Syphilis makes its comeback
New FTlyo Enteric fever kit now available
Fast Track Diagnostics wins "Advanced Healthcare Solutions" awards
Drift variants of influenza B/Victoria
2017 Article - "The prevalence of dengue virus serotypes in asymptomatic blood donors reveals the emergence of serotype 4 in Saudi Arabia" (pdf, 1MB)
Summary: Transmission of dengue virus (DENV) through blood transfusion has been documented and hence screening for DENV during blood donation has been recently recommended by the American Association of Blood Banks and Centres of Disease Control and Prevention. DENV is endemic in the Western province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and serotypes 1, 2 and 3, but not 4, have been detected. However, little is known regarding the rates of DENV during blood donation in the kingdom. The aim of this study was therefore to measure the prevalence of dengue virus and its serotypes in eligible Saudi blood donors in the endemic Western region of KSA.
This was a cross-sectional study and serum samples were collected from 910 eligible Saudi male blood donors. DENV IgM and IgG antibodies were measured serologically by ELISA while viral serotypes were detected by a single step IVD CE certified multiplex RT-PCR kit (FTD Dengue differentiation).
The overall prevalence was 39 and 5.5% for IgG+ and IgM+, respectively. There were 12 (1.3%) with exclusively IgM+, 317 (34.8%) exclusively IgG+ and 38 (4.2%) with dual IgM+/IgG+ donors. The overall prevalence was 3.2% (n = 29) and 2.3% (n = 21) for primary and secondary infections. PCR was positive in 5.5% (n = 50) and, DENV-2 (n = 24; 48%) was the most frequent serotype and was significantly higher than DENV-1 (20%; P = 0.02) and DENV-3 (2%; P = 0.1 × 10−5) but not DENV-4 (30%; P = 0.2). There was no significant difference between both DENV-4 and DENV-1 (P = 0.4). The combination of the PCR and serology findings showed that 22 (2.4%) and 28 (3.1%) donors had primary and secondary viremic infections, respectively.
Kit used: FTD Dengue differentiation
2017 Article - "Standardization of Laboratory Methods for the PERCH study" (pdf, 395KB)
Summary: The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health study was conducted across 7 diverse research sites and relied on standardized clinical and laboratory methods for the accurate and meaningful interpretation of pneumonia etiology data. Blood, respiratory specimens, and urine were collected from children aged 1–59 months hospitalized with severe or very severe pneumonia and community controls of the same age without severe pneumonia and were tested with an extensive array of laboratory diagnostic tests. As molecular diagnostic tool FTD Respiratory pathogens 33 was used. A standardized testing algorithm and standard operating procedures were applied across all study sites. Site laboratories received uniform training, equipment, and reagents for core testing methods. Standardization was further assured by routine teleconferences, in-person meetings, site monitoring visits, and internal and external quality assurance testing. Targeted confirmatory testing and testing by specialized assays were done at a central reference laboratory.
Kit used: FTD respiratory pathogens 33
2017 Article - "Association of C-Reactive Protein With Bacterial and Respiratory Syncytial Virus–Associated Pneumonia Among Children Aged <5 Years in the PERCH Study" (pdf, 430KB)
Summary: Lack of a gold standard for identifying bacterial and viral etiologies of pneumonia has limited evaluation of C-reactive protein (CRP) for identifying bacterial pneumonia. We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of CRP for identifying bacterial vs respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pneumonia in the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) multicenter case-control study. We measured serum CRP levels in cases with World Health Organization–defined severe or very severe pneumonia and a subset of community controls. We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of elevated CRP for “confirmed” bacterial pneumonia (positive blood culture or positive lung aspirate or pleural fluid culture or polymerase chain reaction [PCR]/FTD Respiratory pathogens 33) compared to “RSV pneumonia” (nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal or induced sputum PCR-positive without confirmed/suspected bacterial pneumonia). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to assess the performance of elevated CRP in distinguishing these cases. Among 601 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–negative tested controls, 3% had CRP ≥40 mg/L. Among 119 HIV-negative cases with confirmed bacterial pneumonia, 77% had CRP ≥40 mg/L compared with 17% of 556 RSV pneumonia cases. The ROC analysis produced an area under the curve of 0.87, indicating very good discrimination; a cut-point of 37.1 mg/L best discriminated confirmed bacterial pneumonia (sensitivity 77%) from RSV pneumonia (specificity 82%). CRP ≥100 mg/L substantially improved specificity over CRP ≥40 mg/L, though at a loss to sensitivity. Elevated CRP was positively associated with confirmed bacterial pneumonia and negatively associated with RSV pneumonia in PERCH. CRP may be useful for distinguishing bacterial from RSV-associated pneumonia, although its role in discriminating against other respiratory viral-associated pneumonia needs further study.
Kit used: FTD respiratory pathogens 33
2017 Article - "An intricate case of multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum isolate imported from Cambodia" (pdf, 843KB)
Summary: Imported cases of multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum and treatment failure with artemisinin based regimens, although rare, have been described also in Western countries and their management is often challenging. This is also due to an inadequate knowledge and implementation of health prevention measures. A complex case of imported malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax/P. falciparum isolates in a patient who was not taking chemoprophylaxis while he was travelling in Cambodia is reported in this article. After failures of artemisinin-based and both oral and intravenous quinine-based regimens, a multidrug resistant P. falciparum was detected. The patient was successfully treated with atovaquone–proguanil. This experience highlights the importance of a careful management that should be based not only on the most up-to-date guidelines, but also on the awareness of a rapidly evolving scenario. .
Kit used: FTD Malaria differentiation
2017 Article - "Real-time PCR Detection of the Most Common Bacteria and Viruses Causing Meningitis"
Summary: Central nervous system (CNS) infections require prompt diagnosis, as the clinical condition progresses rapidly and may lead to severe permanent sequelae or death. The causative agents include viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This study retrospectively evaluated the results of 470 CSF specimens that had been sent to the Molecular Unit of our hospital with a pre-diagnosis of CNS infection and had been tested with the PCR method between January 2014 and December 2015. Specimens were tested using multiplex real-time PCR assay for Adenovirus (AdV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Enteroviruses (EV) (Polioviruses, Coxackieviruses, Echoviruses, and other enteroviruses), Epstein- Barr virus (EBV), Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, Human Herpes virus 6 and 7, Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), Human Parecho viruses and Parvovirus B19, Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae or Neisseria meningitidis. (FTD NEURO9 and FTD Bacterial meningitis, multiplex real-time PCR Kit). A bacterial or viral agent was identified in 98 (21%) of the 470 CSF samples. Of the patients, 85% were children and 15% were adults. While Enterovirus (25%) was the most frequently identified agent, Adenovirus ranked second (22%) and Streptococcus pneumoniae ranked third (15%) in total. Positivity was highest in the 0 - 5-year age range. Bacteria were detected with the PCR method in 22 patients: S. pneumonia in 14, and N. meningitidis in 8.
Early diagnosis and treatment of meningitis are very important for reducing its mortality and morbidity. In patients with suspected meningitis, early detection of the responsible agents may be possible with molecular methods, such as PCR. Significant economic benefits may be obtained by preventing unnecessary antibiotic use and hospitalizations through the early detection of the microbial agents.
Kit used: FTD Neuro 9
2017 Article - "Neisseria meningitidis nasopharyngeal carriage during the Hajj: A cohort study evaluating the need for ciprofloxacin prophylaxis" (limited access)
Summary: The annual Muslim pilgrimage has the potential of increase risk for acquisition of Neisseria meningitidis. Here, the authors evaluate the Hajj impact on the prevalence of N. meningitidis carriage with the help of culture and PCR in a paired and non-paired cohort of pilgrims. Secondary objectives were to calculate the compliance with recommended vaccination. This is a prospective paired (arriving and departing), non-paired arriving and non-paired departing cohort study with the collection of nasopharyngeal samples at the start and the end of the Hajj. The study included unpaired arriving pilgrims at King Abdul Aziz International Airport (N = 1055), unpaired departing cohort (N = 373), and a paired cohort (N = 628) who were tested on arrival and departure.
This the largest study of the epidemiology of N. meningitidis among pilgrims. The study showed a significant difference in the carriage between pilgrims from high endemicity and other pilgrims with a predominance of serogroup B. The continued use of ciprofloxacin as prophylactic antibiotics should be reconsidered as well as the consideration to add serogroup B as a required vaccination.
Kit used: FTD Bacterial meningitis