Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a major cause of mortality in immunocompromized hosts, most often consecutive to the inhalation of spores of Aspergillus. However, the relationship between Aspergillus concentration in the air and probability of IA is not quantitatively known. In this study, this relationship was examined in a murine model of IA. Immunosuppressed Balb/c mice were exposed for 60 minutes at day 0 to an aerosol of A. fumigatus spores (Af293 strain). At day 10, IA was assessed in mice by quantitative culture of the lungs and galactomannan dosage. Fifteen separate nebulizations with varying spore concentrations were performed. Rates of IA ranged from 0% to 100% according to spore concentrations. The dose-response relationship between probability of infection and spore exposure was approximated using the exponential model and the more flexible beta-Poisson model. Prior distributions of the parameters of the models were proposed then updated with data in a Bayesian framework. Both models yielded close median dose-responses of the posterior distributions for the main parameter of the model, but with different dispersions, either when the exposure dose was the concentration in the nebulized suspension or was the estimated quantity of spores inhaled by a mouse during the experiment. The median quantity of inhaled spores that infected 50% of mice was estimated at 1.8?×?10(4) and 3.2?×?10(4) viable spores in the exponential and beta-Poisson models, respectively. This study provides dose-response parameters for quantitative assessment of the relationship between airborne exposure to the reference A. fumigatus strain and probability of IA in immunocompromized hosts.
To better understand the role of immunocompetent hosts in the diffusion of Pneumocystis in the environment, airborne shedding of Pneumocystis carinii in the surrounding air of experimentally infected Sprague Dawley rats was quantified by means of a real-time PCR assay, in parallel with the kinetics of P. carinii loads in lungs and specific serum antibody titres. Pneumocystis-free Sprague Dawley rats were intratracheally inoculated at day 0 (d0) and then followed for 60 days. P. carinii DNA was detected in lungs until d29 in two separate experiments and thereafter remained undetectable. A transient air excretion of Pneumocystis DNA was observed between d14 and d22 in the first experiment and between d9 and d19 in the second experiment; it was related to the peak of infection in lungs. IgM and IgG anti-P. carinii antibody increase preceded clearance of P. carinii in the lungs and cessation of airborne excretion. In rats receiving a second challenge 3 months after the first inoculation, Pneumocystis was only detected at a low level in the lungs of 2 of 3 rats at d2 post challenge and was never detected in air samples. Anti-Pneumocystis antibody determinations showed a typical secondary IgG antibody response. This study provides the first direct evidence that immunocompetent hosts can excrete Pneumocystis following a primary acquired infection. Lung infection was apparently controlled by the immune response since fungal burdens decreased to become undetectable as specific antibodies reached high titres in serum. This immune response was apparently protective against reinfection 3 months later.
To better understand the diffusion of Pneumocystis in the environment, airborne shedding of Pneumocystis carinii in the surrounding air of experimentally infected rats was quantified by means of a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay, in parallel with the kinetics of P. carinii loads in their lungs. P. carinii DNA was detected in the air 1 week after infection and increased until 4-5 weeks after infection before stabilizing. A significant correlation was shown between lung burdens and the corresponding airborne levels, suggesting the possibility of estimating the fungal lung involvement through quantification of Pneumocystis in the exhaled air.
Controlling airborne contamination is of major importance in burn units because of the high susceptibility of burned patients to infections and the unique environmental conditions that can accentuate the infection risk. In particular the required elevated temperatures in the patient room can create thermal convection flows which can transport airborne contaminates throughout the unit. In order to estimate this risk and optimize the design of an intensive care room intended to host severely burned patients, we have relied on a computational fluid dynamic methodology (CFD).
Airborne transmission of Pneumocystis has been demonstrated in animal models and is highly probable in humans. However, information concerning burdens of Pneumocystis jirovecii (human-derived Pneumocystis) in exhaled air from infected patients is lacking. Our objective is to evaluate P. jirovecii air diffusion in patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia.
The efficacy of antifungal prophylaxis for prevention of invasive aspergillosis (IA) may depend on whether IA results from recent inhalation of spores or reactivation of latent colonisation. Compare the efficacy of liposomal amphotericin B (LAmB) for prophylaxis in acute and reactivation models of IA. In the acute model, mice immunosuppressed from day 0 were challenged at day 3 with an aerosol of Aspergillus fumigatus. LAmB (15?mg?kg(-1) ) was administered at day 0 or at challenge. In the reactivation model, naïve mice exposed to A. fumigatus remained untreated until clearance of spores from the lungs, then immunosuppressed to induce reactivation. A single LAmB dose was administered at start of immunosuppression. In the acute model, a single administration of LAmB at start of immunosuppression was not effective, but an additional administration resulted in a significant decrease in lung fungal burden (P?0.05 vs. controls). A significant prophylactic efficacy was observed when LAmB was administered once at challenge (P?0.01). In the reactivation model, a single LAmB administration at start of immunosuppression significantly reduced both reactivation rate and fungal burden vs. controls (P?0.01). Our results show that the conditions under which IA develop and timing of administration of LAmB were determinant variables for prophylactic efficacy.
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