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Bacterial Infections and Mycoses - Top 30 Publications

Occupational Animal Exposure Among Persons with Campylobacteriosis and Cryptosporidiosis - Nebraska, 2005-2015.

Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium are two common causes of gastroenteritis in the United States. National incidence rates measured for these pathogens in 2015 were 17.7 and 3.0 per 100,000 population, respectively; Nebraska was among the states with the highest incidence for both campylobacteriosis (26.6) and cryptosporidiosis (≥6.01) (1). Although campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis are primarily transmitted via consumption of contaminated food or water, they can also be acquired through contact with live animals or animal products, including through occupational exposure (2). This exposure route is of particular interest in Nebraska, where animal agriculture and associated industries are an important part of the state's economy. To estimate the percentage of disease that might be related to occupational animal exposure in Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) and CDC reviewed deidentified investigation reports from 2005 to 2015 of cases of campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis among Nebraska residents aged ≥14 years. Case investigation notes were searched for evidence of occupational animal exposures, which were classified into discrete categories based on industry, animal/meat, and specific work activity/exposure. Occupational animal exposure was identified in 16.6% of 3,352 campylobacteriosis and 8.7% of 1,070 cryptosporidiosis cases, among which animal production (e.g., farming or ranching) was the most commonly mentioned industry type (68.2% and 78.5%, respectively), followed by employment in animal slaughter and processing facilities (16.3% and 5.4%, respectively). Among animal/meat occupational exposures, cattle/beef was most commonly mentioned, with exposure to feedlots (concentrated animal feeding operations in which animals are fed on stored feeds) reported in 29.9% of campylobacteriosis and 7.9% of cryptosporidiosis cases. Close contact with animals and manure in feedlots and other farm settings might place workers in these areas at increased risk for infection. It is important to educate workers with occupational animal exposure about the symptoms of enteric diseases and prevention measures. Targeting prevention strategies to high-risk workplaces and activities could help reduce disease.

Assessment of Hospital Emergency Department Response to Potentially Infectious Diseases Using Unannounced Mystery Patient Drills - New York City, 2016.

Recent outbreaks of infectious diseases have revealed significant health care system vulnerabilities and highlighted the importance of rapid recognition and isolation of patients with potentially severe infectious diseases. During December 2015-May 2016, a series of unannounced "mystery patient drills" was carried out to assess New York City Emergency Departments' (EDs) abilities to identify and respond to patients with communicable diseases of public health concern. Drill scenarios presented a patient reporting signs or symptoms and travel history consistent with possible measles or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Evaluators captured key infection control performance measures, including time to patient masking and isolation. Ninety-five drills (53 measles and 42 MERS) were conducted in 49 EDs with patients masked and isolated in 78% of drills. Median time from entry to masking was 1.5 minutes (range = 0-47 minutes) and from entry to isolation was 8.5 minutes (range = 1-57). Hospitals varied in their ability to identify potentially infectious patients and implement recommended infection control measures in a timely manner. Drill findings were used to inform hospital improvement planning to more rapidly and consistently identify and isolate patients with a potentially highly infectious disease.

Age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity score is associated with the risk of empyema in patients with COPD.

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a higher risk of pneumonia than the general population due to their impaired lung defense. They also have a higher risk of empyema and more comorbidities than patients without COPD. This study aimed to evaluate the risk of empyema in patients with COPD after adjusting for age and comorbidities using the age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity index (ACCI).Data were retrieved from the National Health Insurance Research Database. COPD patients were defined as inpatients aged >40 years with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis code for COPD. In total, 558,660 COPD patients were enrolled and separated into 3 groups by ACCI score to represent the severity of comorbidity (≤2, 3-5, and >5). Other comorbidities assessed included autoimmune diseases, gastroesophageal reflux disease, dyslipidemia, chest wall injury, and thoracostomy.Of the 558,660 patients, 36,556 (6.54%) had low ACCI scores (≤2), 208,292 (37.28%) had moderate ACCI scores (3-5), and 313,812 (56.17%) had high ACCI scores (>5). The mean ages of the low, moderate, and high groups were 50.66, 70.62, and 78.05 years, respectively. The hazard ratio (HRs) for empyema were 1.26 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13-1.40) in the moderate ACCI group and 1.55 (95% CI = 1.39-1.72) in the high ACCI group compared with the low ACCI group. The overall incidence of empyema in COPD patients was 2.57 per 1000 person-years.This is the first study to use ACCI scores to analyze the risk of empyema in patients with COPD. Patients with high ACCI scores were older and had more complicated comorbidities, resulting in a higher risk of empyema and poor prognosis. The subgroup analysis indicated that COPD patients with comorbid autoimmune disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, chest wall injury, or history of thoracostomy did not have a higher risk of empyema than patients without these comorbidities.Empyema is an important issue in patients with COPD and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Awareness of the risk factors for empyema, close monitoring, and early intervention may improve patient outcomes and decrease mortality.

Comparative effectiveness of azithromycin for treating scrub typhus: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis.

Scrub typhus is a zoonotic disease that remains an important health threat in endemic areas. Appropriate anti-rickettsial treatment ensures a successful recovery. Doxycycline is a recommended drug, but it is contraindicated in pregnant women and young children. Azithromycin is a safer alternative drug, but its effectiveness remains largely unclear. Herein, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of azithromycin.

Cholera, 2016.

Dental procedures, antibiotic prophylaxis, and endocarditis among people with prosthetic heart valves: nationwide population based cohort and a case crossover study.

Objective To assess the relation between invasive dental procedures and infective endocarditis associated with oral streptococci among people with prosthetic heart valves.Design Nationwide population based cohort and a case crossover study.Setting French national health insurance administrative data linked with the national hospital discharge database.Participants All adults aged more than 18 years, living in France, with medical procedure codes for positioning or replacement of prosthetic heart valves between July 2008 and July 2014.Main outcome measures Oral streptococcal infective endocarditis was identified using primary discharge diagnosis codes. In the cohort study, Poisson regression models were performed to estimate the rate of oral streptococcal infective endocarditis during the three month period after invasive dental procedures compared with non-exposure periods. In the case crossover study, conditional logistic regression models calculated the odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals comparing exposure to invasive dental procedures during the three month period preceding oral streptococcal infective endocarditis (case period) with three earlier control periods.Results The cohort included 138 876 adults with prosthetic heart valves (285 034 person years); 69 303 (49.9%) underwent at least one dental procedure. Among the 396 615 dental procedures performed, 103 463 (26.0%) were invasive and therefore presented an indication for antibiotic prophylaxis, which was performed in 52 280 (50.1%). With a median follow-up of 1.7 years, 267 people developed infective endocarditis associated with oral streptococci (incidence rate 93.7 per 100 000 person years, 95% confidence interval 82.4 to 104.9). Compared with non-exposure periods, no statistically significant increased rate of oral streptococcal infective endocarditis was observed during the three months after an invasive dental procedure (relative rate 1.25, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 1.82; P=0.26) and after an invasive dental procedure without antibiotic prophylaxis (1.57, 0.90 to 2.53; P=0.08). In the case crossover analysis, exposure to invasive dental procedures was more frequent during case periods than during matched control periods (5.1% v 3.2%; odds ratio 1.66, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 2.63; P=0.03).Conclusion Invasive dental procedures may contribute to the development of infective endocarditis in adults with prosthetic heart valves.

Early, Goal-Directed Therapy for Septic Shock - A Patient-Level Meta-Analysis

Independent Preoperative Predictors of Prolonged Length of Stay after Laparoscopic Appendectomy in Patients Over 30 Years of Age: Experience from a Single Institution.

Prompt discharge after laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) is a marker of quality of care, fiscally desirable and feasible in select patients. Patients over 30 comprise a more heterogeneous cohort known to experience worse outcomes after LA. We aimed to identify easily available preoperative risk factors portending a postoperative length of stay ≥2 days among patients above age 30. In this investigation, 296 included patients from a single institution who underwent LA for acute appendicitis from 2010 to 2014 were retrospectively reviewed for preoperative demographics, laboratory studies, comorbidities, presentation characteristics, radiographic finding, and other rationally selected factors for association with postoperative length of stay ≥2 days. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was conducted to determine independent risk factors, which were subsequently modeled via receiver-operating characteristic curve generation and Kaplan-Meier analysis. "Classic" presentation [odds ratio (OR) = 0.5, P = .02], elevated red cell distribution width (RDW; OR = 1.5/% increase, P = 0.004) as well as evidence of rupture on CT (OR = 6.9, P < 0.001) were independently associated with postoperative length of stay ≥ 2 days. Modeling length of stay using these factors generated an area under the curve of 0.713 ± 0.037. Kaplan-Meier analysis of "classic" presentation, elevated RDW, and evidence of rupture on CT through the fifth postoperative day generated log-rank P values of 0.02, 0.05, and ≤ 0.001, respectively. In summary, lack of "classic" presentation, elevated RDW, and CT evidence of rupture are novel risk factors for prolonged postoperative length of stay in LA patients over 30. These findings may help target patients most appropriate for prompt discharge.

Use of Antibiotic-Impregnated Absorbable Beads and Tissue Coverage of Complex Wounds.

The treatment of complex wounds is commonplace for plastic surgeons. Standard management is debridement of infected and devitalized tissue and systemic antibiotic therapy. In cases where vital structures are exposed within the wound, coverage is obtained with the use of vascularized tissue using both muscle and fasciocutaneous flaps. The use of nondissolving polymethylmethacrylate and absorbable antibiotic-impregnated beads has been shown to deliver high concentrations of antibiotics with low systemic levels of the same antibiotic. We present a multicenter retrospective review of all cases that used absorbable antibiotic-impregnated beads for complex wound management from 2003 to 2013. A total of 104 cases were investigated, flap coverage was used in 97 cases (93.3%). Overall, 15 patients (14.4%) required reoperation with the highest groups involving orthopedic wounds and sternal wounds. The advantages of using absorbable antibiotic-impregnated beads in complex infected wounds have been demonstrated with minimal disadvantages. The utilization of these beads is expanding to a variety of complex infectious wounds requiring high concentrations of local antibiotics.

Zoonotic Chlamydia caviae Presenting as Community-Acquired Pneumonia.

Early, Goal-Directed Therapy for Septic Shock - A Patient-Level Meta-Analysis.

Early, Goal-Directed Therapy for Septic Shock - A Patient-Level Meta-Analysis.

Association between oropharyngeal carriage of Kingella kingae and osteoarticular infection in young children: a case-control study.

Kingella kingae has been increasingly identified in patients with osteoarticular infections. Our main objective was to evaluate the association between carriage of K. kingae in the oropharynx of preschool children and osteoarticular infections.

Meningococcal B Vaccine Failure With a Penicillin-Resistant Strain in a Young Adult on Long-Term Eculizumab.

We describe a case of invasive meningococcal disease due to a vaccine-preventable and penicillin-resistant strain in a fully immunized young adult on long-term complement inhibitor therapy and daily penicillin chemoprophylaxis. Eculizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds human complement C5 protein and inhibits the terminal complement pathway. It is currently recommended for the treatment of complement-mediated thrombotic microangiopathies. An unwanted complication of inhibiting complement, however, is an increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease. Here, we report the first case of meningococcal group B vaccine failure in a young adult receiving eculizumab for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. She developed invasive meningococcal disease due to a vaccine-preventable and penicillin-resistant meningococcal group B strain 4 months after receiving 2 doses of meningococcal group B vaccine while on oral penicillin prophylaxis against meningococcal infection.

Predictive Factors and Treatment Outcomes of Tuberculous Pleural Effusion in Patients With Cancer and Pleural Effusion.

Patients with cancer are at an increased risk of tuberculosis. As pleural effusion has great clinical significance in patients with cancer, the differential diagnosis between tuberculous pleural effusion (TPE) and malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is important. However, the predictive factors and treatment outcomes of TPE in patients with cancer have rarely been studied.

Effect of Prepregnancy Pertussis Vaccination in Young Infants.

Maternal antibodies to pertussis can hamper infant immune responses to pertussis vaccines. The effect a maternal tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine booster between 2 consecutive pregnancies is investigated.

Suppressor Cell-Depleting Immunotherapy With Denileukin Diftitox is an Effective Host-Directed Therapy for Tuberculosis.

Host-directed therapies that augment host immune effector mechanisms may serve as important adjunctive therapies for tuberculosis treatment. We evaluated the activity of denileukin diftitox in an acute mouse model of tuberculosis (TB) infection and analyzed the cellular composition and bacterial burden in lungs and spleens. These in vivo studies show that denileukin diftitox potentiates standard TB treatment in the mouse model, an effect which may be due to depletion of T-regulatory and myeloid-derived suppressor cells during TB infection. Our results indicate that denileukin diftitox and other suppressor cell-depleting therapies may be useful adjunctive, host-directed therapies for TB.

Global leprosy update, 2016: accelerating reduction of disease burden.

Diagnosis of prosthetic joint infection with alpha-defensin using a lateral flow device: a multicentre study.

The purpose of this current multicentre study is to analyse the presence of alpha-defensin proteins in synovial fluid using the Synovasure lateral flow device and to determine its diagnostic reliability and accuracy compared with the prosthetic joint infection (PJI) criteria produced by the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS).

Does tantalum exhibit any intrinsic antimicrobial or antibiofilm properties?

Tantalum (Ta) trabecular metal components are increasingly used to reconstruct major bone defects in revision arthroplasty surgery. It is known that some metals such as silver have antibacterial properties. Recent reports have raised the question regarding whether Ta components are protective against infection in revision surgery. This laboratory study aimed to establish whether Ta has intrinsic antibacterial properties against planktonic bacteria, or the ability to inhibit biofilm formation.

BMI is a key risk factor for early periprosthetic joint infection following total hip and knee arthroplasty.

To identify patient and surgical risk factors that are associated with periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), especially whether obesity is a risk factor following total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Awareness, Beliefs, and Actions Concerning Zika Virus Among Pregnant Women and Community Members - U.S. Virgin Islands, November-December 2016.

As of May 2, 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), comprising St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, had reported 1,021 probable or confirmed cases* of Zika virus disease in its population of approximately 100,000 (1); 222 symptomatic and asymptomatic pregnant women in the USVI had tested positive for Zika virus. In January 2016, USVI Department of Health (USVI DOH) initiated Zika response measures, including surveillance, vector control, and a communications program. Interventions included education and outreach, distribution of Zika prevention kits(†) to pregnant women in the USVI, and provision of free Zika virus laboratory testing and vector control services. In November 2016, USVI DOH staff members conducted interviews with convenience samples of community members and pregnant women to gather feedback about current and proposed interventions (2). Pregnant women reported taking a median of two actions to protect themselves from Zika, with repellent use being the most commonly reported action. Community members reported taking a median of one action and were supportive of several proposed vector control approaches. Whereas multiple pregnant women and community members reported hearing messages about the cause and consequences of Zika virus infections, few recalled messages about specific actions they could take to protect themselves. Integrating evaluation into response measures permits ongoing assessment of intervention effectiveness and supports improvement to serve the population's needs.

Recurrent bacteremia and liver abscess caused by Clostridium difficile: A case report.

Clostridium difficile bacteremia (CDB) and liver abscess is a quite rare presentation of C. difficile infection.

Classification and possible bacterial infection in outpatients with eczema and dermatitis in China: A cross-sectional and multicenter study.

Little is known about the classification and bacterial infection in outpatients with eczema and dermatitis in China.To investigate the prevalence of eczema and dermatitis in outpatients of dermatology clinics in China, examine classification and proportion of common types of dermatitis and the possible bacterial infection, and analyze the possible related factors.Outpatients with eczema or dermatitis from 39 tertiary hospitals of 15 provinces in mainland China from July 1 to September 30, 2014, were enrolled in this cross-sectional and multicenter study. Among 9393 enrolled outpatients, 636 patients (6.7%) were excluded because of incomplete information.The leading subtypes of dermatitis were unclassified eczema (35.5%), atopic dermatitis (13.4%), irritant dermatitis (9.2%), and widespread eczema (8.7%). Total bacterial infection rate was 52.3%, with widespread eczema, stasis dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis being the leading three (65.7%, 61.8%, and 61.4%, respectively). Clinically very likely bacterial infection has a significant positive correlation with disease duration, history of allergic disease, history of flexion dermatitis, and severe itching.Atopic dermatitis has become a common subtype of dermatitis in China. Secondary bacterial infection is common in all patients with dermatitis, and more attentions should be paid on this issue in other type of dermatitis apart from atopic dermatitis.

Adherence, tolerability, and outcome after 36 months of isoniazid-preventive therapy in 2 rural clinics of Swaziland: A prospective observational feasibility study.

Although efficacy of 36 months isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) among HIV-positive individuals has been proven in trial settings, outcome, tolerance, and adherence have rarely been evaluated in real-life settings.This is a prospective observational cohort study conducted in 2 primary care rural clinics in Swaziland.After negative tuberculosis symptom screening, patients either with the positive tuberculin skin test (TST) or after tuberculosis treatment were initiated on IPT for 144 weeks. In addition to routine clinic visits, adherence was assessed every semester.Of 288 eligible patients, 2 patients never started IPT (1 refusal, 1 contraindication), and 253 (87.8%), 234 (81.3%), and 228 (79.2%) were still on IPT after 48, 96, and 144 weeks, respectively (chiP = .01). Of 41 patients who interrupted IPT before 144 weeks, 21 defaulted (of which 17 also defaulted HIV care); 16 stopped because of adverse drug reactions; 2 were discontinued by clinicians' mistake and 1 because of TB symptoms. Five patients (1.7%) died of causes not related to IPT, 5 (1.7%) developed TB of which 2 were isoniazid-resistant, and 9 (3.1%) were transferred to another clinic. As an indicator of adherence, isoniazid could be detected in the urine during 86.3% (302/350) and 73.6% (248/337) of patient visits in the 2 clinics, respectively (chiP < .001).The routine implementation of IPT 36 months was feasible and good patient outcomes were achieved, with low TB incidence, good tolerance, and sustained adherence.

Diagnostic value of lactate, procalcitonin, ferritin, serum-C-reactive protein, and other biomarkers in bacterial and viral meningitis: A cross-sectional study.

There are many difficulties distinguishing bacterial from viral meningitis that could be reasonably solved using biomarkers. The aim of this study was to evaluate lactate, procalcitonin (PCT), ferritin, serum-CRP (C-reactive protein), and other known biomarkers in differentiating bacterial meningitis from viral meningitis in children.All children aged 28 days to 14 years with suspected meningitis who were admitted to Mofid Children's Hospital, Tehran, between October 2012 and November 2013, were enrolled in this prospective cross-sectional study. Children were divided into 2 groups of bacterial and viral meningitis, based on the results of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture, polymerase chain reaction, and cytochemical profile. Diagnostic values of CSF parameters (ferritin, PCT, absolute neutrophil count [ANC], white blood cell count, and lactate) and serum parameters (PCT, ferritin, CRP, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR]) were evaluated.Among 50 patients with meningitis, 12 were diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Concentrations of all markers were significantly different between bacterial and viral meningitis, except for serum (P = .389) and CSF (P = .136) PCT. The best rates of area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) were achieved by lactate (AUC = 0.923) and serum-CRP (AUC = 0.889). The best negative predictive values (NPV) for bacterial meningitis were attained by ANC (100%) and lactate (97.1%).The results of our study suggest that ferritin and PCT are not strong predictive biomarkers. A combination of low CSF lactate, ANC, ESR, and serum-CRP could reasonably rule out the bacterial meningitis.

Exploring virulence and immunogenicity in the emerging pathogen Sporothrix brasiliensis.

Sporotrichosis is a polymorphic chronic infection of humans and animals classically acquired after traumatic inoculation with soil and plant material contaminated with Sporothrix spp. propagules. An alternative and successful route of transmission is bites and scratches from diseased cats, through which Sporothrix yeasts are inoculated into mammalian tissue. The development of a murine model of subcutaneous sporotrichosis mimicking the alternative route of transmission is essential to understanding disease pathogenesis and the development of novel therapeutic strategies. To explore the impact of horizontal transmission in animals (e.g., cat-cat) and zoonotic transmission on Sporothrix fitness, the left hind footpads of BALB/c mice were inoculated with 5×106 yeasts (n = 11 S. brasiliensis, n = 2 S. schenckii, or n = 1 S. globosa). Twenty days post-infection, our model reproduced both the pathophysiology and symptomology of sporotrichosis with suppurating subcutaneous nodules that progressed proximally along lymphatic channels. Across the main pathogenic members of the S. schenckii clade, S. brasiliensis was usually more virulent than S. schenckii and S. globosa. However, the virulence in S. brasiliensis was strain-dependent, and we demonstrated that highly virulent isolates disseminate from the left hind footpad to the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain of infected animals, inducing significant and chronic weight loss (losing up to 15% of their body weight). The weight loss correlated with host death between 2 and 16 weeks post-infection. Histopathological features included necrosis, suppurative inflammation, and polymorphonuclear and mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates. Immunoblot using specific antisera and homologous exoantigen investigated the humoral response. Antigenic profiles were isolate-specific, supporting the hypothesis that different Sporothrix species can elicit a heterogeneous humoral response over time, but cross reaction was observed between S. brasiliensis and S. schenckii proteomes. Despite great diversity in the immunoblot profiles, antibodies were mainly derived against 3-carboxymuconate cyclase, a glycoprotein oscillating between 60 and 70 kDa (gp60-gp70) and a 100-kDa molecule in nearly 100% of the assays. Thus, our data broaden the current view of virulence and immunogenicity in the Sporothrix-sporotrichosis system, substantially expanding the possibilities for comparative genomic with isolates bearing divergent virulence traits and helping uncover the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary pressures underpinning the emergence of Sporothrix virulence.

Pyomyositis of the pectineus muscle in an adolescent male.

The 'irritable hip' continues to pose a challenge for clinicians. Even with predictive clinical algorithms, decision making can be difficult. Emergency treatment is required if septic arthritis is suspected. Other differential diagnoses such as transient synovitis, pyomyositis of the pelvic girdle muscles and osteomyelitis must be considered in order to help guide appropriate investigations and allow early treatment. We report the case of a 13-year-old boy presenting to our institution with an acutely painful left hip but still able to weight bear. Despite a fever and raised inflammatory markers, the clinical examination did not correspond to that of an infected hip joint. Urgent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed pyomyositis of the pectineus muscle. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case in the literature. The child was treated with seven days of intravenous antibiotics. There was a good clinical response as well as normalisation of the C-reactive protein level and white cell count. The patient was discharged home with a further week of oral antibiotics. Follow-up MRI at two weeks demonstrated a dramatic reduction in the inflammation of the pectineus. At the clinic follow-up appointment, the child was asymptomatic and back to normal function. Pyomyositis is typically found in tropical areas but its rates in temperate climates have been rising. It usually affects large groups of muscles such as the quadriceps and gluteal muscles. MRI is the gold standard investigation. If diagnosed early, the condition can be treated successfully with intravenous antibiotics alone. Given the widespread availability of MRI, we recommend its increased use to distinguish between pyomyositis and other paediatric hip pathologies.


The use of natural resources for the treatment of acute respiratory infections in children is a widespread practice within traditional communities, especially by women by being the primary caregivers. This study aimed to perform ethnobiological survey of plants and animals used for the treatment of acute respiratory infections in children of a traditional community in the municipality of Barbalha, Ceará, Brazil.

Botulism: Diagnosis and Therapy.

Background Botulism is a rare, life-threatening, time-critical neuroparalytic disease that is frequently a subject of differential diagnostic considerations. But there is much uncertainty regarding diagnosis and therapy. Rapid diagnosis, early antitoxin dose, consistent food hygiene and the sensitization of the population can help to reduce incidence, morbidity and mortality. Methods This overview is based on an epidemiological data inquiry (RKI, ECDC, CDC, WHO) and a selective literature research (pubmed till March 2017). Additionally, the German botulism guideline (2012) and own diagnostical experiences were taken into account. Results The incidence of botulinum toxin intoxication induced by ubiquitous spore-forming Clostridium botulinum (main representative) is < 0.01/100 000 EU citizens. Foodborne botulism is a pure intoxication syndrome (most common form) due to improperly prepared or incorrectly stored food. Wound and infant botulism are kinds of "toxico-infections". A "bulbar" neuroparalysis is a main symptom progressing to a flaccid tetraparesis up to respiratory paralysis. Infant botulism is presented non-specific and is treated only symptomatically; but a special human-derived antitoxin is available at international pharmacies. In case of suspected foodborne or wound botulism antitoxin must be administered as soon as possible, which may also be effective 24 hours after symptoms onset. There is no evidence for adjuvant treatment except of intensive care unit (ICU) therapy. Conclusion Despite typical symptomatology botulism is often diagnosed too late. Early antitoxin administration and ICU therapy are crucial for survival. A consultant laboratory should be contacted for advice.