OBJECTIVE: to describe a case of Nipah virus encephalitis in a pig farm worker from Malaysia.
STUDY DESIGN: the clinical, laboratory and radiological findings of this patient were scrutinized. Special emphasis was placed on the electron microscopic analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimen from this patient.
RESULTS: the neurological deficits indicative of cerebellar involvement were supported by the magnetic resonance imaging that showed prominent cerebellar and brainstem lesions. CSF examination provided further evidence of viral encephalitis. Complement fixation and/or RT-PCR assays were negative for Japanese encephalitis, herpes simplex, measles and mumps viruses. ELISA for detecting IgM and IgG antibodies against Hendra viral antigens were equivocal for the CSF specimen, and tested initially negative for the first serum sample but subsequently positive for the repeat serum sample. Transmission electron microscopy of negatively-stained preparations of CSF revealed enveloped virus-like structures fringed with surface projections as well as nucleocapsids with distinctive helical and herringbone patterns, features consistent with those of other paramyxoviruses, including Hendra virus.
CONCLUSION: this case report reiterates the relevant and feasible role of diagnostic electron microscopy for identifying and/or classifying novel or emerging viral pathogens for which sufficiently specific and sensitive tests are lacking.
METHODS: We used a case-control study design nested within a large prospective cohort to assess the association between circulating levels of anti-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and anti-flagellin immunoglobulin A (IgA) and G (IgG) (reflecting long-term exposures to LPS and flagellin, respectively) and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. A total of 139 men and women diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma between 1992 and 2010 were matched to 139 control subjects. Multivariable rate ratios (RRs), including adjustment for potential confounders, hepatitis B/C positivity, and degree of liver dysfunction, were calculated with conditional logistic regression.
RESULTS: Antibody response to LPS and flagellin was associated with a statistically significant increase in the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (highest vs. lowest quartile: RR = 11.76, 95% confidence interval = 1.70-81.40; P trend = 0.021). This finding did not vary substantially by time from enrollment to diagnosis, and did not change after adjustment for chronic infection with hepatitis B and C viruses.
CONCLUSIONS: These novel findings, based on exposures up to several years prior to diagnosis, support a role for gut-derived bacterial products in hepatocellular carcinoma development. Further study into the role of gut barrier failure and exposure to bacterial products in liver diseases is warranted.