Antibiotic strategies for developing countries: experience with acute respiratory tract infections in Pakistan.
The Pakistan program for control of acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) adopted the standard ARI-case-management strategy of the World Health Organization and recommended co-trimoxazole for the management of nonsevere pneumonia. Reports in that country of high in vitro antimicrobial resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae to co-trimoxazole prompted the program to reevaluate its treatment policy. Two community-based studies during 1991-1993 showed in vivo efficacy of co-trimoxazole in 92% and 91% of children with nonsevere pneumonia. A third double-blind trial showed co-trimoxazole and oral amoxicillin to be equally effective in vivo in cases of nonsevere pneumonia, despite high in vitro resistance. Country-wide surveillance from 1991 to 1994 revealed 78.3%-79.9% in vitro resistance to co-trimoxazole among S. pneumoniae isolates and 59.5%-61.0% among H. influenzae isolates. Co-trimoxazole is still recommended by the Pakistan ARI control program. The fact that amoxicillin is three times more expensive and must be administered more frequently is a big impediment to recommending it as a first-line drug for nonsevere pneumonia. (+info)
Since the 1988 World Health Assembly resolution to eradicate poliomyelitis by 2000, polio cases reported globally have decreased by approximately 85%. Despite a strong commitment to polio eradication, polio remains endemic in Pakistan. In 1997, Pakistan reported 1147 polio cases, representing widespread poliovirus circulation nationally and constituting 22% of cases reported worldwide. However, surveillance and laboratory data from 1998 indicate that previous widespread poliovirus circulation was geographically localized for the first time. This report describes polio eradication activities in Pakistan, including the impact of routine and supplementary vaccination on polio incidence. (+info)
Molecular analysis of the ERGIC-53 gene in 35 families with combined factor V-factor VIII deficiency.
Combined factor V-factor VIII deficiency (F5F8D) is a rare, autosomal recessive coagulation disorder in which the levels of both coagulation factors V and VIII are diminished. The F5F8D locus was previously mapped to a 1-cM interval on chromosome 18q21. Mutations in a candidate gene in this region, ERGIC-53, were recently found to be associated with the coagulation defect in nine Jewish families. We performed single-strand conformation and sequence analysis of the ERGIC-53 gene in 35 F5F8D families of different ethnic origins. We identified 13 distinct mutations accounting for 52 of 70 mutant alleles. These were 3 splice site mutations, 6 insertions and deletions resulting in translational frameshifts, 3 nonsense codons, and elimination of the translation initiation codon. These mutations are predicted to result in synthesis of either a truncated protein product or no protein at all. This study revealed that F5F8D shows extensive allelic heterogeneity and all ERGIC-53 mutations resulting in F5F8D are "null." Approximately 26% of the mutations have not been identified, suggesting that lesions in regulatory elements or severe abnormalities within the introns may be responsible for the disease in these individuals. In two such families, ERGIC-53 protein was detectable at normal levels in patients' lymphocytes, raising the further possibility of defects at other genetic loci. (+info)
Cardiovascular disease risk factors in 2 distinct ethnic groups: Indian and Pakistani compared with American premenopausal women.
BACKGROUND: Although people from the Indian subcontinent have high rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD), studies of such in Indian and Pakistani women living in the United States are lacking. OBJECTIVE: This study accounted for variability in serum lipid (total cholesterol and triacylglycerol) and lipoprotein [LDL cholesterol, lipoprotein(a), and HDL cholesterol] concentrations in Indian and Pakistani compared with American premenopausal women in the United States. Body composition, regional fat distribution, dietary intake, and energy expenditure were compared between groups. DESIGN: The 2 groups were 47 Indian and Pakistani and 47 American women. Health was assessed via medical history, physical activity, body composition (via anthropometry and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), dietary intake (via 7-d food records), and serum lipids. RESULTS: Serum total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, LDL cholesterol, lipoprotein(a), the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, and the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol were greater (P <0.03), whereas HDL-cholesterol values were lower (P = 0.011) in Indians and Pakistanis than in Americans. Multiple regression analysis indicated that approximately 18% of the variance in total cholesterol (P = 0.0010) and LDL cholesterol (P = 0.0009) was accounted for by ethnicity, energy expenditure, and the ratio of the sum of central to the sum of peripheral skinfold thicknesses. Ethnicity, sum of central skinfold thicknesses, ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat intake accounted for approximately 43% of the variance in triacylglycerol concentration (P < 0.0001). Monounsaturated fat, percentage body fat, and alcohol intake accounted for approximately 26% of variance in HDL cholesterol. Ethnicity contributed approximately 22% of the 25% overall variance in lipoprotein(a). CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that these Indian and Pakistani women are at higher CVD risk than their American counterparts, but that increasing their physical activity is likely to decrease overall and regional adiposity, thereby improving their serum lipid profiles. (+info)
Aneurysm surgery in Pakistan.
The purpose of this study was to find out the incidence and outcome of aneurysms being operated in Pakistan. The data was collected from various neurosurgical centers in Pakistan where facilities for aneurysm surgery are available. The population of Pakistan is 130 million, with 28 neurosurgical centers in the country but only eight are equipped with facilities for performing aneurysm surgery. The period of study extended from January 1994 to December 1996. During this period 350 patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Diagnosis of SAH was confirmed by computed tomography (CT) brain scan, diagnostic lumbar puncture was performed in few patients only where CT scan was negative. After angiography, 240 patients had intracranial aneurysms, 79 had arteriovenous malformations, and three had bled in brain tumors. Of the 240 patients with proven intracranial aneurysms, 122 (51%) were male and 118 (49%) were female. The mean age at presentation was 40.5 years with a range from 7 to 68 and a peak incidence between 41 and 50 years. Subarachnoid bleeding was noticed in 179 (74.6%) patients, 52 (21.7%) had SAH associated with intracerebral hemorrhage, and nine (4%) patients presented with the third cranial nerve palsy. Anterior communicating artery was the commonest site for aneurysms (120, 50%), followed by posterior communicating artery (46, 19%) and middle cerebral artery (45, 19%). Aneurysm surgery was performed in 134 (56%) patients. Operative mortality was about 10%. At 3 months follow up 49% patients were in grade I Glasgow Outcome Scale. We conclude that intracranial aneurysms occur with equal frequency in both sexes with a peak incidence between 41-50 years and anterior communicating artery is the commonest site. SAH is the most common mode of presentation and is still a neglected from of stroke in Pakistan. Medical specialists and family physicians require education for early diagnosis and timely referral of patients with SAH to neurosurgical centers. (+info)
HIV/AIDS in Pakistan: the context and magnitude of an emerging threat.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this review were to: (1) assess the nature and comprehensiveness of information regarding HIV/AIDS in Pakistan; (2) to evaluate the extent of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan by epidemiological estimates; (3) to indicate the implications of the results for health policy in Pakistan and other regions at a similar stage in the epidemic. DESIGN: A structured review of published, unpublished, and government literature was undertaken to collate all available information and present a descriptive epidemiological profile of HIV/AIDS in the country. SETTING: Pakistan, a developing country in the South Asian region. National and regional information and analysis are presented in so far as the data allowed. Sample sizes varied from 1.35 million people screened at the national level to smaller studies of fewer than 100 screened. RESULTS: Data pertaining to HIV/AIDS in Pakistan showed the best national estimates of HIV prevalence as 64 per 100,000 (0.064%). Within patients with sexually transmitted diseases the seroprevalence was as high as 6100 per 100,000 (6.1%); in men with extramarital contacts, 5400 per 100,000 (5.4%) and was as low as zero in some studied populations as well. The average age of onset was reported as 30 years. It is estimated that if all incident cases of AIDS were to die, there would be at least 5000 deaths annually attributable to HIV/AIDS. CONCLUSION: Coupled with the extremely low awareness of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan, as well as growing number of cases, the AIDS epidemic is poised to take a hold in Pakistan. The presence of additional risk factors such as unscreened blood, and low condom use rates make the situation fertile for AIDS to become a major public health issue. Pakistan's health policy must be proactive in tackling this emerging health threat. (+info)
Detection of antibodies to hepatitis C virus in dried blood spot samples from mothers and their offspring in Lahore, Pakistan.
Dried blood spot samples from mothers and their offspring attending the obstetric and pediatric departments of two hospitals in Lahore, Pakistan, were tested for antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV). The seroprevalence of HCV in the women was 6.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.3 to 9.1), and that in the children was 1.3% (95% CI, 0.34 to 2.26). Four anti-HCV immunoglobulin G (IgG)-positive children had mothers that were anti-HCV IgG negative, which suggested that their infection was community acquired. (+info)
Circumcision and neonatal tetanus: disclosure of risk and its reduction by topical antibiotics.
BACKGROUND: Previous case-control studies have paradoxically suggested that circumcisions protect against neonatal tetanus (NNT), but these observations have not been adjusted for differences in the length of survival of cases and controls. METHODS: Boy cases (n = 133) and their sex-matched controls (n = 399) were extracted from a population-based study of NNT undertaken in Punjab Province, Pakistan. In the resulting file, circumcisions were censored such that analysis was restricted to only those that occurred before onset in cases or before age of onset in the matched case for controls. The effect of topical antibiotics in circumcision wounds was then evaluated. RESULTS: After adjusting for confounders, circumcision before onset posed a significant risk for NNT (matched odds ratio [OR] = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.2-8.0). The risk of NNT in those circumcised before onset and treated with topical antibiotics did not differ significantly from the referent group who had not been circumcised before onset (matched OR = 1.1, 95% CI: 0.2-6.8), whereas the lack of topical use was associated with significant risk (matched OR = 4.2, 95% CI: 1.4-12.6). This suggests that topical antibiotics are likely to be highly effective in preventing NNT from circumcision wounds. We estimated an overall risk of about 16 fatal NNT cases per 1000 live boy births with circumcision wounds that were not protected by topical antibiotics, and that circumcision and umbilical wounds each accounted for about half of this overall risk in these boys. CONCLUSIONS: Topical antibiotics should be routinely applied to all wounds created by traditional circumcisions, to prevent NNT and sepsis from these frequently unsterile procedures. (+info)