Tags: Trimethoprim


Essentials of Diagnosis Patients present with watery diarrhea, which is usually self-limited in immunocompetent patients but may be prolonged in the immunocompromised patient. A history of travel to areas such as Nepal, Haiti, and Peru, a history of berry consumption, or community outbreak of diarrhea may increase suspicion of diagnosis. Acid-fast stain of stool specimens reveals abundant oocysts. General Considerations Cyclospora is a coccidian that had been described as a "large cryptosporidium" or "cyanobacterium-like body" before being confirmed as a member of the phylum Apicomplexa in 1993. The life cycle in humans has not been fully detailed. The organism has been shown to infect jejunal enterocytes. Similar to Isospora, the oocysts […]

Toxoplasma Gondii

General Considerations 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 T […]

Toxoplasma Gondii: Treatment

Infection in Immunocompetent Adults and Children Immunocompetent adults and children with toxoplasmic lymphadenitis do not require treatment unless symptoms are severe or persistent. Infections acquired by laboratory accident or transfusion of blood products are potentially more severe, and these patients should always be treated. The combination of pyrimethamine, sulfadiazine, and folinic acid for 4-6 weeks is the most commonly used and recommended drug regimen (Box 2). Treatment should be administered for 2-4 weeks, followed by reassessment of the patient's condition. The decision to treat active toxoplasmic chorioretinitis should be based on the results of an examination performed by an ophthalmologist. Pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine plus folinic acid are commonly used for this […]

Pneumocystis Carinii

Essentials of Diagnosis  Pneumocystis carinii, when examined using molecular techniques, most closely resembles a fungus. Stains of either bronchoalveolar-lavage (BAL) or transbronchial-biopsy samples yield a diagnosis in > 90% of patients and should be considered the gold standard in diagnosis. BAL with transbronchial biopsy increases diagnostic yield to ~ 100%. P carinii has not yet been cultured in vitro. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (especially on sputum) increases sensitivity but reduces specificity. The prophylactic use of aerosolized pentamidine reduces the sensitivity of sputum and bronchoscopic samples. General Considerations Epidemiology In 1983, P carinii pneumonia (PCP) was described as the AIDS-defining illness in = 60% of the first 1000 patients diagnosed with AIDS […]

Extrapulmonary P Carinii Infections

Extrapulmonary P carinii infections occur in < 3% of patients and must be diagnosed with histopathologic samples. Primary prophylaxis for PCP with pentamidine may confer a higher risk for extrapulmonary infection. Symptoms of extrapulmonary involvement are nonspecific, usually consisting of fevers, chills, and sweats. Although any area of the body may be involved, splenomegaly with cysts and thyroiditis are most common. Diagnosis The practice of diagnosing PCP morphologically by traditional staining methods (silver methenamine and toluidine blue) of induced sputum samples in HIV-infected individuals has fallen out of favor. Although relatively simple and inexpensive, staining of sputum samples induced by hypertonic saline inhalation is clearly dependent on operator and laboratory experience, […]

Fusarium, Penicillium, Paracoccidioides, & Agents of Chromomycosis

FUSARIUM INFECTION Essentials of Diagnosis Worldwide geographic distribution. Mold, septate hyphae 3-8 um in diameter. A rare infection in severely immunocompromised patients. Blood cultures often but not always positive. No serologic tests available. Cutaneous involvement is common feature. General Considerations Epidemiology Fusarium spp. is an emerging fungal pathogen. Although long recognized as a cause of local infection involving nails, traumatized skin, or the cornea (eg, in contact lens wearers), deep or disseminated infection was not described until the mid 1970s. Despite its worldwide distribution and its frequent recovery from soil and vegetative material, infection is quite rare. Only ~ 100 cases involving invasive disease in immunosuppressed patients have been described in […]


Essentials of Diagnosis Patients usually immunocompetent. Patients in endemic areas with chronic pulmonary and mucotaneous lesions involving the mouth, nose, larynx, and face; regional or diffuse lymphadenopathy. Found in Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina. Dimorphic fungus: yeast form in tissue specimens and at 37 °C; mold form when grown at room temperature in the laboratory. Thick-walled yeast, 4-40 um, with multiple buds when seen in tissue specimens. Complement fixation or immunodiffusion. General Considerations Paracoccidioidomycosis is caused by Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Also known as South American blastomycosis, it is the most prevalent systemic mycosis found in Central and South America and is the most common endemic mycosis in this area. Epidemiology Paracoccidioidomycosis […]

Fever & Bacteremia/Trench Fever/Endocarditis

The four Bartonella species that are pathogenic for humans are capable of causing sustained or relapsing bacteremia accompanied by only fever (Table 1). All except B bacilliformis also cause endocarditis. After B quintana enters the body through broken skin from the excreta of the infected human body louse (Pediculus humanus), there is an incubation period of between 5 and 20 days before the onset of trench fever. Patients complain of fever, myalgias, malaise, headache, bone pain — particularly of the legs, and a transient macular rash. Usually the illness continues for 4-6 weeks. Sustained or recurrent bacteremia is common, with or without symptoms. The form of trench fever described in the […]


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 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 is […]

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. Epidemiology Brucellosis is transmitted to humans by either direct contact […]