Tags: Brain Abscess

Toxoplasma Gondii

General Considerations A. Epidemiology. Toxoplasma gondii infection, or toxoplasmosis, is a zoonosis (the definitive hosts are members of the cat family). The two most common routes of infection in humans are by oral ingestion of the parasite and by transplacental (congenital) transmission to the fetus. Ingestion of undercooked or raw meat that contains cysts or of water or food contaminated with oocysts results in acute infection. In humans, the prevalence of toxoplasmosis increases with age. There are also considerable geographic differences in prevalence rates (eg, 10% in Palo Alto, CA; 15% in Boston, MA; 30% in Birmingham, AL; 70% in France; = 90% in El Salvador). Differences in the epidemiology of …

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Non-falciparum Malaria (P Vivax, P Ovale, P Malariae)

Clinical Findings A. Signs and Symptoms. Patients with nonfalciparum malaria invariably develop fever and chills that may become cyclic. Initially, patients experience chills, which are followed by fever (Box 1). Patients with malaria often manifest many nonspecific symptoms such as weakness, malaise, headache, and myalgias. As the disease progresses, signs of anemia, such as pale conjunctiva, may be seen. Splenomegaly and mild hepatomegaly may also be present. After hours of fever, defervescence occurs with marked diaphoresis. Patients are weakened and exhausted from the severity of the disease. In established infections caused by P vivax and P ovale, a periodicity may occur approximately every 48 h. P vivax and P ovale infections …

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Aspergillus, Pseudallescheria, & Agents of Mucormycosis

ASPERGILLUS INFECTION Essentials of Diagnosis Filamentous fungus with septate hyphae 3-6 um in diameter. Branching of hyphal elements typically at 45° angle. Specific IgG antibodies generally of no use diagnostically since most patients are immunosuppressed and will not generate antibody response. Pulmonary lesions, localized or cavitary in susceptible host. General Considerations A. Epidemiology. Aspergillus spp. are found worldwide and grow in a variety of conditions. They commonly grow in soil and moist locations and are among the most common molds encountered on spoiled food and decaying vegetation, in compost piles, and in stored hay and grain. Aspergillus spp. often grow in houseplant soil, and such soil may be a source of …

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Mycoplasma & Ureaplasma

Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma species (mycoplasmas) are ubiquitous in nature and are commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. These bacteria contain the smallest amount of double-stranded DNA that is capable of producing a free-living microorganism; they measure between 0.15 and 0.3 um in diameter and = 2 um in length. They are believed to have evolved from a putative common ancestor of the gram-positive bacteria by a process of genome reduction and adoption of a dependent, parasitic life style. Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma spp. lack a cell wall. Therefore, they cannot be visualized with the Gram stain and are not susceptible to antibiotics that act on cell wall synthesis (eg, penicillins and …

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Actinomycetes

Actinomycetes are variably acid-fast, gram-positive bacilli that are sometimes filamentous and branched. Originally thought to be fungi due to their hyphae-like appearance, they are now recognized as bacteria based on their cell wall components, reproduction by fission without sporulation or budding, inhibition by antibacterial agents, and molecular phylogenetic analysis. The actinomycete chromosomes contain a high content of guanosine and cytosine. The actinomycetes include the genera Mycobacterium and Corynebacterium, which are discussed in site and site, respectively. The actinomycetes also include the genera Nocardia, Actinomyces, Rhodococcus, Tsukumurella, Gordona, Actinomadura, and Streptomyces, as well as the Whipple’s disease bacillus Tropheryma whippelii. Of these, members of the genus Nocardia are the most significant from …

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Nocardia

Essentials of Diagnosis Gram-positive, variably acid-fast, branching filaments with aerial hyphae. Colonies have characteristic chalky-white or cotton ball appearance. Suspect when chronic pulmonary disease is accompanied by CNS or skin lesions. No specific antibody or antigen detection tests. General Considerations A. Epidemiology. Nocardia spp. are strictly aerobic, ubiquitous soil-dwelling organisms that are largely responsible for the decomposition of organic plant material. Infection usually occurs via inhalation of these organisms in airborne dust particles, leading to pulmonary disease. However, infection can also be acquired via direct percutaneous inoculation by thorns, animal scratches, bites, surgical wounds, and intravenous catheters. Dissemination commonly occurs to the central nervous system (CNS), skin, and subcutaneous tissues. Nocardiosis …

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Brucella, Francisella, Pasteurella, Yersinia, & Hacek

BRUCELLOSIS Essentials of Diagnosis • Suspected in patients with chronic fever of unknown etiology who have a history of occupational exposure or come from a high prevalence area. • Leukopenia. • Blood culture or bone marrow cultures on appropriate media. • Serum antibody titer = 1:160. • Polymerase chain reaction. General Considerations Brucellosis (also called undulant fever, Mediterranean fever, Malta fever) is an infection that causes abortion in domestic animals. It is caused by one of six species of Brucella coccobacilli. It may occasionally be transmitted to humans, in whom the disease could be acute or chronic with ongoing fever and constitutional symptoms without localized findings. A. Epidemiology. Brucellosis is transmitted …

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Important Anaerobes

Essentials of Diagnosis • Foul odor of draining purulence. • Presence of gas in tissues. • No organism growth on aerobic culture media. • Infection localized in the proximity of mucosal surface. • Presence of septic thrombophlebitis. • Tissue necrosis and abscess formation. • Association with malignancies (especially intestinal). • Mixed organism morphologies on Gram stain. General Considerations A. Epidemiology and Ecology. Anaerobic bacteria are the predominant component of the normal microbial flora of the human body. The following sites harbor the vast majority of them: • Skin: Mostly gram-positive bacilli such as Propionibacterium acnes • Gastrointestinal tract: In the oral cavity Prevotella spp., Porphyromonas spp., Peptostreptococcus spp., microaerophillic streptococci, and …

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Important Anaerobes: Clinical Syndromes

Box 1 summarizes different clinical syndromes associated with anaerobic bacteria. The sections that follow describe the various syndromes, including clinical findings. For some syndromes, specific diagnosis and treatment information is included as well. For other syndromes, see summary diagnosis and treatment sections at the end of the chapter. HEAD & NECK 1. EAR & PARANASAL SINUSES The flora in as many as two-thirds of chronic sinusitis and otitis cases includes B fragilis, Prevotella spp., Peptostreptococcus spp., and Porphyromonas spp. It is not surprising that ~50% of patients with chronic otitis media are infected with anaerobic bacteria, B fragilis being the most common. Mastoiditis may arise as a complication in some of …

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Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

Essentials of Diagnosis • Nosocomial acquisition. • Predisposing factors include immunosuppression (neutropenia, cystic fibrosis [CF], AIDS, corticosteroid use, diabetes mellitus); presence of a foreign body, prosthesis, or instrumentation; prolonged hospitalization and antibiotic use; intravenous drug use. • Most common infections include pneumonia, bacteremia, urinary tract infection, otitis media, skin and skin structure infections, including ecthyma gangrenosa. • Gram stain shows gram-negative bacilli; recovery of microorganism from culture of blood or other tissue. General Considerations A. Epidemiology. The genus Pseudomonas consists of a number of human pathogens, the most important of which is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen found widely in soil, water, and organic material, reflecting its limited …

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