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      Healthcare-associated viral and bacterial infections in dentistry

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          Infection prevention in dentistry is an important topic that has gained more interest in recent years and guidelines for the prevention of cross-transmission are common practice in many countries. However, little is known about the real risks of cross-transmission, specifically in the dental healthcare setting. This paper evaluated the literature to determine the risk of cross-transmission and infection of viruses and bacteria that are of particular relevance in the dental practice environment. Facts from the literature on HSV, VZV, HIV, Hepatitis B, C and D viruses, Mycobacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp., Legionella spp. and multi-resistant bacteria are presented. There is evidence that Hepatitis B virus is a real threat for cross-infection in dentistry. Data for the transmission of, and infection with, other viruses or bacteria in dental practice are scarce. However, a number of cases are probably not acknowledged by patients, healthcare workers and authorities. Furthermore, cross-transmission in dentistry is under-reported in the literature. For the above reasons, the real risks of cross-transmission are likely to be higher. There is therefore a need for prospective longitudinal research in this area, to determine the real risks of cross-infection in dentistry. This will assist the adoption of effective hygiene procedures in dental practice.

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          Immunological tests provide evidence of latent tuberculosis in one third of the global population, which corresponds to more than two billion individuals. Latent tuberculosis is defined by the absence of clinical symptoms but carries a risk of subsequent progression to clinical disease, particularly in the context of co-infection with HIV. In this Review we discuss the biology of latent tuberculosis as part of a broad range of responses that occur following infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which result in the formation of physiologically distinct granulomatous lesions that provide microenvironments with differential ability to support or suppress the persistence of viable bacteria. We then show how this model can be used to develop a rational programme to discover effective drugs for the eradication of M. tuberculosis infection.
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            Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of infection, particularly in persons colonized by this organism. Virulent strains of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) have emerged in the general community. A nationally representative survey of nasal colonization with S. aureus was conducted from 2001 through 2004 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. MRSA isolates were identified by the oxacillin disk-diffusion method. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) type was determined for all MRSA isolates. A t statistic was used to compare the prevalence of colonization across biennia and across population subgroups. Cofactors independently associated with colonization were determined with backward stepwise logistic modeling. The prevalence of colonization with S. aureus decreased from 32.4% in 2001-2002 to 28.6% in 2003-2004 (P or =60 years, diabetes, and poverty in females. In 2003-2004, a total of 19.7% (95% confidence interval, 12.4%-28.8%) of MRSA-colonized persons carried a PFGE type associated with community transmission. Nasal colonization with MRSA has increased in the United States, despite an overall decrease in nasal colonization with S. aureus. PFGE types associated with community transmission only partially account for the increase in MRSA colonization.
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              Tuberculosis results in an estimated 1·7 million deaths each year and the worldwide number of new cases (more than 9 million) is higher than at any other time in history. 22 low-income and middle-income countries account for more than 80% of the active cases in the world. Due to the devastating effect of HIV on susceptibility to tuberculosis, sub-Saharan Africa has been disproportionately affected and accounts for four of every five cases of HIV-associated tuberculosis. In many regions highly endemic for tuberculosis, diagnosis continues to rely on century-old sputum microscopy; there is no vaccine with adequate effectiveness and tuberculosis treatment regimens are protracted and have a risk of toxic effects. Increasing rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis in eastern Europe, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa now threaten to undermine the gains made by worldwide tuberculosis control programmes. Moreover, our fundamental understanding of the pathogenesis of this disease is inadequate. However, increased investment has allowed basic science and translational and applied research to produce new data, leading to promising progress in the development of improved tuberculosis diagnostics, biomarkers of disease activity, drugs, and vaccines. The growing scientific momentum must be accompanied by much greater investment and political commitment to meet this huge persisting challenge to public health. Our Seminar presents current perspectives on the scale of the epidemic, the pathogen and the host response, present and emerging methods for disease control (including diagnostics, drugs, biomarkers, and vaccines), and the ongoing challenge of tuberculosis control in adults in the 21st century. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                J Oral Microbiol
                J Oral Microbiol
                Journal of Oral Microbiology
                Co-Action Publishing
                12 June 2012
                : 4
                [1 ]Department of Preventive Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Department of Microbiology, Dental Institute, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
                [3 ]Section of Oral Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Oral Biology, Center of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
                [4 ]Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
                [5 ]Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and HUSLAB, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
                Author notes
                [* ] A.M.G.A. Laheij, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 20 5980685, Fax: +31 20 5980333. Email: a.lahey@
                © 2012 A. M. G. A. Laheij et al.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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