Tuberculous meningitis in South African urban adults.
We retrospectively reviewed 56 adults with culture-proven tuberculous meningitis (TBM), investigating clinical signs, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings and outcome. There were 50 patients, aged 18-59 years, 39 with and 11 without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Six were aged 60 years or older. Neurological signs of TBM in 18-59-year-olds were unaffected by HIV serostatus while, compared to those > or = 60 years of age, there were more patients with meningism (86.0% vs. 33.3%; p = 0.011) and fewer with seizures (12.0% vs. 50.0%; p = 0.046). The HIV-infected 18-59-year-olds had significantly more extrameningeal tuberculosis compared to the non-HIV-infected (76.9% vs. 9.1%; p = 0.0001) and 23.1% had 'breakthrough' TBM. CSF analysis revealed 12 patients (21.4%) with acellular fluid (more common in those > or = 60 years of age, p = 0.016), of whom three had completely normal CSF. A neutrophil predominance was found in 22 patients (39.3%). Only three patients (5.4%) had a positive CSF smear for acid-fast bacilli. In-hospital mortality occurred in 39 patients (69.1%), was similar in all study groups, and was not related to neurological stage. The diagnosis of TBM can be masked by lack of meningism in the elderly and by atypical CSF findings. (+info)
Influence of sampling on estimates of clustering and recent transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis derived from DNA fingerprinting techniques.
The availability of DNA fingerprinting techniques for Mycobacterium tuberculosis has led to attempts to estimate the extent of recent transmission in populations, using the assumption that groups of tuberculosis patients with identical isolates ("clusters") are likely to reflect recently acquired infections. It is never possible to include all cases of tuberculosis in a given population in a study, and the proportion of isolates found to be clustered will depend on the completeness of the sampling. Using stochastic simulation models based on real and hypothetical populations, the authors demonstrate the influence of incomplete sampling on the estimates of clustering obtained. The results show that as the sampling fraction increases, the proportion of isolates identified as clustered also increases and the variance of the estimated proportion clustered decreases. Cluster size is also important: the underestimation of clustering for any given sampling fraction is greater, and the variability in the results obtained is larger, for populations with small clusters than for those with the same number of individuals arranged in large clusters. A considerable amount of caution should be used in interpreting the results of studies on clustering of M. tuberculosis isolates, particularly when sampling fractions are small. (+info)
Prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen and antibody in white and black patients with diabetes mellitus.
The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBSAg) and antibody (anti-HBS) was determined in 531 white and 519 black diabetic outpatients and in appropriate white and black control populations. There was no difference between the prevalence of either HBSAg or anti-HBS in either the white or black diabetics and that in the white and black controls. These findings make it unlikely that the vast majority of patients with diabetes mellitus have either an increased susceptibility to infection by the hepatitis B virus or an impaired ability to clear the virus once they are infected. (+info)
Increased activity of 16-membered lactone ring macrolides against erythromycin-resistant Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae: characterization of South African isolates.
The susceptibility of 40 erythromycin-resistant isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes and 40 multiply-resistant isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae to six macrolide antibiotics, representing 14-, 15- and 16-membered lactone ring structures, was tested. The genetic basis for macrolide resistance in the strains was also determined. Both erm and mef determinants were encountered in the 36 S. pneumoniae isolates tested, but only mef in the five S. pyogenes isolates tested. All isolates showed cross-resistance among the 14-membered macrolides erythromycin, clarithromycin and roxithromycin and the 15-membered macrolide, azithromycin. However, the erythromycin-resistant S. pyogenes isolates retained full susceptibility to spiramycin and josamycin (16-membered agents). These latter two antibiotics were also more active than the other macrolides against erythromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae isolates, especially josamycin which was 8-64 times more active than erythromycin; spiramycin was only two to eight times more active than erythromycin. (+info)
Unrecognized sexually transmitted infections in rural South African women: a hidden epidemic.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are of major public health concern in developing countries, not least because they facilitate transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The present article presents estimates of the prevalence, on any given day, of STIs among women in rural South Africa and the proportion who are asymptomatic, symptomatic but not seeking care, and symptomatic and seeking care. The following data sources from Hlabisa district were used: clinical surveillance for STI syndromes treated in health facilities, microbiological studies among women attending antenatal and family planning clinics, and a community survey. Population census provided denominator data. Adequacy of drug treatment was determined through quality of care surveys. Of 55,974 women aged 15-49 years, a total of 13,943 (24.9%) were infected on any given day with at least one of Trichomonas vaginalis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, or Treponema pallidum. Of the women investigated, 6697 (48%) were asymptomatic, 6994 (50%) were symptomatic but not seeking care, 238 (1.7%) were symptomatic and would seek care, and 14 (0.3%) were seeking care on that day. Only 9 of the 14 women (65%) were adequately treated. STIs remained untreated because either women were asymptomatic or the symptoms were not recognized and acted upon. Improved case management alone is therefore unlikely to have a major public health impact. Improving partner treatment and women's awareness of symptoms is essential, while the potential of mass STI treatment needs to be explored. (+info)
Allelic diversity of the Helicobacter pylori vacuolating cytotoxin gene in South Africa: rarity of the vacA s1a genotype and natural occurrence of an s2/m1 allele.
We describe the rarity of Helicobacter pylori strains of vacuolating cytotoxin type s1a (the type most commonly associated with peptic ulceration in the United States) among black and mixed-race South Africans. We also provide the first description of a naturally occurring strain with the vacA allelic structure s2/m1. (+info)
Effect of iron-, iodine-, and beta-carotene-fortified biscuits on the micronutrient status of primary school children: a randomized controlled trial.
BACKGROUND: Deficiencies of iron, iodine, and vitamin A are prevalent worldwide and can affect the mental development and learning ability of schoolchildren. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of micronutrient-fortified biscuits on the micronutrient status of primary school children. DESIGN: Micronutrient status was assessed in 115 children aged 6-11 y before and after consumption of biscuits (fortified with iron, iodine, and beta-carotene) for 43 wk over a 12-mo period and was compared with that in a control group (n = 113) who consumed nonfortified biscuits. Cognitive function, growth, and morbidity were assessed as secondary outcomes. RESULTS: There was a significant between-group treatment effect on serum retinol, serum ferritin, serum iron, transferrin saturation, and urinary iodine (P <0.0001) and in hemoglobin and hematocrit (P <0.05). The prevalence of low serum retinol concentrations (<0.70 micromol/L) decreased from 39.1% to 12.2%, of low serum ferritin concentrations (<20 microg/L) from 27.8% to 13.9%, of anemia (hemoglobin <120 g/L) from 29.6% to 15.6%, and of low urinary iodine concentrations (<100 microg/L) from 97.5% to 5.4%. There was a significant between-group treatment effect (P <0.05) in cognitive function with the digit span forward task (short-term memory). Fewer school days were missed in the intervention than in the control group because of respiratory- (P = 0.097) and diarrhea-related (P = 0.013) illnesses. The intervention had no effect on anthropometric status [corrected]. CONCLUSIONS: Fortified biscuits resulted in a significant improvement in the micronutrient status of primary school children from a poor rural community and also appeared to have a favorable effect on morbidity and cognitive function [corrected]. (+info)
South African public sceptical about new AIDS "cure".(8/3803)