(1/580) The flesh-eating bacterium: what's next?

Since the 1980s, there has been a marked increase in the recognition and reporting of highly invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) infections associated with shock and organ failure, with or without necrotizing fasciitis. Such dramatic cases have been defined as streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (StrepTSS). Strains of GAS isolated from patients with invasive disease have been predominantly M types 1 and 3, which produce either pyrogenic exotoxin A or B or both. The clinical and demographic features of streptococcal bacteremia, myositis, and necrotizing fasciitis are presented and compared with those of StrepTSS. Current concepts in the pathogenesis of invasive streptococcal infection will be presented, with emphasis on the interaction between GAS virulence factors and host defense mechanisms. Finally, new concepts in the treatment of StrepTSS will be discussed.  (+info)

(2/580) Biodistribution, radiation dosimetry and pharmacokinetics of 111In-antimyosin in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies.

In view of the established role of 111In-antimyosin in the detection of heart muscle pathology, radiation dose estimates were made for this substance. Biodistribution and biokinetic data were obtained from our studies, which failed to show abnormal uptake of 111In-antimyosin in localized sites of skeletal muscle involvement in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. METHODS: After intravenous administration of 74 MBq (2 mCi) 111In-antimyosin, gamma camera scintigraphy was performed in 12 adult patients with inflammatory muscle disease and in 2 control patients. Six whole-body scans were performed over 72 h, and uptake of 111In-antimyosin in organs was quantified using an attenuation-corrected conjugate counting method. Residence times in source organs were used with MIRDOSE software to obtain radiation dose estimates. Pharmacokinetic parameters were derived from serial whole-blood and plasma 111In concentrations. RESULTS: The tracer cleared slowly from the circulation, and highest organ uptakes were found in the marrow and liver; kidneys showed the highest concentrations. Uptake was also evident in spleen, the facial image and male genitalia. CONCLUSION: For a typical administered activity of 74 MBq 111In-antimyosin, the kidneys receive the highest dose (58 mSv), and the effective dose is 11 mSv. Radioactivity was cleared from plasma at an average rate of 136 mL/h, and the mean steady-state distribution was approximately 5 L plasma.  (+info)

(3/580) Polymyositis with biological false-positive serological test for syphilis. A case report.

A young female came to the clinic with polymyositis and a biological false-positive serological test for syphilis (BFP reaction). Polymyositis, like other connective-tissue diseases, should be considered in the study of BFP reactors.  (+info)

(4/580) Autoantibodies in primary Sjogren's syndrome are directed against proteasomal subunits of the alpha and beta type.

OBJECTIVE: The proteasome subunit HC9 (alpha3) has recently been identified as a major target of the humoral autoimmune response in patients with autoimmune myositis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Since B cell hyperreactivity is a common feature of systemic autoimmune diseases, patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (SS) and other control groups were investigated to evaluate the significance of autoantibodies against the proteasome. METHODS: Analyses of autoantibodies directed against the 20S proteasome were performed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoblot, and 2-dimensional electrophoresis. Forty-three patients with primary SS, 47 patients with rheumatoid arthritis including 9 with secondary SS, 19 patients with gastrointestinal tumors, and 80 healthy controls were tested for antiproteasome antibodies. RESULTS: Antiproteasome antibodies were detected in 39% of patients (17 of 43) with primary SS. In contrast, only 1 of 47 patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed positive reactivity (P < 0.001). Serum samples from 19 tumor patients (P < 0.003) and 80 healthy controls (P < 0.001) were serologically negative. Moreover, immunoblotting and 2-dimensional analysis of the antiproteasome response revealed a polyspecific recognition pattern in 7 patients with primary SS. Different proteasomal subunits of the alpha and beta type, including subunits that carried the proteolytic active sites, were recognized by the patients' sera. CONCLUSION: The humoral antiproteasome response in primary SS, in contrast to its secondary form, is characterized by an extensive recognition pattern of several subunits, indicating a polyspecific B cell activation against the 20S proteasome. Moreover, proteolytically active beta-type subunits, which are important for the generation of major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted antigens, appear to be targets of the autoimmune response. The data indicate that the proteasome itself may stand on a cross point of pathways that links mechanisms of the immune defense with features of systemic autoimmunity.  (+info)

(5/580) Clinical and laboratory manifestations of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) in Black South Africans.

A retrospective study of systemic sclerosis (SSc) in Blacks attending a tertiary hospital on the Witwatersrand, South Africa, was undertaken. The female:male ratio of the 63 patients was 4.6:1 and the mean age of onset of SSc was 36.1 yr. Four of the 11 males were ex-goldminers and nine females resided close to goldmines. Forty-one patients had diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc), 18 had limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc) and four were unclassified. Overall, 56% had pulmonary fibrosis, 37% had myositis and 98% were antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive, with a notable absence of anti-centromere antibodies. Subset comparisons showed myositis and a reduced forced vital capacity to be significantly more common with dcSSc than lcSSc. The only significant sex differences were that arthralgia/arthritis was more common in women, while calcinosis occurred more frequently in men. Seven of the eight known deaths occurred in patients with dcSSc. These findings, particularly the age of disease onset, predominance of the dcSSc subset, inflammatory features of myositis and a raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and absence of anti-centromere antibodies, are similar to those reported previously in African-Americans.  (+info)

(6/580) Inosine and N1-methylinosine within a synthetic oligomer mimicking the anticodon loop of human tRNA(Ala) are major epitopes for anti-PL-12 myositis autoantibodies.

Sera of some patients afflicted with the inflammatory disease myositis contain antibodies of the anti-PL-12 type. A fraction of these polyclonal autoantibodies specifically precipitates the fully matured human tRNA(Ala) bearing the anticodon IGC (PL-12 antigen). Earlier work (Bunn & Mathews, 1987, Science 238:116-119) had shown that the epitopes are located entirely within the anticodon stem-loop of the tRNA(Ala). Here we demonstrate that human anti-tRNA(Ala) autoantibodies immunoprecipitate a synthetic polyribonucleotide containing inosine (I) and N1-methylinosine (m1I) separated by 2 nt as in the anticodon stem-loop of human tRNA(Ala). The shortest polyribonucleotide that can be immunoprecipitated corresponds to the pentanucleotide IpGpCpm1IpUp, which corresponds to part of the anticodon loop of human tRNA(Ala) and lacks the stem-loop structure. The efficiency of immunoprecipitation was about four times greater with longer polyribonucleotides capable of forming a stem-loop structure, and was abolished by altering the relative positions of I and m1I within the synthetic polynucleotide. Synthetic oligodeoxyribonucleotide analogs of the tRNA(Ala) stem-loop, containing the sequence dIpdGdCdm1Ip, are not antigenic. Our results show that human anti-tRNA(Ala) autoantibodies selectively recognize chemical details of modified nucleotides (the 6-keto group of inosine-34 and the 6-keto group and the N1-methyl groups of N1-methylinosine-37) within an anticodon loop structure of a tRNA molecule. We also describe the chemical synthesis of the phosphoramidite derivatives corresponding to N1-methylinosine and N1-methyl-2'-deoxyinosine for use in the automatic chemical synthesis of oligonucleotides containing N1-methylinosine and N1-methyl-2'-deoxyinosine.  (+info)

(7/580) Staging of the baboon response to group A streptococci administered intramuscularly: a descriptive study of the clinical symptoms and clinical chemical response patterns.

Group A streptococcal infections, ranging from necrotizing fasciitis and myositis to toxic shock syndrome, have increased over the last 10 years. We developed the first primate model of necrotizing fasciitis and myositis. Thirteen baboons were inoculated intramuscularly with group A streptococci (GAS). Eleven animals survived for > or = 11 days before sacrifice, and two animals died within 2 days. The site of inoculation of the survivors exhibited an intense neutrophilic influx (stage I), followed by a lymphoplasmacytic influx (stages II and III). This was accompanied by the appearance of markers of an acute and then a chronic systemic inflammatory response. In contrast, the site of inoculation of the two nonsurvivors exhibited intravascular aggregates of neutrophils at its margin with no influx of neutrophils and with extensive bacterial colonization. We conclude that GAS inoculation induces a local and systemic acute neutrophilia followed by a chronic lymphoplasmacytic response; failure, initially, of neutrophilic influx into the site of inoculation predisposes to systemic GAS sepsis and death; and this three-stage primate model approximates the human disease.  (+info)

(8/580) Pentazocine-induced fibromyositis and contracture.

We report a case of myopathy, accompanied by widespread contractures predominantly involving the elbow and knee joints, following long-standing pentazocine abuse.  (+info)