In South America, disseminated histoplasmosis due to Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum (H. capsulatum), is a severe and frequent opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. In areas outside the USA where specific-Histoplasma antigen detection is not available, the diagnosis is difficult. With the galactomannan antigen (GM) detection, a test commonly used for invasive aspergillosis diagnosis, there is a cross-reactivity with H. capsulatum that can be helpful for the diagnosis of histoplasmosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the GM detection for the diagnosis of disseminated histoplasmosis in AIDS patients. The performance of the GM detection was evaluated with serum collected in French Guiana where H. capsulatum is highly endemic. Sera from AIDS patients with disseminated histoplasmosis occurring from 2002 to 2009 and from control HIV-positive patients without histoplasmosis were tested with the GM detection and Histoplasma-specific antibody detection (IEP). In 39 AIDS patients with proven disseminated histoplasmosis, the sensitivity of the Histoplasma IEP was only 35.9% and was linked to the TCD4+ lymphocyte level. For the GM detection, the sensitivity (Se) was 76.9% and specificity (Sp) was 100% with the recommended threshold for aspergillosis diagnosis (0.5). The test was more efficient with a threshold of 0.4 (Se: 0.82 [95% CI: 0.66-0.92], Sp: 1.00 [95% CI: 0.86-1.00], LR+: >10, LR-: 0.18). This study confirms that the GM detection can be a surrogate marker for the diagnosis of disseminated histoplasmosis in AIDS patients in endemic areas where Histoplasma EIA is not available.
Maternal toxoplasmosis infection acquired during pregnancy carries significant risk of fetal damage. We aimed to assess the long-term outcome of children and young adults with congenital toxoplasmosis diagnosed and treated in utero.
Factor associated with neutral sphingomyelinase activation (FAN) is an adaptor protein that constitutively binds to TNF-R1. Microarray analysis was performed in fibroblasts derived from wild-type or FAN knockout mouse embryos to evaluate the role of FAN in TNF-induced gene expression. Approximately 70% of TNF-induced genes exhibited lower expression levels in FAN-deficient than in wild-type fibroblasts. Of particular interest, TNF-induced expression of cytokines/chemokines, such as IL-6 and CXCL-2, was impaired in FAN-deficient cells. This was confirmed by real time RT-PCR and ELISA. Upon i.p. TNF or thioglycollate injection, neutrophil recruitment into the peritoneal cavity was reduced by more than 50% in FAN-deficient mice. Nevertheless, FAN-deficient animals did not exhibit an increased susceptibility to different microorganisms including bacteria and parasites, indicating that FAN is not essential for pathogen clearance. Specific Ab response to BSA was substantially impaired in FAN-deficient mice and this was associated with a reduced content of leukocytes in the spleen of BSA-challenged FAN-deficient mice as compared with their wild-type counterparts. Altogether, our results indicate the involvement of FAN in TNF-induced gene expression and leukocyte recruitment, contributing to the establishment of the specific immune response.
We report the genotyping analysis of Toxoplasma gondii isolates in samples collected from 88 immunocompromised patients, along with clinical and epidemiological data. Most of these samples were collected in France during the current decade by the Toxoplasma Biological Resource Center. Lack of specific anti-Toxoplasma treatment, pulmonary toxoplasmosis, and involvement of multiple organs were the 3 main risk factors associated with death for this patient group. Genotyping results with 6 microsatellite markers showed that type II isolates were predominant among patients who acquired toxoplasmic infection in Europe. Non-type II isolates included 13 different genotypes and were mainly collected from patients who acquired toxoplasmosis outside Europe. Type III was the second most common genotype recovered from patients, whereas type I was rare in our population. Three nonarchetypal genotypes were repeatedly recovered from different patients who acquired the infection in sub-Saharan Africa (genotypes Africa 1 and Africa 2) and in the French West Indies (genotype Caribbean 1). The distribution of genotypes (type II vs. non-type II) was not significantly different when patients were stratified by underlying cause of immunosuppression, site of infection, or outcome. We conclude that in immunocompromised patients, host factors are much more involved than parasite factors in patients resistance or susceptibility to toxoplasmosis.
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