the lesions of meningoencephalitis and PML does not appear to be due to cellular tropism, as both oligodendrocytes and astrocytes are infected in PML and meningoencephalitis, as determined by in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry for SV40 coupled with immunohistochemistry for cellular determinants. This is further supported by examination of SV40 nucleic acid sequences from the ori-enhancer and large-T-antigen regions, which reveals no tissue-or lesion-specific variation in SV40 sequences.  (+info)

(2/2140) Predominant immunoglobulin A response to phase II antigen of Coxiella burnetii in acute Q fever.

Diagnosis of acute Q fever is usually confirmed by serology, on the basis of anti-phase II antigen immunoglobulin M (IgM) titers of >/=1:50 and IgG titers of >/=1:200. Phase I antibodies, especially IgG and IgA, are predominant in chronic forms of the disease. However, between January 1982 and June 1998, we observed anti-phase II antigen IgA titers of >/=1:200 as the sole or main antibody response in 10 of 1,034 (0.96%) patients with acute Q fever for whom information was available. In order to determine whether specific epidemiological or clinical factors were associated with these serological profiles, we conducted a retrospective case-control study that included completion of a standardized questionnaire, which was given to 40 matched controls who also suffered from acute Q fever. The mean age of patients with elevated phase II IgA titers was significantly higher than that usually observed for patients with acute Q fever (P = 0.026); the patients were also more likely than controls to live in rural areas (P = 0.026) and to have increased levels of transaminase in blood (P = 0.03). Elevated IgA titers are usually associated with chronic Q fever and are directed mainly at phase I antigens. Although the significance of our findings is unexplained, we herein emphasize the fact that IgA antibodies are not specific for chronic forms of Q fever and that they may occasionally be observed in patients with acute disease. Moreover, as such antibody profiles may not be determined by most laboratories, which test only for total antibody titers to phase I and II antigens, the three isotype-specific Ig titers should be determined as the first step in diagnosing Q fever.  (+info)

(3/2140) Potential value of major antigenic protein 2 for serological diagnosis of heartwater and related ehrlichial infections.

Cowdria ruminantium is the etiologic agent of heartwater, a disease causing major economic loss in ruminants in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Development of a serodiagnostic test is essential for determining the carrier status of animals from regions where heartwater is endemic, but most available tests give false-positive reactions with sera against related Erhlichia species. Current approaches rely on molecular methods to define proteins and epitopes that may allow specific diagnosis. Two major antigenic proteins (MAPs), MAP1 and MAP2, have been examined for their use as antigens in the serodiagnosis of heartwater. The objectives of this study were (i) to determine if MAP2 is conserved among five geographically divergent strains of C. ruminantium and (ii) to determine if MAP2 homologs are present in Ehrlichia canis, the causative agent of canine ehrlichiosis, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the organism responsible for human monocytic ehrlichiosis. These two agents are closely related to C. ruminantium. The map2 gene from four strains of C. ruminantium was cloned, sequenced, and compared with the previously reported map2 gene from the Crystal Springs strain. Only 10 nucleic acid differences between the strains were identified, and they translate to only 3 amino acid changes, indicating that MAP2 is highly conserved. Genes encoding MAP2 homologs from E. canis and E. chaffeensis also were cloned and sequenced. Amino acid analysis of MAP2 homologs of E. chaffeensis and E. canis with MAP2 of C. ruminantium revealed 83.4 and 84.4% identities, respectively. Further analysis of MAP2 and its homologs revealed that the whole protein lacks specificity for heartwater diagnosis. The development of epitope-specific assays using this sequence information may produce diagnostic tests suitable for C. ruminantium and also other related rickettsiae.  (+info)

(4/2140) Human herpesviruses in chronic fatigue syndrome.

We have conducted a double-blind study to assess the possible involvement of the human herpesviruses (HHVs) HHV6, HHV7, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients compared to age-, race-, and gender-matched controls. The CFS patient population was composed of rigorously screened civilian and Persian Gulf War veterans meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's CFS case definition criteria. Healthy control civilian and veteran populations had no evidence of CFS or any other exclusionary medical or psychiatric condition. Patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed by PCR for the presence of these HHVs. Using two-tailed Fisher's exact test analyses, we were unable to ascertain any statistically significant differences between the CFS patient and control populations in terms of the detection of one or more of these viruses. This observation was upheld when the CFS populations were further stratified with regard to the presence or absence of major axis I psychopathology and patient self-reported gradual versus acute onset of disease. In tandem, we performed serological analyses of serum anti-EBV and anti-HHV6 antibody titers and found no significant differences between the CFS and control patients.  (+info)

(5/2140) Immunoglobulin subclass distribution and diagnostic value of Leishmania donovani antigen-specific immunoglobulin G3 in Indian kala-azar patients.

Visceral leishmaniasis, or kala-azar, a fatal tropical disease, remains problematic, as early diagnosis is difficult and treatment often results in drug resistance and relapse. We have developed a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), using leishmanial membrane antigenic extracts (LAg) to detect specific antibody responses in 25 untreated Indian visceral leishmaniasis patients. To investigate the pathogenetic significance of isotype markers in kala-azar, relative levels of specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, IgA, IgE, and IgG subclasses were analyzed under clinically established diseased conditions. Since LAg showed higher sensitivity for specific IgG than lysate, the immunoglobulin isotype responses were evaluated, with LAg as antigen. Compared to 60 controls, which included patients with malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, and typhoid and healthy subjects, visceral leishmaniasis patients showed significantly higher IgG (100% sensitivity, 85% specificity), IgM (48% sensitivity, 100% specificity), and IgE (44% sensitivity, 98.3% specificity) responses. Low levels of IgA in visceral leishmaniasis patients contrasted with a 13-fold-higher reactivity in sera from patients with leprosy. Among IgG subclasses, IgG1, -3, and -4 responses were significantly higher in visceral leishmaniasis patients than in the controls. IgG2 response, however, was significantly higher (twofold) in leprosy than even visceral leishmaniasis patients. The rank orders for sensitivity (IgG = IgG1 = IgG3 = IgG4 > IgG2 > IgM > IgE > IgA) and specificity (IgM = IgG3 > IgE > IgG4 > IgG2 > IgG > IgG1 > IgA) for LAg-specific antibody responses suggest the potentiality of IgG3 as a diagnostic marker for visceral leishmaniasis.  (+info)

(6/2140) Performance of competitive and indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, gel immunoprecipitation with native hapten polysaccharide, and standard serological tests in diagnosis of sheep brucellosis.

Competitive and standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), rose bengal (RB), complement fixation, and agar gel immunoprecipitation with native hapten (AGID-NH) were compared by using sera from Brucella-free, Brucella melitensis-infected, and B. melitensis Rev1-vaccinated sheep. The most sensitive tests were indirect ELISA and RB, and the most specific tests were AGID-NH and competitive ELISA. We show that RB followed by AGID-NH is a simple and effective system for diagnosing sheep brucellosis.  (+info)

(7/2140) Evaluation of two-test serodiagnostic method for early Lyme disease in clinical practice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a two-test approach for the serodiagnosis of Lyme disease (LD), with EIA testing followed by Western immunoblotting (WB) of EIA-equivocal and -positive specimens. This approach was compared with a simplified two-test approach (WB of EIA equivocals only) and WB alone for early LD. Case-patients with erythema migrans (EM) rash >/=5 cm were recruited from three primary-care practices in LD-endemic areas to provide acute- (S1) and convalescent-phase serum specimens (S2). The simplified approach had the highest sensitivity when either S1 or S2 samples were tested, nearly doubling when S2 were tested, while decreasing slightly for the other two approaches. Accordingly, the simplified approach had the lowest negative likelihood ratio for either S1 or S2. For early LD with EM, the simplified approach performed well and was less costly than the other testing approaches since less WB is required.  (+info)

(8/2140) A reanalysis of IgM Western blot criteria for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease.

A two-step approach for diagnosis of Lyme disease, consisting of an initial EIA followed by a confirmatory Western immunoblot, has been advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, these criteria do not examine the influence of the prior probability of Lyme disease in a given patient on the predictive value of the tests. By using Bayesian analysis, a mathematical algorithm is proposed that computes the probability that a given patient's Western blot result represents Lyme disease. Assuming prior probabilities of early Lyme disease of 1%-10%, the current CDC minimum criteria for IgM immunoblot interpretation yield posttest probabilities of 4%-32%. The value of the two-step approach for diagnosis of early Lyme disease may be limited in populations at lower risk of disease or when patients present with atypical signs and symptoms.  (+info)