Infectious Disease

Ciolino JB, McLaurin EB, Marsico NP, Ackerman SL, Williams JM, Villanueva L, Hollander DA. Effect of alcaftadine 0.25% on ocular itch associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis: a pooled analysis of two multicenter randomized clinical trials. Clin Ophthalmol 2015;9:765-72.Abstract

PURPOSE: Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis represent the majority of cases of ocular allergy. This analysis was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% in preventing ocular itching associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Pooled data from two double-masked, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies using the conjunctival allergen challenge (CAC) model of allergic conjunctivitis were analyzed. Subjects randomized to receive treatment with alcaftadine 0.25% or placebo were challenged with seasonal (grass, ragweed, trees) or perennial (cat dander, cat hair, dog dander, dust mites, cockroach) allergens, 16 hours after treatment instillation. The primary efficacy measure was subject-evaluated mean ocular itching at 3 minutes post-CAC. Secondary measures included ocular itching at 5 and 7 minutes post-CAC. The proportion of subjects with minimal itch (itch score <1) and zero itch (itch score =0), and safety were also assessed. RESULTS: A total of 189 subjects enrolled in the two studies were treated with alcaftadine or placebo. Overall, 129 subjects were challenged with seasonal allergens and 60 subjects were challenged with perennial allergens. Alcaftadine 0.25% achieved a statistically significant reduction in mean itch score at 3, 5, and 7 minutes post-CAC compared with placebo in subjects challenged with seasonal allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points) and those challenged with perennial allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points). A higher percentage of subjects treated with alcaftadine compared with placebo achieved minimal itch (P≤0.001 versus placebo at all time points) and zero itch (P<0.05 at all time points except 7 minutes for perennial) when challenged with either seasonal or perennial allergens. No treatment-related or serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% ophthalmic solution was well tolerated and demonstrated effective relief of ocular itching in subjects challenged with allergens classic for triggering either seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis.

Weinberger AD, Gilmore MS. A CRISPR View of Cleavage. Cell 2015;161(5):964-6.Abstract

Seminal studies showed that CRISPR-Cas systems provide adaptive immunity in prokaryotes and promising gene-editing tools from bacteria to humans. Yet, reports diverged on whether some CRISPR systems naturally target DNA or RNA. Here, Samai and colleagues unify the studies, showing that a single type III CRISPR-Cas system cleaves both DNA and RNA targets, independently.

de Almeida LM, Pires C, Cerdeira LT, de Oliveira TGM, McCulloch JA, Perez-Chaparro PJ, Sacramento AG, Brito AC, da Silva JL, de Araújo MRE, Lincopan N, Martin MJ, Gilmore MS, Mamizuka EM. Complete Genome Sequence of Linezolid-Susceptible Staphylococcus haemolyticus Sh29/312/L2, a Clonal Derivative of a Linezolid-Resistant Clinical Strain. Genome Announc 2015;3(3)Abstract

We report the whole-genome sequence (WGS) of an in vitro susceptible derivative revertant mutant from a bloodstream isolate involved in a nosocomial outbreak in Brazil. The WGS comprises 2.5 Mb with 2,500 protein-coding sequences, 16rRNA genes, and 60 tRNA genes.

Gilmore MS, Rauch M, Ramsey MM, Himes PR, Varahan S, Manson JM, Lebreton F, Hancock LE. Pheromone killing of multidrug-resistant Enterococcus faecalis V583 by native commensal strains. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015;112(23):7273-8.Abstract

Multidrug-resistant Enterococcus faecalis possess numerous mobile elements that encode virulence and antibiotic resistance traits as well as new metabolic pathways, often constituting over one-quarter of the genome. It was of interest to determine how this large accretion of mobile elements affects competitive growth in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract consortium. We unexpectedly observed that the prototype clinical isolate strain V583 was actively killed by GI tract flora, whereas commensal enterococci flourished. It was found that killing of V583 resulted from lethal cross-talk between accumulated mobile elements and that this cross-talk was induced by a heptapeptide pheromone produced by native E. faecalis present in the fecal consortium. These results highlight two important aspects of the evolution of multidrug-resistant enterococci: (i) the accretion of mobile elements in E. faecalis V583 renders it incompatible with commensal strains, and (ii) because of this incompatibility, multidrug-resistant strains sharing features found in V583 cannot coexist with commensal strains. The accumulation of mobile elements in hospital isolates of enterococci can include those that are inherently incompatible with native flora, highlighting the importance of maintaining commensal populations as means of preventing colonization and subsequent infection by multidrug-resistant strains.

Papavasileiou E, Sobrin L, Papaliodis GN. Ocular ischemic syndrome presenting as retinal vasculitis in a patient with moyamoya syndrome. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2015;9(2):170-2.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report a case of ocular ischemic syndrome presenting as retinal vasculitis in a patient with Moyamoya syndrome. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted to record clinical data including fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, and serologic testing. A review of the literature from 1969 to 2014 of ocular involvement in Moyamoya syndrome was performed. RESULTS: A 51-year-old woman with long history of bilateral retinal vasculitis and refractory cystoid macular edema was eventually diagnosed with Moyamoya syndrome after sustaining a perioperative cerebrovascular accident. Moyamoya syndrome has been associated in the literature with ocular ischemic syndrome, presenting with narrowed retinal arteries, dilated veins, and midperipheral retinal hemorrhages, but retinal vasculitis with cystoid macular edema has not been reported. CONCLUSION: Moyamoya-related ocular ischemic syndrome can present as retinal vascular leakage and macular edema. Ophthalmologists should be cognizant that signs of the disease may be first observed in the eye before manifestations in the cerebrovascular system.

Uchiyama E, Faez S, Nasir H, Unizony SH, Plenge R, Papaliodis GN, Sobrin L. Accuracy of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) as a research tool for identification of patients with uveitis and scleritis. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2015;22(2):139-41.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report on the accuracy of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes for identifying patients with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and concurrent noninfectious inflammatory ocular conditions in a large healthcare organization database. METHODS: Queries for patients with PMR and uveitis or scleritis were executed in two general teaching hospitals' databases. Patients with ocular infections or other rheumatologic conditions were excluded. Patients with PMR and ocular inflammation were identified, and medical records were reviewed to confirm accuracy. RESULTS: The query identified 10,697 patients with the ICD-9-CM code for PMR and 4154 patients with the codes for noninfectious inflammatory ocular conditions. The number of patients with both PMR and noninfectious uveitis or scleritis by ICD-9-CM codes was 66. On detailed review of the charts of these 66 patients, 31 (47%) had a clinical diagnosis of PMR, 43 (65%) had noninfectious uveitis or scleritis, and only 20 (30%) had PMR with concurrent noninfectious uveitis or scleritis confirmed based on clinical notes. CONCLUSIONS: While the use of ICD-9-CM codes has been validated for medical research of common diseases, our results suggest that ICD-9-CM codes may be of limited value for epidemiological investigations of diseases which can be more difficult to diagnose. The ICD-9-CM codes for rarer diseases (PMR, uveitis and scleritis) did not reflect the true clinical problem in a large proportion of our patients. This is particularly true when coding is performed by physicians outside the area of specialty of the diagnosis.

La Rosa SL, Snipen L-G, Murray BE, Willems RJL, Gilmore MS, Diep DB, Nes IF, Brede DA. A Genomic Virulence Reference Map of Enterococcus faecalis Reveals an Important Contribution of Phage03-Like Elements in Nosocomial Genetic Lineages to Pathogenicity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Infection Model. Infect Immun 2015;83(5):2156-67.Abstract
In the present study, the commensal and pathogenic host-microbe interaction of Enterococcus faecalis was explored using a Caenorhabditis elegans model system. The virulence of 28 E. faecalis isolates representing 24 multilocus sequence types (MLSTs), including human commensal and clinical isolates as well as isolates from animals and of insect origin, was investigated using C. elegans strain glp-4 (bn2ts); sek-1 (km4). This revealed that 6 E. faecalis isolates behaved in a commensal manner with no nematocidal effect, while the remaining strains showed a time to 50% lethality ranging from 47 to 120 h. Principal component analysis showed that the difference in nematocidal activity explained 94% of the variance in the data. Assessment of known virulence traits revealed that gelatinase and cytolysin production accounted for 40.8% and 36.5% of the observed pathogenicity, respectively. However, coproduction of gelatinase and cytolysin did not increase virulence additively, accounting for 50.6% of the pathogenicity and therefore indicating a significant (26.7%) saturation effect. We employed a comparative genomic analysis approach using the 28 isolates comprising a collection of 82,356 annotated coding sequences (CDS) to identify 2,325 patterns of presence or absence among the investigated strains. Univariate statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) established that individual patterns positively correlated (n = 61) with virulence. The patterns were investigated to identify potential new virulence traits, among which we found five patterns consisting of the phage03-like gene clusters. Strains harboring phage03 showed, on average, 17% higher killing of C. elegans (P = 4.4e(-6)). The phage03 gene cluster was also present in gelatinase-and-cytolysin-negative strain E. faecalis JH2-2. Deletion of this phage element from the JH2-2 clinical strain rendered the mutant apathogenic in C. elegans, and a similar mutant of the nosocomial V583 isolate showed significantly attenuated virulence. Bioinformatics investigation indicated that, unlike other E. faecalis virulence traits, phage03-like elements were found at a higher frequency among nosocomial isolates. In conclusion, our report provides a valuable virulence map that explains enhancement in E. faecalis virulence and contributes to a deeper comprehension of the genetic mechanism leading to the transition from commensalism to a pathogenic lifestyle.
Shainheit MG, Valentino MD, Gilmore MS, Camilli A. Mutations in Pneumococcal cpsE Generated via In Vitro Serial Passaging Reveal a Potential Mechanism of Reduced Encapsulation Utilized by a Conjunctival Isolate. J Bacteriol 2015;197(10):1781-91.Abstract
UNLABELLED: The polysaccharide capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is required for nasopharyngeal colonization and for invasive disease in the lungs, blood, and meninges. In contrast, the vast majority of conjunctival isolates are acapsular. The first serotype-specific gene in the capsule operon, cpsE, encodes the initiating glycosyltransferase and is one of the few serotype-specific genes that can tolerate null mutations. This report characterizes a spontaneously arising TIGR4 mutant exhibiting a reduced capsule, caused by a 6-nucleotide duplication in cpsE which results in duplication of Ala and Ile at positions 45 and 46. This strain (AI45dup) possessed more exposed phosphorylcholine and was hypersusceptible to C3 complement deposition compared to the wild type. Accordingly, the mutant was significantly better at forming abiotic biofilms and binding epithelial cells in vitro but was avirulent in a sepsis model. In vitro serial passaging of the wild-type strain failed to reproduce the AI45dup mutation but instead led to a variety of mutants with reduced capsule harboring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cpsE. A single passage in the sepsis model after high-dose inoculation readily yielded revertants of AI45dup with restored wild-type capsule level, but the majority of SNP alleles of cpsE could not revert, suppress, or bypass. Analysis of cpsE in conjunctival isolates revealed a strain with a single missense mutation at amino acid position 377, which was responsible for reduced encapsulation. This study supports the hypothesis that spontaneous, nonreverting mutations in cpsE serve as a form of adaptive mutation by providing a selective advantage to S. pneumoniae in niches where expression of capsule is detrimental. IMPORTANCE: While the capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is required for colonization and invasive disease, most conjunctival isolates are acapsular by virtue of deletion of the entire capsular operon. We show that spontaneous acapsular mutants isolated in vitro harbor mostly nonrevertible single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) null mutations in cpsE, encoding the initiating glycosyltransferase. From a small collection of acapsular conjunctival isolates, we identified one strain with a complete capsular operon but containing a SNP in cpsE that we show is responsible for the acapsular phenotype. We propose that acapsular conjunctival isolates may arise initially from such nonreverting SNP null mutations in cpsE, which can be followed later by deletion of portions or all of the cps operon.
Bispo PJM, Haas W, Gilmore MS. Biofilms in infections of the eye. Pathogens 2015;4(1):111-36.Abstract

The ability to form biofilms in a variety of environments is a common trait of bacteria, and may represent one of the earliest defenses against predation. Biofilms are multicellular communities usually held together by a polymeric matrix, ranging from capsular material to cell lysate. In a structure that imposes diffusion limits, environmental microgradients arise to which individual bacteria adapt their physiologies, resulting in the gamut of physiological diversity. Additionally, the proximity of cells within the biofilm creates the opportunity for coordinated behaviors through cell-cell communication using diffusible signals, the most well documented being quorum sensing. Biofilms form on abiotic or biotic surfaces, and because of that are associated with a large proportion of human infections. Biofilm formation imposes a limitation on the uses and design of ocular devices, such as intraocular lenses, posterior contact lenses, scleral buckles, conjunctival plugs, lacrimal intubation devices and orbital implants. In the absence of abiotic materials, biofilms have been observed on the capsule, and in the corneal stroma. As the evidence for the involvement of microbial biofilms in many ocular infections has become compelling, developing new strategies to prevent their formation or to eradicate them at the site of infection, has become a priority.

Hamrah P, Sahin A, Dastjerdi MH, Shahatit BM, Bayhan HA, Dana R, Pavan-Langston D. InVivo confocal microscopic changes of the corneal epithelium and stroma in patients with herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Am J Ophthalmol 2015;159(6):1036-1044.e1.Abstract

PURPOSE: To analyze the density and morphology of corneal epithelial cells and keratocytes by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) in patients with herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) as associated with corneal innervation. DESIGN: Prospective, controlled and masked cross-sectional study. METHODS: setting: Single-center study. PATIENTS: Thirty eyes with the diagnosis HZO and their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes, 15 eyes of 15 normal controls. intervention procedures: In vivo confocal microscopy and corneal esthesiometry of the central cornea. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in morphology and density of the superficial and basal epithelial cells and stromal keratocytes, and correlation with corneal sensation. RESULTS: The density of superficial epithelial cells in HZO eyes with severe sensation loss (766.5 ± 25.2 cells/mm(2)) was significantly lower than both healthy control eyes (1450.23 ± 150.83 cells/mm(2)) and contralateral unaffected eyes (1974.13 ± 298.24 cells/mm(2)) (P = .003). Superficial epithelial cell size (1162.5 μm(2)) was significantly larger in HZO eyes with severe loss of sensation, as compared to contralateral (441.46 ± 298.14) or healthy eyes (407.4 ± 47.2μm(2); all P < .05). The density of basal epithelial cells, anterior keratocytes, and posterior keratocytes did not show statistical significance between patients, controls, and contralateral unaffected eyes. Changes in superficial epithelial cell density and morphology correlated strongly with corneal sensation. CONCLUSIONS: In vivo confocal microscopy reveals profound HZO-induced changes in the superficial epithelium, as demonstrated by increase in cell size, decrease in cell density, and squamous metaplasia. We demonstrate that these changes strongly correlate with changes in corneal innervation in eyes affected by HZO.

Ursea R, De Castro D, Bowen TJ, Chan C-C. The role of conjunctival biopsy in the diagnosis of granulomatosis with polyangiitis. J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2015;5(1):1.Abstract

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to describe a patient who was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis based on conjunctival biopsy. This study is a case report and review of the literature. FINDINGS: A 48-year-old Caucasian woman presented with a 2-week history of a left eye peripheral corneal ulcer with adjacent conjunctivitis and a 4-month history of a non-resolving productive cough. Given her elevated serum perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (P-ANCA) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels as well as a chest computed topography (CT) that showed bilateral patchy infiltrates, suspicion of limited granulomatosis with polyangiitis with lung and ocular involvement was high. Because bronchoalveolar lavage was nondiagnostic for granulomatous disease, conjunctival biopsy was initially attempted in order to avoid a more invasive lung biopsy. The conjunctival biopsy revealed mixed subacute inflammatory mediators and vasculitis consistent with granulomatosis with polyangiitis. CONCLUSIONS: Conjunctival biopsy may be a valuable, minimally invasive method for diagnosing systemic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

Letko E, Yeh S, Foster SC, Pleyer U, Brigell M, Grosskreutz CL, Grosskreutz CL. Efficacy and safety of intravenous secukinumab in noninfectious uveitis requiring steroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy. Ophthalmology 2015;122(5):939-48.Abstract
PURPOSE: Secukinumab, a fully human anti-interleukin-17A monoclonal antibody, exhibited promising activity in a proof-of-concept study when administered in intravenous (IV) doses to patients with active, chronic, noninfectious uveitis. This study compared the efficacy and safety of different IV and subcutaneous (SC) doses of secukinumab in patients with noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Multicenter, randomized, double-masked, dose-ranging, phase 2 clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-seven patients with active noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, or panuveitis who required corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy. METHODS: Patients were randomized to secukinumab 300 mg SC every 2 weeks for 4 doses, secukinumab 10 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks for 4 doses, or secukinumab 30 mg/kg IV every 4 weeks for 2 doses. Intravenous or SC saline was administered to maintain masking. Efficacy was assessed on day 57 (2-4 weeks after last dose). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Percentage of patients with treatment response, defined as (1) at least a 2-grade reduction in vitreous haze score or trace or absent vitreous haze in the study eye without an increase in corticosteroid dose and without uveitis worsening or (2) reduction in corticosteroid dosages to prespecified levels without uveitis worsening. Percentage of patients with remission, defined as anterior chamber cell and vitreous haze scores of 0 or 0.5+ in both eyes without corticosteroid therapy or uveitis worsening. RESULTS: Secukinumab 30 mg/kg IV and 10 mg/kg IV, compared with the 300 mg SC dose, produced higher responder rates (72.7% and 61.5% vs. 33.3%, respectively) and remission rates (27.3% and 38.5% vs. 16.7%, respectively). Statistical and clinical superiority for the 30 mg/kg IV dose compared with the 300 mg SC dose was established in a Bayesian probability model. Other measures, including time to response onset, change in visual acuity, and change in vitreous haze score, showed numeric trends favoring IV dosing. Secukinumab, administered in IV or SC formulations, appeared safe and was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous secukinumab was effective and well tolerated in noninfectious uveitis requiring systemic corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy. Greater activity with IV dosing suggests that patients may not receive sufficient drug with SC administration. High-dose IV secukinumab may be necessary to deliver secukinumab in therapeutic concentrations.
Mukherjee S, Zhou X, Rajaiya J, Chodosh J. Ultrastructure of adenovirus keratitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(1):472-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: We determined the ultrastructure of mouse adenovirus keratitis, a model for human adenovirus keratitis. METHODS: Adenovirus keratitis was induced in C57Bl/6j mice by intrastromal injection of human adenovirus species D type 37 (HAdV-D37) with a heat-pulled, glass, micropipette needle under compressed air. At select time points after infection, mice were euthanized and their corneas removed, fixed, and sectioned at 70-nm thickness for electron microscopy. RESULTS: Injection of HAdV-D37 into the mouse corneal stroma placed virus predominantly in the pericellular corneal stromal matrix. Virus was seen bound to and entering stromal cells at 1 and 2 hours after infection, respectively. Cell membrane transit by virus was seen to involve two distinct structures resembling caveolae and macropinosomes. However, later during infection intracellular virus was not seen within membrane-bound organelles. By 8 hours after infection, intracellular virus had accumulated into densely packed, perinuclear arrays. Virus disassembly was not obvious at any time point after infection. Infiltrating neutrophils seen by one day after infection had engulfed degraded stromal cells by 4 days after infection. CONCLUSIONS: By transmission electron microscopy, injected HAdV-D37 readily enters stromal cells in the C57Bl/6j mouse cornea and induces stromal inflammation, as was shown previously by light microscopy. However, electron microscopy also revealed dense, static arrays of intracytoplasmic virus, suggesting a block in viral capsid disassembly and viral DNA nuclear entry. These findings may explain why human adenoviruses do not replicate in the mouse corneal stroma.