CASE PRESENTATION: In September 2010, a 58-year-old diabetic Malaysian male presented with fever and a fluctuant mass on the right side of his neck. B. pseudomallei was isolated from an aspirate of this lesion and there was radiological evidence of disseminated infection in the liver and spleen. The recurrence of clinical symptoms over ensuing months prompted further aspiration and biopsy of a cervical abscess and underlying lymph nodes. Salmonella enterica serovar Stanley and then M. tuberculosis were identified from these specimens by culture and molecular methods. The patient responded to targeted medical management of each of these infections.
CONCLUSION: In endemic settings, a high index of suspicion and adequate tissue sampling are imperative in identifying these pathogenic organisms. Diabetes was identified as a predisposing factor in this case while our understanding of other potential risk factors is evolving.
METHODS: Recombinant PPDK (rPPDK) was expressed, purified and evaluated by Western blot. In parallel, recombinant galactose-and-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine inhibitable lectin (Gal/GalNAc lectin) was produced and tested similarly. The protein identity was confirmed by analysis using MALDI-TOF/TOF. A lateral flow dipstick (LFD) test using rPPDK was subsequently developed (rPPDK-LFD) and evaluated for serodiagnosis of ALA.
RESULTS: rPPDK was expressed as soluble protein after 4 hours of induction with 1 mM isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) at 30°C. Purification using nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA) resin yielded 1.5 mg of rPPDK from 1 L of culture with estimated molecular mass of 98 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Western blots using sera from patients with ALA, healthy individuals and other diseases probed with anti-human IgG4-HRP showed the highest sensitivity (93.3%) and specificity (100%); as compared to blots using IgG and IgG1 as secondary antibodies. Moreover, rPPDK showed better specificity when compared to rGal/GalNAc lectin. In the development of the LFD test, the optimum amount of rPPDK was 0.625 μg per dipstick and the optimum working concentration of colloidal gold conjugated anti-human IgG4 was optical density (OD) 5 (1.7 μg of anti-human IgG4). Evaluation of rPPDK-LFD using ALA patients and controls serum samples showed 87% diagnostic sensitivity and 100% specificity.
CONCLUSION: The developed rPPDK-LFD showed good potential for rapid diagnosis of ALA, and merit further multicentre validation using larger number of serum samples.
METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study in patients aged 12 years and older with suspected central nervous system infections at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia between February 2012 and March 2013. Cerebrospinal fluid was sent for microscopy, biochemistry, bacterial and mycobacterial cultures, Mycobacterium tuberculosis polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and multiplex and MassCode PCR for various viral and bacterial pathogens.
RESULTS: A total of 84 patients with clinically suspected meningitis and encephalitis were enrolled. An aetiological agent was confirmed in 37/84 (44 %) of the patients. The most common diagnoses were tuberculous meningitis (TBM) (41/84, 48.8 %) and cryptococcal meningoencephalitis (14/84, 16.6 %). Mycobacterium tuberculosis was confirmed in 13/41 (31.7 %) clinically diagnosed TBM patients by cerebrospinal fluid PCR or culture. The acute case fatality rate during hospital admission was 16/84 (19 %) in all patients, 4/43 (9 %) in non-TBM, and 12/41 (29 %) in TBM patients respectively (p = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: TBM is the most common cause of CNS infection in patients aged 12 years or older in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia and is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Further studies are required to improve the management and outcome of TBM.