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  • Brief Communication2021-11-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Clinical Performance of the Standard Q COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test and Simulation of its Real-World Application in Korea

    Jaehyeon Lee , M.D., So Yeon Kim , M.D., Hee Jae Huh , M.D., Namsu Kim , M.D., Heungsup Sung , M.D., Hyukmin Lee , M.D., Kyoung Ho Roh , M.D., Taek Soo Kim , M.D., and Ki Ho Hong , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2021; 41(6): 588-592

    Abstract : The rapid antigen test (RAT) for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) represents a potent diagnostic method in situations of limited molecular testing resources. However, considerable performance variance has been reported with the RAT. We evaluated the clinical performance of Standard Q COVID-19 RAT (SQ-RAT; SD Biosensor, Suwon, Korea), the first RAT approved by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. In total, 680 nasopharyngeal swabs previously tested using real-time reverse-transcription PCR (rRT-PCR) were retested using SQ-RAT. The clinical sensitivity of SQ-RAT relative to that of rRT-PCR was 28.7% for all specimens and was 81.4% for specimens with RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene (RdRp) threshold cycle (Ct) values ≤23.37, which is the limit of detection of SQ-RAT. The specificity was 100%. The clinical sensitivity of SQ-RAT for COVID-19 diagnosis was assessed based on the Ct distribution at diagnosis of 33,294 COVID-19 cases in Korea extracted from the laboratory surveillance system of Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine. The clinical sensitivity of SQ-RAT for COVID-19 diagnosis in the Korean population was 41.8%. Considering the molecular testing capacity in Korea, use of the RAT for COVID-19 diagnosis appears to be limited.

  • Original Article2022-03-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Clinical Differences in Patients Infected with Fusobacterium and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Fusobacterium Isolates Recovered at a Tertiary-Care Hospital in Korea

    Myungsook Kim , Ph.D., Shin Young Yun , M.D., Yunhee Lee , B.D., Hyukmin Lee , M.D., Dongeun Yong , M.D., Kyungwon Lee , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(2): 188-195

    Abstract : Background: Fusobacterium species are obligately anaerobic, gram-negative bacilli. Especially, F. nucleatum and F. necrophorum are highly relevant human pathogens. We investigated clinical differences in patients infected with Fusobacterium spp. and determined the antimicrobial susceptibility of Fusobacterium isolates. Methods: We collected clinical data of 86 patients from whom Fusobacterium spp. were isolated from clinical specimens at a tertiary-care hospital in Korea between 2003 and 2020. In total, 76 non-duplicated Fusobacterium isolates were selected for antimicrobial susceptibility testing by the agar dilution method, according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines (M11-A9). Results: F. nucleatum was most frequently isolated from blood cultures and was associated with hematologic malignancy, whereas F. necrophorum was mostly prevalent in head and neck infections. Anti-anaerobic agents were more commonly used to treat F. nucleatum and F. varium infections than to treat F. necrophorum infections. We observed no significant difference in mortality between patients infected with these species. All F. nucleatum and F. necrophorum isolates were susceptible to the antimicrobial agents tested. F. varium was resistant to clindamycin (48%) and moxifloxacin (24%), and F. mortiferum was resistant to penicillin G (22%) and ceftriaxone (67%). β-Lactamase activity was not detected. Conclusions: Despite the clinical differences among patients with clinically important Fusobacterium infections, there was no significant difference in the mortality rates. Some Fusobacterium spp. were resistant to penicillin G, ceftriaxone, clindamycin, or moxifloxacin. This study may provide clinically relevant data for implementing empirical treatment against Fusobacterium infections.

  • Original Article2021-11-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Disk Diffusion Susceptibility Testing for the Rapid Detection of Fluconazole Resistance in Candida Isolates

    Suhak Jeon , M.D., Jong Hee Shin , M.D., Ph.D., Ha Jin Lim , M.D., Min Ji Choi , Ph.D., Seung A Byun , M.S., Dain Lee , M.S., Seung Yeob Lee , M.D., Eun Jeong Won , M.D., Soo Hyun Kim , M.D., and Myung Geun Shin , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2021; 41(6): 559-567

    Abstract : Background: Given the increased fluconazole resistance (FR) among Candida isolates, we assessed the suitability of disk diffusion susceptibility testing (DDT) for the early detection of FR using well-characterized Candida isolates. Methods: In total, 188 Candida isolates, including 66 C. albicans (seven Erg11 mutants), 69 C. glabrata (33 Pdr1 mutants), 29 C. parapsilosis (15 Erg11 mutants), and 24 C. tropicalis (eight Erg11 mutants) isolates, were tested in this study. FR was assessed using DDT according to the standard CLSI M44-ED3 method, except that two cell suspensions, McFarland 0.5 (standard inoculum) and 2.5 (large inoculum), were used, and the inhibition zones were read at 2-hour intervals from 10 hours to 24 hours. Results: DDT results for the standard inoculum were readable after 14 hours (C. albicans, C. glabrata, and C. tropicalis) and 20 hours (C. parapsilosis) for >95% of the isolates, whereas the results for the large inoculum were readable after 12 hours (C. glabrata and C. tropicalis), 14 hours (C. albicans), and 16 hours (C. parapsilosis) for >95% of the isolates. Compared with the results produced using the CLSI M27-ED4 broth microdilution method, the first readable results from the DDT method for each isolate exhibited an agreement of 97.0%, 98.6%, 72.4%, and 91.7% for the standard inoculum and 100%, 98.6%, 96.6%, and 95.8% for the large inoculum for C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, and C. tropicalis, respectively. Conclusions: DDT using large inoculum may detect FR rapidly and reliably in the four most common Candida species.

  • Guideline2022-07-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Update of Guidelines for Laboratory Diagnosis of COVID-19 in Korea

    Ki Ho Hong , M.D., Gab Jung Kim , Ph.D., Kyoung Ho Roh , M.D., Heungsup Sung , M.D., Jaehyeon Lee , M.D., So Yeon Kim , M.D., Taek Soo Kim , M.D., Jae-Sun Park , Ph.D., Hee Jae Huh , M.D., Younhee Park , M.D., Jae-Seok Kim , M.D., Hyun Soo Kim , M.D., Moon-Woo Seong , M.D., Nam Hee Ryoo , M.D., Sang Hoon Song , M.D., Hyukmin Lee , M.D., Gye Cheol Kwon , M.D., and Cheon Kwon Yoo , Ph.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(4): 391-397

    Abstract : Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine and the Korea Disease Prevention and Control Agency have announced guidelines for diagnosing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in clinical laboratories in Korea. With the ongoing pandemic, we propose an update of the previous guidelines based on new scientific data. This update includes recommendations for tests that were not included in the previous guidelines, including the rapid molecular test, antigen test, antibody test, and self-collected specimens, and a revision of the previous recommendations. This update will aid clinical laboratories in performing laboratory tests for diagnosing COVID-19.

  • Brief Communication2021-07-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Laboratory Aspects of Donor Screening for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation at a Korean Fecal Microbiota Bank

    Hyun Soo Seo , M.S., Hyung Sun Chin , B.S.N., Yeon-Hee Kim , M.S., Hye Su Moon , B.S., Kyungnam Kim , B.S., Le Phuong Nguyen , M.D., and Dongeun Yong , M.D., Ph.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2021; 41(4): 424-428

    Abstract : Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a widely accepted alternative therapy for Clostridioides difficile infection and other gastrointestinal disorders. Thorough donor screening is required as a safety control measure to minimize transmission of infectious agents in FMT. We report the donor screening process and outcomes at a fecal microbiota bank in Korea. From August 2017 to June 2020, the qualification of 62 individuals as FMT donors was evaluated using clinical assessment and laboratory tests. Forty-six (74%) candidates were excluded after clinical assessment; high body mass index (>25) was the most common reason for exclusion, followed by atopy, asthma, and allergy history. Four of the remaining 16 (25%) candidates failed to meet laboratory test criteria, resulting in a 19% qualification rate. FMT donor re-qualification was conducted monthly as an additional safety control measure, and only three (5%) candidates were eligible for repeated donation. As high prevalence of multidrug-resistant organisms (55%) and Helicobacter pylori (44%) were detected in qualified donors during the screening, a urea breath test was added to the existing protocol. The present results emphasize the importance of implementing a donor re-qualification system to minimize risk factors not identified during initial donor screening.

  • Brief Communication2022-01-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Prevalence of a Single-Nucleotide Variant of SARS-CoV-2 in Korea and Its Impact on the Diagnostic Sensitivity of the Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 Assay

    Ki Ho Hong , M.D., Ji Won In , M.D., Jaehyeon Lee , M.D., So Yeon Kim , M.D., Kyoung Ah Lee , M.T., Seunghyun Kim , M.T., Yeoungim An , M.T., Donggeun Lee , M.T., Heungsup Sung , M.D., Jae-Seok Kim , M.D., and Hyukmin Lee , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(1): 96-99

    Abstract : The sensitivity of molecular diagnostics could be affected by nucleotide variants in pathogen genes, and the sites affected by such variants should be monitored. We report a single-nucleotide variant (SNV) in the nucleocapsid (N) gene of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), i.e., G29179T, which impairs the diagnostic sensitivity of the Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). We observed significant differences between the threshold cycle (Ct) values for envelope (E) and N genes and confirmed the SNV as the cause of the differences using Sanger sequencing. This SNV, G29179T, is the most prevalent in Korea and is associated with the B.1.497 virus lineage, which is dominant in Korea. Clinical laboratories should be aware of the various SNVs in the SARS-CoV-2 genome and consider their potential effects on the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019.

  • Original Article2021-05-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Prevalence and Molecular Epidemiology of Extended-Spectrum-β-Lactamase (ESBL)-Producing Escherichia coli From Multiple Sectors of the Swine Industry in Korea: A Korean Nationwide Monitoring Program for a One Health Approach to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

    Young Ah Kim , M.D., Hyunsoo Kim , M.D., Young Hee Seo , B.D., Go Eun Park , B.D., Hyukmin Lee , M.D., and Kyungwon Lee , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2021; 41(3): 285-292

    Abstract : Background: One health is a flexible concept with many facets, including the environment, community, and the nosocomial super-bacteria resistance network. We investigated the molecular prevalence of extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) in workers, livestock, and the farm environment in Korea. Methods: ESBL-EC isolates were obtained from samples from 19 swine farms, 35 retail stores, seven slaughterhouses, and 45 related workers throughout Korea from August 2017 to July 2018, using ChromID ESBL (BioMérieux, Marcy l’Etoile, France) agar and enrichment broth. The presence of ESBL and mobilized colistin resistance (mcr) genes and antimicrobial resistance were determined. Clonality was evaluated with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Results: In total, 232 ESBL-EC isolates were obtained from 1,614 non-duplicated samples (14.4% positive rate). The ESBL-EC isolates showed regional and source-related differences. blaCTX-M-55 (N=100), blaCTX-M-14 (N=65), blaCTX-M-15 (N=33), and blaCTX-M-65 (N=23) were common ESBL types. The ESBL-EC isolates showed high resistance rates for various antimicrobial classes; however, all isolates were susceptible to carbapenem. One swine-originating colistin-resistant isolate did not carry any known mcr gene. PFGE was successful for 197 of the 232 isolates, and most PFGE types were heterogeneous, except for some dominant PFGE types (O, R, T, U, and V). MLST of 88 isolates was performed for representative PFGE types; however, no dominant sequence type was observed. Conclusions: The proportion of ESBL-EC in swine industry-related samples was significant, and the isolates harbored common clinical ESBL gene types. These molecular epidemiologic data could provide important evidence for antimicrobial-resistance control through a one health approach.

  • Original Article2021-05-01 Clinical Microbiology

    In Vitro Activity of the Novel Tetracyclines, Tigecycline, Eravacycline, and Omadacycline, Against Moraxella catarrhalis

    Xiang Sun , M.S., Bo Zhang , M.S., Guangjian Xu , M.S., Junwen Chen , M.S., Yongpeng Shang , Ph.D., Zhiwei Lin , Ph.D., Zhijian Yu , M.D., Jinxin Zheng , M.D., and Bing Bai , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2021; 41(3): 293-301

    Abstract : Background: Tigecycline, eravacycline, and omadacycline are recently developed tetracyclines. Susceptibility of microbes to these tetracyclines and their molecular mechanisms have not been well elucidated. We investigated the susceptibility of Moraxella catarrhalis to tigecycline, eravacycline, and omadacycline and its resistance mechanisms against these tetracyclines. Methods: A total of 207 non-duplicate M. catarrhalis isolates were collected from different inpatients. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the tetracyclines were determined by broth microdilution. Tigecycline-, eravacycline-, or omadacycline-resistant isolates were induced under in vitro pressure. The tet genes and mutations in the 16S rRNA was detected by PCR and sequencing. Results: Eravacycline had a lower MIC50 (0.06 mg/L) than tigecycline (0.125 mg/L) or omadacycline (0.125 mg/L) against M. catarrhalis isolates. We found that 136 isolates (65.7%) had the tetB gene, and 15 (7.2%) isolates were positive for tetL; however, their presence was not correlated with high tigecycline, eravacycline, or omadacycline (≥1 mg/L) MICs. Compared with the initial MIC after 160 days of induction, the MICs of tigecycline or eravacycline against three M. catarrhalis isolates increased ≥eight-fold, while those of omadacycline against two M. catarrhalis isolates increased 64-fold. Mutations in the 16S rRNA genes (C1036T and/or G460A) were observed in omadacycline-induced resistant isolates, and increased RR (the genes encoding 16SrRNA (four copies, RR1-RR4) copy number of 16S rRNA genes with mutations was associated with increased resistance to omadacycline. Conclusions: Tigecycline, eravacycline, and omadacycline exhibited robust antimicrobial effects against M. catarrhalis. Mutations in the 16S rRNA genes contributed to omadacycline resistance in M. catarrhalis.

  • Original Article2022-03-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Virulence Factors Associated With Escherichia coli Bacteremia and Urinary Tract Infection

    Bongyoung Kim , M.D., Ph.D., Jin-Hong Kim , M.D., and Yangsoon Lee , M.D., Ph.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(2): 203-212

    Abstract : Background: Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) causes various infections, including urinary tract infection (UTI), sepsis, and neonatal meningitis. ExPEC strains have virulence factors (VFs) that facilitate infection by allowing bacterial cells to migrate into and multiply within the host. We compared the microbiological characteristics of ExPEC isolates from blood and urine specimens from UTI patients. Methods: We conducted a single-center, prospective study in an 855-bed tertiary-care hospital in Korea. We consecutively recruited 80 hospitalized UTI patients with E. coli isolates, which were isolated from blood and/or urine, and urine alone between March 2019 and May 2020. We evaluated the 80 E. coli isolates for the presence of bacterial genes encoding the sequence types (STs), antimicrobial resistance, and VFs using whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Results: We found no significant differences in STs, antimicrobial resistance patterns, or VFs between isolates from blood and urine specimens. ST131, a pandemic multidrug-resistant clone present in both blood and urine, was the most frequent ST (N=19/80, 24%), and ST131 isolates carried more virulence genes, especially, tsh and espC, than non-ST131 isolates. The virulence scores of the ST131 group and the ST69, ST95, and ST1193 groups differed significantly (P

  • Letter to the Editor2021-09-01 Clinical Microbiology

    Serological Evidence of Coxiella burnetii and SARS-CoV-2 Co-infection: A Case Report

    Hee Sue Park , M.D., Ph.D., Pan Kee Bae , Ph.D., Hye Won Jeong , M.D., Ph.D., Bo Ra Son , M.D., Ph.D., and Kyeong Seob Shin , M.D., Ph.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2021; 41(5): 510-513
Annals of Laboratory Medicine
Journal Information July, 2023
Vol.43 No.4
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