The purpose of this study was to evaluate the molecular relatedness of clinical isolates of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) collected from patients of the Clinic for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Belgrade. Among 40 isolates available for the investigation, 36 were identified as Enterococcus faecium, whereas 2 were Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus raffinosus, respectively. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing revealed 21 strain types, comprising 7 clusters which contained at least two isolates and 14 unique PFGE patterns. Although we searched for pathogenicity factor genes (gelE, cylB, asa1, efaAfs, esp, cpd, cob) in representatives of all macro-restriction patterns, they have been confirmed in only one clone of E. faecalis. Genes esp and hyl, commonly found in E. faecium, were yilded in 10 macro-restriction patterns of this species, and their presence could not be ascribed to clonally related strains (p = 0.05). All VRE isolates were multiresistant and positive for vanA gene. Twenty strains of VRE and 6 clusters obtained from Intensive care unit (ICU) are proof of intensive transmission of these microorganisms at this department. The results of this study suggest wide genotypic variability among the clinical VRE isolates, but also intrahospital dissemination of some of them.
Travel to the tropics is associated with a risk of parasitic infection, which is increasing in parallel with the rise in travel to these areas. We thus examined the prevalence and trend in the occurrence of parasitic infections in Serbian travelers.
A retrospective analysis of the medical records of all travelers returning from tropical and subtropical areas, who presented at the Institute for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Belgrade between January 2001 and January 2008, was performed.
Of a total of 2440 travelers, 169 (6.9%) were diagnosed with a parasitic infection, including malaria in 79, intestinal parasites in 84 (pathogenic species in 30 and non-pathogenic in 54), filariasis in four, and visceral leishmaniasis and fascioliasis in one patient each. Importantly, of the whole series only 583 (23.9%) were symptomatic, of which 19.4% were found to be infected with a parasite. The single pathogenic parasite occurring in asymptomatic patients was Giardia intestinalis.
Parasitic infection causing symptomatic disease among travelers returning from tropical areas to Serbia is not infrequent. In view of the expected increase in travel to the tropics, diagnostic protocols for tropical parasitic diseases should take these data into account.