Bacterial DNA and its consequences in patients with cirrhosis and culture-negative, non-neutrocytic ascites.

The detection of bacterial DNA in serum and ascitic fluid (AF) from patients with liver cirrhosis and ascites is interpreted as molecular evidence of intestinal bacterial translocation (BT) and considered sufficient to activate the cellular immune response leading to greater cytokine synthesis. We studied 34 patients with liver cirrhosis and culture-negative, non-neutrocytic ascites [22 patients without bacterial DNA (group I) and 12 patients with bacterial DNA (group II)]. History and clinical examination were done with the following investigations at first admission and followed up for 24 weeks: serum and AF tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), AF polymorphonuclear leukocytes, AF cultivation and detection of blood and AF bacterial DNA. Serum and AF TNF-alpha were significantly higher in patients with bacterial DNA compared to those without bacterial DNA at first admission [54.5+/-22.56 vs 35.2+/-17.97 pg ml(-1) (P=0.02) and 123.2+/-49.32 vs 82.6+/-29.58 pg ml(-1) (P <0.005), respectively]. These changes became highly significant at the end of follow-up of both groups [119.3+/-27.19 vs 40.2+/-16.08 pg ml(-1) (P <0.001) and 518.8+/-91.11 vs 97.6+/-17.81 pg ml(-1) (P <0.001), respectively]. In group II, there was a significant increase in serum and AF TNF-alpha at the end of follow-up compared to at first admission (P <0.001). The relative risk of death, hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) was higher in patients with bacterial DNA compared to those without bacterial DNA. We conclude that cirrhotic patients with culture-negative, non-neutrocytic ascites and bacterial DNA have a significantly higher level of serum and AF TNF-alpha and higher risk of HRS, SBP and mortality compared to those without bacterial DNA, suggesting that bacterial DNA and TNF-alpha are implicated in these complications of liver cirrhosis.
AuthorsMohammed Mahmoud El-Naggar, El-Sayed Abdul-Maksoud Khalil, Medhat Abdul Massih El-Daker, Mona Fouda Salama
JournalJournal of medical microbiology (J Med Microbiol) Vol. 57 Issue Pt 12 Pg. 1533-8 (Dec 2008) ISSN: 0022-2615 [Print] England
PMID19018026 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Adult
  • Ascites (complications, genetics)
  • Ascitic Fluid (chemistry, cytology, microbiology)
  • Bacterial Infections (complications, mortality)
  • Bacterial Translocation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA, Bacterial (analysis, blood)
  • Female
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome (complications, mortality)
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis (complications, genetics)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils (immunology)
  • Peritonitis (complications, microbiology, mortality)
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (analysis, blood)

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