Authors:Dirk Prochnau, Marc Lehmann, Eberhard Straube, Hans Figulla, and Jürgen Rödel
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection may be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by modulating functions of smooth muscle cells (SMC). In this study, we performed an oligonucleotide microarray screening of 780 inflammation-associated genes in HCMV-infected aortic SMC (AoSMC). The expression of 31 genes was stimulated and 24 genes were down-regulated following infection with HCMV strain DC-134. Following infection with HCMV strain AD-169 infection, we found 24 genes to be stimulated and 32 genes to be down-regulated. Among these were primarily genes encoding for CC and CXC chemokines, adhesion molecules, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily members, apoptosis-related factors, signal transduction molecules and transcription regulators. The up-regulated genes included matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3 in HCMV infected cells. Using RT-PCR and enzyme immunoassay we found stimulated expression of MMP-1 (3.2-fold expression) and MMP-3 (334-fold expression) in HCMV strain DC-134-infected AoSMC at 72 h following infection.The findings of our study suggest that HCMV infection of AoSMC cause an activation of atherosclerosis-relevant factors in SMC. The increased expression of MMPs which have been shown to be involved in atherosclerotic plaque rupture and myocardial infarction is in agreement with the hypothesis that this pathogen might contribute to plaque inflammation in atherosclerotic disease.
Authors:Philipp A. Reuken, Michael Baier, Stefan Hagel, Philip Eisermann, Andreas Stallmach, and Jürgen Rödel
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a rapid molecular technique that has been introduced into malaria diagnosis. The test is easy to perform and offers high sensitivity. We report a 53-year-old male patient who was hospitalized with fever attacks, chills, and headache caused 9 months after returning from Africa. During his stay in Africa, he used malaria chemoprophylaxis. Microscopy of thin and thick blood films and rapid diagnostic antigen testing remained negative for three times. The EDTA blood samples were tested using the Meridian illumigene® malaria LAMP assay that gave a positive result for Plasmodium spp. Diagnosis of malaria was subsequently specified as P. ovale infection by real-time PCR. Ovale malaria often manifests with delay and low parasitemia. The patient was treated with atovaquone-proguanil, followed by primaquine for prophylaxis of relapse. This case illustrates the usefulness of the illumigene® malaria LAMP assay for initial screening of malaria parasites.
Authors:Matthias Karrasch, Sven Eisenach, Ulrich Vogel, Jan Zinke, Otto W. Witte, Albrecht Günther, Bernd Romeike, and Jürgen Rödel
There is a need for easy-to-use molecular assays for diagnosis of invasive meningococcal disease. Here, we report the rapid identification of Neisseria meningitidis in a cerebrospinal fluid sample from a patient with purulent meningitis using a commercially available loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay, resulting in a prompt de-escalation of the initial empiric antibiotic therapy.