Emergence of vancomycin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. Glycopeptide-Intermediate Staphylococcus aureus Working Group.
BACKGROUND: Since the emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the glycopeptide vancomycin has been the only uniformly effective treatment for staphylococcal infections. In 1997, two infections due to S. aureus with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin were identified in the United States. METHODS: We investigated the two patients with infections due to S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides, as defined by a minimal inhibitory concentration of vancomycin of 8 to 16 microg per milliliter. To assess the carriage and transmission of these strains of S. aureus, we cultured samples from the patients and their contacts and evaluated the isolates. RESULTS: The first patient was a 59-year-old man in Michigan with diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure. Peritonitis due to S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides developed after 18 weeks of vancomycin treatment for recurrent methicillin-resistant S. aureus peritonitis associated with dialysis. The removal of the peritoneal catheter plus treatment with rifampin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole eradicated the infection. The second patient was a 66-year-old man with diabetes in New Jersey. A bloodstream infection due to S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides developed after 18 weeks of vancomycin treatment for recurrent methicillin-resistant S. aureus bacteremia. This infection was eradicated with vancomycin, gentamicin, and rifampin. Both patients died. The glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus isolates differed by two bands on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. On electron microscopy, the isolates from the infected patients had thicker extracellular matrixes than control methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates. No carriage was documented among 177 contacts of the two patients. CONCLUSIONS: The emergence of S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides emphasizes the importance of the prudent use of antibiotics, the laboratory capacity to identify resistant strains, and the use of infection-control precautions to prevent transmission. (+info
Toxicological findings in a fatal ingestion of methamphetamine.
This paper presents the case history of a fatality caused by the complications brought about by the presence of methamphetamine and ethanol. Drug concentrations are reported from samples obtained approximately 15 min after the subject was last observed to be chewing what was then believed to be gum, 3 h after the initial toxic symptoms were displayed, 6, 11, and 22 h later. The subjects conditions deteriorated over the course of this time, and he was declared dead 33 h after the initial display of toxic symptoms. The toxicological findings and concentration levels of the reported biological specimens concurred with the expected findings in a case of methamphetamine toxicity. (+info
Fatal Serratia marcescens meningitis and myocarditis in a patient with an indwelling urinary catheter.
Serratia marcescens is commonly isolated from the urine of patients with an indwelling urinary catheter and in the absence of symptoms is often regarded as a contaminant. A case of fatal Serratia marcescens septicaemia with meningitis, brain abscesses, and myocarditis discovered at necropsy is described. The patient was an 83 year old man with an indwelling urinary catheter who suffered from several chronic medical conditions and from whose urine Serratia marcescens was isolated at the time of catheterisation. Serratia marcescens can be a virulent pathogen in particular groups of patients and when assessing its significance in catheter urine specimens, consideration should be given to recognised risk factors such as old age, previous antibiotic treatment, and underlying chronic or debilitating disease, even in the absence of clinical symptoms. (+info
Wasting of the small hand muscles in upper and mid-cervical cord lesions.
Four patients are described with destructive rheumatoid arthritis of the cervical spine and neurogenic wasting of forearm and hand muscles. The pathological connection is not immediately obvious, but a relationship between these two observations is described here with clinical, radiological, electrophysiological and necropsy findings. Compression of the anterior spinal artery at upper and mid-cervical levels is demonstrated to be the likely cause of changes lower in the spinal cord. These are shown to be due to the resulting ischaemia of the anterior part of the lower cervical spinal cord, with degeneration of the neurones innervating the forearm and hand muscles. These findings favour external compression of the anterior spinal artery leading to ischaemia in a watershed area as the likeliest explanation for this otherwise inappropriate and bizarre phenomenon. (+info
Poor outcome of autologous stem cell transplantation for adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma: a case report and review of the literature.
A limited number of patients with adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) who received autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) have been reported. We report here a case of fatal systemic Candida krusei infection in a female patient with ATL undergoing ASCT. All of the eight patients (including seven patients in the literature) with ATL who received ASCT developed relapse of ATL or death due to ASCT complication, irrespective of subtype or remission state of ATL, source or selection of SCT or conditioning regimen. At present, ASCT appears to provide little benefit for ATL in contrast to that for other types of aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. (+info
Fatal familial insomnia: a new Austrian family.
We present clinical, pathological and molecular features of the first Austrian family with fatal familial insomnia. Detailed clinical data are available in five patients and autopsy in four patients. Age at onset of disease ranged between 20 and 60 years, and disease duration between 8 and 20 months. Severe loss of weight was an early symptom in all five patients. Four patients developed insomnia and/or autonomic dysfunction, and all five patients developed motor abnormalities. Analysis of the prion protein (PrP) gene revealed the codon 178 point mutation and methionine homozygosity at position 129. In all brains, neuropathology showed widespread cortical astrogliosis, widespread brainstem nuclei and tract degeneration, and olivary 'pseudohypertrophy' with vacuolated neurons, in addition to neuropathological features described previously, such as thalamic and olivary degeneration. Western blotting of one brain and immunocytochemistry in four brains revealed quantitative and regional dissociation between PrP(res)(the protease resistant form of PrP) deposition and histopathology. In the cerebellar cortex of one patient, PrP(res) deposits were prominent in the molecular layer and displayed a peculiar patchy and strip-like pattern with perpendicular orientation to the surface. In another patient, a single vacuolated neuron in the inferior olivary nuclei contained prominent intravacuolar granular PrP(res) deposits, resembling changes of brainstem neurons in bovine spongiform encephalopathy. (+info
Early diagnosis of central nervous system aspergillosis with combination use of cerebral diffusion-weighted echo-planar magnetic resonance image and polymerase chain reaction of cerebrospinal fluid.
We treated a patient diagnosed as central nervous system (CNS) aspergillosis with the combined use of cerebral diffusion-weighted echo-planar magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) and polymerase chain reaction of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF-PCR). DWI, a cutting-edge imaging modality to reveal the earliest changes of cerebral infarction, detected cerebral fungal embolization when the conventional computed tomographic scan and magnetic resonance imaging failed to reveal it. CSF-PCR demonstrated the presence of Aspergillus-specific DNA in the specimen, when the conventional examination and culture of CSF were nonspecific or negative. These diagnostic methods could be useful in the early diagnosis of CNS aspergillosis. (+info
Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma with metastasis to the pituitary gland: a case report.
An unusual case of metastatic bronchioloalveolar carcinoma of the lung presented as a pituitary tumour in a young adult Chinese female, who subsequently died after having undergone trans-sphenoidal resection. Metastatic cancers of the pituitary are uncommon even in necropsy series and rarely give rise to clinical symptoms. This case draws attention to the fact that, although uncommon, pituitary metastases have been noted with increasing frequency and their distinction from primary pituitary tumours is often difficult. A metastatic pituitary tumour may be the initial presentation of an unknown primary malignancy, wherein the metastatic deposits may also be limited to the pituitary gland. Clinicians and pathologists alike should consider a metastatic lesion in the differential diagnosis of a non-functioning pituitary tumour. (+info