Monday, October 22, 2007
Childhood asthma after bacterial colonization of the airway in neonates.
N Engl J Med. 2007 Oct 11
Danish Pediatric Asthma Center, Copenhagen University Hospital, Gentofte, Copenhagen. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Pathological features of the airway in young children with severe recurrent wheeze suggest an association between bacterial colonization and the initiating events of early asthma. We conducted a study to investigate a possible association between bacterial colonization of the hypopharynx in asymptomatic neonates and later development of recurrent wheeze, asthma, and allergy during the first 5 years of life.
METHODS: The subjects were children from the Copenhagen Prospective Study on Asthma in Childhood birth cohort who were born to mothers with asthma. Aspirates from the hypopharyngeal region of asymptomatic 1-month-old infants were cultured for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Staphylococcus aureus. Wheeze was monitored prospectively on diary cards during the first 5 years of life. Blood eosinophil count and total IgE and specific IgE were measured at 4 years of age. Lung function was measured and asthma was diagnosed at 5 years of age.
RESULTS: Hypopharyngeal samples were cultured from 321 neonates at 1 month of age. Twenty-one percent of the infants were colonized with S. pneumoniae, M. catarrhalis, H. influenzae, or a combination of these organisms; colonization with one or more of these organisms, but not colonization with S. aureus, was significantly associated with persistent wheeze (hazard ratio, 2.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45 to 3.99), acute severe exacerbation of wheeze (hazard ratio, 2.99; 95% CI, 1.66 to 5.39), and hospitalization for wheeze (hazard ratio, 3.85; 95% CI, 1.90 to 7.79). Blood eosinophil counts and total IgE at 4 years of age were significantly increased in children colonized neonatally with S. pneumoniae, M. catarrhalis, H. influenzae, or a combination of these organisms, but specific IgE was not significantly affected. The prevalence of asthma and the reversibility of airway resistance after beta2-agonist administration at 5 years of age were significantly increased in the children colonized neonatally with these organisms as compared with the children without such colonization (33% vs. 10% and 23% vs. 18%, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Neonates colonized in the hypopharyngeal region with S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, or M. catarrhalis, or with a combination of these organisms, are at increased risk for recurrent wheeze and asthma early in life.
Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Bacterial communications in implant infections: A target for an intelligence war.
Int J Artif Organs. 2007 Sep
Costerton JW, Montanaro L, Arciola CR.
Center for Biofilms, School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California - USA.
The status of population density is communicated among bacteria by specific secreted molecules, called pheromones or autoinducers, and the control mechanism is called ""quorum-sensing"". Quorum-sensing systems regulate the expression of a panel of genes, allowing bacteria to adapt to modified environmental conditions at a high density of population. The two known different quorum systems are described as the LuxR-LuxI system in gram-negative bacteria, which uses an N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) as signal, and the agr system in gram-positive bacteria, which uses a peptide-tiolactone as signal and the RNAIII as effector molecules.
Both in gram-negative and in gram-positive bacteria, quorum-sensing systems regulate the expression of adhesion mechanisms (biofilm and adhesins) and virulence factors (toxins and exoenzymes) depending on population cell density. In gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa, analogs of signaling molecules such as furanone analogs, are effective in attenuating bacterial virulence and controlling bacterial infections. In grampositive Staphylococcus aureus, the quorum-sensing RNAIII-inhibiting peptide (RIP), tested in vitro and in animal infection models, has been proved to inhibit virulence and prevent infections.
Attenuation of bacterial virulence by quorum-sensing inhibitors, rather than by bactericidal or bacteriostatic drugs, is a highly attractive concept because these antibacterial agents are less likely to induce the development of bacterial resistance.
PMID: 17918119 [PubMed - in process]