A survey of 227 patients from 5-60 years of age revealed the presence of positive histoplasmin skin tests in 10.5 per cent. and positive complement-fixation tests in 19-8 per cent. Sputum from 13 of the 37 patients who had a positive complement-fixation test were cultured for H. capsulatum but with negative results. Exposure to infection by the fungus is equally distributed among the different race and age groups. A careful and constant watch should be kept for histoplasmosis in all chest hospitals as a certain number of cases may be present. It tends to elude diagnosis unless specially sought as it resembles the clinical picture of tuberculosis or other granulomatous disease. It presents a field for further investigation and research in Malaya.
Sera taken fortnightly from fourteen patients with eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia) were tested by complement fixation with ethanol extracts of Dirofilaria immitis, Ascaris lumbricoides, Toxocara canis, Gnathostoma procyonis, Fasciola gigantica and Dipylidium caninum. Initially, sera from ten patients had high antibody titers with each of the extracts while antibodies were not detected in sera from the other four; after treatment with diethylcarbamazine the high titers decreased. It is concluded that the reactions obtained with these various extracts do not indicate infection with any particular helminth.
The immunological characteristics of 26 strains of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) isolated in Japan and Malaya between 1935 and 1966 have been investigated mainly by the antibody-absorption variant of the haemagglutination-inhibition test, and to a certain extent also by conventional haemagglutination-inhibition and complement-fixation tests. The antibody-absorption technique shows promise as a routine method for the immunotyping of JEV.At present, two immunotypes can be distinguished. One comprises 2 strains, Nakayama-NIH and I-58, and is designated as the I-58 immunotype. The other immunotype, JaGAr 01, comprises 17 strains which share the characteristics of the JaGAr 01 strain, including one subline of the Nakayama strain, Nakayama-Yakken. The Nakayama-RFVL strain was found to have the characteristics of both immunotypes. The I-58 immunotype differs more markedly from related arboviruses, such as the Murray Valley encephalitis virus and the West Nile Eg101 strain, than does the JaGAr 01 immunotype.Evidence is presented which suggests that a given JEV strain can change immunotype on repeated passage through mice.
During 1984-1985, a total of 838 sera obtained from individuals of different age groups, mostly blood donors and those whose sera were received for VDRL tests and other serological investigations. The sera were titrated for complement fixing antibodies against cytomegalovirus (Ad169 strain). Three hundred and fifty two (41%) out of 838 sera showed significant antibody titre. The incidence of this virus infection varied form 26% in the age group of 11-20 years to 59% of those above 50 years of age. Geometric mean titre (GMT) was highest (22) in age groups of 11-20 years and those over 50 years indicating active viral infection in these two age groups. GMT was also significantly higher in females in all age groups except in the age group of 21-30 years and those above 50 years, indicating that active viral infection is more common in females.
An epizootic of measles occurred in a group of 31 silvered leaf-monkeys (Presbytis cristatus) that had been in captivity for 4-12 months. Twenty-four of the monkeys exhibited a maculopapular rash that persisted for 6-9 days. A serous to mucopurulent nasal discharge and conjunctivitis were seen in some animals. Eight monkeys died during the epizootic; however, their deaths could not be directly attributed to measles. Serum samples from the surviving monkeys collected 1-2 months prior to, and 5 weeks after, the epizootic were examined by the complement-fixation and hemagglutination-inhibition tests for antibodies to measles virus. The preepizootic complement-fixation titers were all less than 1:4 and hemagglutination-inhibition titers, less than 1:10. The postepizootic complement-fixation titers in 21 of 23 surviving monkeys ranged from 1:8 to 1:128, and hemagglutination-inhibition titers in 22 of 23 monkeys ranged from 1:40 to 1:80 or greater.
Testicular germinal cell antibodies were found in forty-four out of the fifty-nine patients with lepromatous leprosy and in four out of ten patients with tuberculoid disease. A similar pattern was found in twelve out of 262 control patients and
normal subjects. The antibody was found to be of the IgG class and forty out of forty-nine of these antibodies were shown to be complement fixing. Spermatozoal antibodies were detected in twelve patients, but no ovarian antibodies were found in any specimen. There was no close correlation between erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL) and testicular antibodies. It was found that the characteristic of the testicular antibody in leprosy was its ability to be absorbed by Mycobacterium BCG suspension suggesting that this is another antibody induced by infection. A similar fluorescent pattern was seen in some patients who did not have leprosy, but in these cases it could not be abolished with BCG. It is concluded that autoimmunity may be one of the factors involved in the pathogenesis of orchitis in leprosy.
Study site: MRC Leprosy Research Unit, Sungei Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia.
Serological surveys have been widely used in South-East Asia to determine the presence and activity of arboviruses. The haemagglutination-inhibition test has been most frequently employed but complement-fixation and neutralization tests have also been used in some investigations.Although virus isolations provide the most conclusive evidence, they can be carried out in a few specialized centres only, and serological surveys are very important for studying the distribution of arboviruses.The surveys have shown that group B arboviruses (principally all four types of dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile) are widely prevalent. Dengue and Japanese encephalitis viruses are more widespread than West Nile virus, which was not known previously to extend east of India although recent survyes have shown that its range extends to Burma. Japanese encephalitis is frequent in most of South-East Asia but in India is found mainly in eastern and south-eastern parts of the country. Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) and Langat viruses are the only tick-borne group B arboviruses definitely known to occur in the region, the former in India, the latter in Malaysia. KFD virus has been isolated only from a small focus in Mysore, although human and animal sera containing neutralizing antibodies to this virus have been found sporadically in widely scattered areas. Among the group A arboviruses, chikungunya and Sindbis have been detected in serological surveys, but the former has not yet been found in Malaysia.
The diverse clinical syndromes characterized by asthmatic symptoms, transient pulmonary infiltrates, and eosinophilia have tended to obscure the specific association of one such entity with filarial infections. Serum IgE levels were determined before and after therapy in a group of well-characterized patients with tropical eosinophilia (TE), studied earlier in Singapore. The mean serum IgE level in 14 cases before treatment with diethylcarbamazine was 2,355 ng. per milliliter, with a trend but statistically nonsignificant decrease in levels to 600-1,000 ng. occurring 8 to 12 weeks after therapy. Leukocyte and eosinophil counts showed a rapid reduction after treatment, and although mean complement-fixing (cf) titers to Dirofilarial antigen tended to decrease, they were not significantly reduced until 5 to 6 weeks. The historical development of evidence supporting the filarial etiology of TE was reviewed. Many basic questions engendered by the clinical syndrome of tropical eosinophilia make it an excellent model for study of the immunopathology of parasitic infections.
Saline extracts of ether-treated Dirofilaria immitis, Ascaris suum, and Ancylostoma spp. were used in indirect hemagglutination tests of serum from 164 patients with a diagnosis of eosinophilic lung and 114 persons with other diseases or no disease (blood donors). In the first group, positive reactions with one, two or all three antigens were obtained in 89 percent of cases and the titers, at medium or high levels in 77 percent, decreased after treatment with diethylcarbamazine. In the other group, antibodies were demonstrable in the serum of only 22 percent of cases and titers usually were low. These observations indicate the presence of several antigen-antibody systems, some of which appear to be specific. With extracts of Dirofilaria the indirect hemagglutination and the complement-fixation tests were similar in sensitivity and specificity, but the results from neither test appeared to indicate infection with a specific worm.