Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology

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Weeks in Review

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Weeks to Publication
Indexed in KCI, KoreaMed, Synapse, DOAJ
Open Access, Peer Reviewed
pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

March 2024. Vol. 27 No. 1.

Editorial

ACM’s transition to an English journal: A leap towards international recognition

Hae-Sun Chung

Ann Clin Microbiol 2024 March, 27(1): 1. Published on 20 March 2024.

The Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol, ACM) serves as the official journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology. It is dedicated to publishing research articles encompassing all facets of clinical microbiology, intending to disseminate research findings pertinent to scholarly endeavors within the realm of clinical microbiology for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infections in humans. Clinical microbiology stands as a pivotal discipline for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases in modern society. The publication of articles within the domain of clinical microbiology assumes a significant role in the dissemination and progression of advanced medical technology and knowledge. It provides a platform for various issues such as the discovery and treatment of new infectious diseases and the problem of antibiotic resistance. In Korea, this journal stands as the sole academic publication primarily dedicated to clinical microbiology, garnering substantial recognition for its academic contributions in this arena.

Mini review

Laboratory diagnosis of Clostridioides difficile infection: guidelines and status of practice in Korea

Hae-Sun Chung

Ann Clin Microbiol 2024 March, 27(1): 2. Published on 20 March 2024.

Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a common healthcare-associated infection that is expected to increase with the increases in the elderly population, immunocompromised patients treated with chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, and invasive medical technologies. Accurate diagnosis is critical for proper treatment and management of CDI. Clinical laboratories typically use four methods to diagnose CDI: C. difficile culture, toxin detection using immunoassays, detection of glutamate dehydrogenase using immunoassays, and detection of toxin A/B gene. Each CDI diagnostic test has strengths and limitations, and varies in performance. Guidelines for CDI diagnosis have been developed by organizations that include the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Infectious Diseases Society of America/Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and American College of Gastroenterology. Certain other countries have guidelines. In Korea, surveys on CDI diagnosis performed in 2015 and 2018 revealed a shift in CDI testing in clinical laboratories in Korea. It is necessary to develop standardized diagnostic guidelines for CDI appropriate for the Korean context.

Mini review

Screening for potential infections in fecal microbiota transplantation guidelines and an experience of microbiota bank operation in Korea: a narrative review

Dongeun Yong

Ann Clin Microbiol 2024 March, 27(1): 3. Published on 20 March 2024.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) involves the transfer of fecal microbiota from healthy donors to patients to rectify dysbiosis and restore the functionality of the gut microbiota to a healthy state. Donor selection is important to minimize the risk of FMT. Donor selection for FMT is primarily focused on screening for potential infections. A complete consensus on screening tests and checkpoints is lacking and controversial; nevertheless, most guidelines agree to rule out certain infections, such as syphilis; hepatitis A, B, and C; and HIV. In most guidelines, stool testing includes testing for Clostridioides difficile and other enteric pathogens. The Korean FMT guidelines for C. difficile infections were published in 2022. The guidelines recommend serological and stool testing for donor candidates, with recommendations for stool testing providing targets for screening using specific test methods. Donor screening by Microbiotix Inc., a fecal microbiota bank in Korea, between 2017 and 2023 showed that only 5% of potential FMT donors were eligible for repeat donation. The future of FMT remains uncertain, with possibilities ranging from continuation to restrictions, and the development of synthetic microbiota preparations. Legislative support is crucial for advancing this field and providing hope and a potential cure for previously incurable patients.

Original article

Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and clarithromycin resistance rate from 2015 to 2018 using the laboratory information system of the Seegene Medical Foundation in Korea: a repeated cross-sectional study

Sunkyung Jung, Mi-Na Kim, Dongeun Yong, Miae Lee, Jongwook Lee, Hae Kyung Lee, Mi-Kyung Lee, Helicobacter Study Group

Ann Clin Microbiol 2024 March, 27(1): 4. Published on 20 March 2024.

Background: Numerous studies have examined the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and clarithromycin (CLA) resistance rate of H. pylori. However, in South Korea, there is a lack of research analyzing specimens from local clinics and hospitals using molecular methods. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of H. pylori infection and CLA resistance across sex and age groups, as well as to explore regional variations in CLA resistance and its characteristics.

Methods: Data from a laboratory information system from 2015 to 2018 were retrospectively analyzed to determine the prevalence of H. pylori infection and CLA resistance rate. The 23S ribosomal RNA genes of H. pylori were analyzed using a dual priming oligonucleotide-based multiplex polymerase chain reaction method.

Results: The overall prevalence of H. pylori infection was 50.5%(12,000/23,773), with a significantly higher prevalence among males (53.5%) than females (47.0%). The CLA resistance rate was 28.3%, with a significantly higher rate among females (34.9%) than males (23.8%). Age group analysis revealed that the highest prevalence of H. pylori infection was among individuals in their 40s, whereas the highest CLA resistance rate was observed among those in their 60s. The CLA resistance rate exhibited an upward trend and varied among patients based on their place of residence, and A2143G mutation was the most prevalent across all regions.

Conclusion: The prevalence of H. pylori infection and CLA resistance rate in Korea remain high and vary according to sex, age, and region. To effectively eradicate H. pylori, it is crucial to periodically monitor regional CLA resistance patterns and conduct CLA susceptibility testing before prescription.

Note

Emergence of Vanrija humicola as a pathogen of urinary tract infections in Korea

Jae Won Lee, Eun Jeong Won, Heungsup Sung, Mi-Na Kim

Ann Clin Microbiol 2024 March, 27(1): 5. Published on 20 March 2024.

Vanrija humicola, a yeast belonging to Trichosporonaceae, is rarely pathogenic. All cases of isolation of V. humicola were retrospectively reviewed from 2021 to 2023. A total of four V. humicola were isolated from urine samples. Organisms cultured for 5 days at 25°C produced yellow, dry and cerebriform colonies, and were successfully identified as V. humicola using Bruker Biotyper MALDI-TOF. Two recent isolates were resistant to fluconazole, echinocandins, and flucytosine. In all 4 cases, V. humicola was sporadically isolated more than 14 days after admission. One case was presumed to be colonized. Of the other three cases that developed a urinary tract infection (UTI), only one with pancytopenia was treated for UTI by V. humicola with caspofungin, but expired 4 days later. V. humicola has emerged as a drug-resistant fungal pathogen of hospital-acquired UTI. Species identification and antifungal susceptibility testing of this organism are required for critical patients.