In the present work, we studied the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from patients according to their gender, age, and geographic location in Mexico. We did not observe any statistically significant differences in regard to age or gender. We found that spoligo international type 53 (SIT53) is more frequent in the northern states and that SIT119 predominates in central Mexico.
The immune mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of severe pneumonia associated with the A/H1N1 virus are not well known. The objective of this study was to determine whether severe A/H1N1-associated pneumonia can be explained by the emergence of particular T-cell subsets and the cytokines/chemokines they produced, as well as distinct responses to infection. T-cell subset distribution and cytokine/chemokine levels in peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were determined in patients with severe A/H1N1 infection, asymptomatic household contacts, and healthy controls. Cytokine and chemokine production was also evaluated after in vitro infection with seasonal H1N1 and pandemic A/H1N1 strains. We found an increase in the frequency of peripheral Th2 and Tc2 cells in A/H1N1 patients. A trend toward increased Tc1 cells was observed in household contacts. Elevated serum levels of IL-6, CXCL8, and CCL2 were found in patients and a similar cytokine/chemokine profile was observed in BAL, in which CCL5 was also increased. Infection assays revealed that both strains induce the production of several cytokines/chemokines at 24 and 72 h, however, IL-6, CCL3, and CXCL8 were strongly up-regulated in 72-h cultures in presence of the A/H1N1 virus. Several inflammatory mediators are up-regulated in peripheral and lung samples from A/H1N1-infected patients who developed severe pneumonia. In addition, the A/H1N1 strain induces higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines than the seasonal H1N1 strain. These findings suggest that it is possible to identify biomarkers of severe pneumonia and also suggest the therapeutic use of immunomodulatory drugs in patients with severe pneumonia associated with A/H1N1 infection.
Scimitar syndrome is a rare congenital disorder characterized by a partial, or rarely total, unilateral anomalous pulmonary venous return to the inferior vena cava. This anomaly has a distinctive bimodal presentation with the infantile form having a higher incidence, severity and mortality than the adult form, which is usually asymptomatic on diagnosis. We present the case of a 36-year-old-male transferred to our institution due to incidental anomalous vascular findings on contrast enhanced chest tomography while being evaluated for dyspnea on exertion. Patient underwent right and left heart catheterization with evidence of left-to-right shunt secondary to complete anomalous right pulmonary venous return. Patient was referred to a cardiovascular surgeon with expertise in congenital heart disease for definitive surgical correction.
Hereditary Hemorrhagio Telangiectasla (HHT) is a rare inherited autosomal dominant disorder characterized by systemic fibrovascular dysplasia making vessel walls more liable to spontaneous ruptures and injuries. Epistaxis is the first and the most common symptom; however patients may have a variety of serious complications due to vascular involvement of internal organs. In this report we present a case of a 39 year-old woman with recurrent epistaxis and family history of HHT who presented with right spontaneous hemothorax. Pulmonary angiography disclosed multiple pulmonary artery aneurysms with subsequent coil embolization. Considering that pulmonary arteriovenous malformations are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, patients and family members with suspected HHT should be screened for these vascular malformations.
FtnA is the major iron-storage protein of Escherichia coli accounting for < or = 50% of total cellular iron. The FtnA gene (ftnA) is induced by iron in an Fe(2+)-Fur-dependent fashion. This effect is reportedly mediated by RyhB, the Fe(2+)-Fur-repressed, small, regulatory RNA. However, results presented here show that ftnA iron induction is independent of RyhB and instead involves direct interaction of Fe(2+)-Fur with an extended Fur binding site (containing five tandem Fur boxes) located upstream (-83) of the ftnA promoter. In addition, H-NS acts as a direct repressor of ftnA transcription by binding at multiple sites (I-VI) within, and upstream of, the ftnA promoter. Fur directly competes with H-NS binding at upstream sites (II-IV) and consequently displaces H-NS from the ftnA promoter (sites V-VI) which in turn leads to derepression of ftnA transcription. It is proposed that H-NS binding within the ftnA promoter is facilitated by H-NS occupation of the upstream sites through H-NS oligomerization-induced DNA looping. Consequently, Fur displacement of H-NS from the upstream sites prevents cooperative H-NS binding at the downstream sites within the promoter, thus allowing access to RNA polymerase. This direct activation of ftnA transcription by Fe(2+)-Fur through H-NS antisilencing represents a new mechanism for iron-induced gene expression.
Anemia is a common complication of human malaria. Since micronutrient deficiencies are highly prevalent in malaria-endemic areas and appear to contribute to anemia etiology, we conducted a cross-sectional study in Tumaco, Colombia, to examine the associations between plasma vitamin B12 or erythrocyte folate concentrations and hemoglobin (Hb) among 96 adults with predominantly Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Prevalence of folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies was 26.0 and 26.6%, respectively. There was an inverse, linear relation between folate and Hb concentrations. Adjusted difference in Hb between lowest and highest folate quartiles was 1g/dL (p=0.04; p, test for trend=0.01). Vitamin B12 was not associated with Hb concentrations and did not modify the associations between folate and Hb. Incidentally, body mass index (BMI) was inversely associated with parasitemia and risk of clinical malaria. Future longitudinal studies are warranted to determine the potential pathophysiological role of folate in malaria-related anemia.
In late March 2009, an outbreak of a respiratory illness later proved to be caused by novel swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV) was identified in Mexico. We describe the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of persons hospitalized for pneumonia at the national tertiary hospital for respiratory illnesses in Mexico City who had laboratory-confirmed S-OIV infection, also known as swine flu.
Information on malaria-associated anemia in adult patients is scarce in South American populations. From 2004 to 2006, malaria patients 18 to 45 years of age were recruited in a descriptive cross-sectional study from two different towns: Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon (120 patients) where Plasmodium falciparum incidence is lower ( approximately 20%), and in Tumaco on the Colombian Pacific Coast (126 patients) where P. falciparum incidence is higher ( approximately 90%). Relationships between hematologic parameters and independent variables were explored using cross-tabulations and multiple linear regression analyses. We found an inverse relationship of hemoglobin (Hb) levels with days of illness in both sites. In Manaus but not in Tumaco, red cell distribution width (RDW) was related to asexual parasitemia. Reticulocytes were higher in Plasmodium vivax infection in Tumaco. Only in Tumaco, two patients with P. falciparum infection presented with severe anemia (Hb < 7 g/dL). Etiologic factors associated with hematologic changes in malaria seem to be multifactorial. More studies are needed to clarify the anemia determinants in uncomplicated malaria in South America, where malaria transmission is mostly unstable.
In terms of the examination of the relationship between masculinity and health, there has been limited exploration of how the ways in which formerly incarcerated Latino men (FILM) construct their masculinities may conflict with public health messages. Using information gained from three years of ethnographic research that was conducted with formerly incarcerated Puerto Rican males in three urban communities in New York City, the authors examine what matters to FILM in terms of their health and well-being and what conflicts exist between public health prevention messages and FILM masculinity. Our results indicate the following: (1) major threats to the health of FILM, such as HIV risk behavior, alcohol and drug use and high caloric intake, are perceived as irrelevant to most of the FILM in the study; (2) young FILM believe that they engage in risky behaviors because of their "knucklehead" mentality and diminish their risks by becoming "street-smart;" and (3) social isolation, loneliness and general risk-taking behavior among FILM are salient issues that have yet to be effectively addressed. Of our sample of 32 FILM, we identified 7 individuals who have transitioned from having a "knucklehead" approach in their lives to possessing a greater sense of awareness of health and social matters. These seven individuals followed either or both of the following pathways: (1) pursuing a college education or (2) becoming community leaders.
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