Background. Worldwide, the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis is on the increase. Younger people may be especially vulnerable owing to their exposure to risk factors such as drug abuse and HIV.
Methods. The thoracic aortas of 149 South Africans under the age of 50 years were collected at the Salt River Mortuary, Cape Town, and examined macroscopically and microscopically for evidence of anomalies. The sample comprised predominantly males, and included black, coloured and white individuals.
Results. A significantly higher level of macroscopic pathology was found in coloured males, although overall prevalence of pathology in this sample was lower than expected. A positive association was also found between body mass index and vascular pathology in the black and coloured population groups. Microscopic anomalies were common and present at high levels, irrespective of age and racial grouping.
Conclusions. The widespread prevalence of microscopic anomalies in all groups suggests that these are normal variations that result from haemodynamic forces. The higher prevalence of atherosclerotic lesions in coloured males, however, probably results from specific genetic conditions such as hypercholesterolaemia or lifestyle factors such as diet or tik abuse. The findings suggest that coloured individuals may be at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Objectives. To study the epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs) in hospitalised children and adults in Gaborone, Botswana, and to describe the changes in antimicrobial susceptibilities of S. aureus isolates over time.
Methods. A retrospective cohort study evaluated SSTI isolates from January 2000 to December 2007 at Princess Marina Hospital (PMH), a large tertiary referral centre in Gaborone. Eligible subjects were those hospitalised at PMH during the study period who had a skin or soft-tissue culture yielding a bacterial or fungal pathogen. The primary outcome measure was a skin or soft-tissue culture yielding S. aureus. Secondary outcomes were the organism's antimicrobial susceptibilities.
Results.S. aureus. was detected in 857 (35.8%) of single-organism SSTI cultures, and 194 (22.6%) of these isolates were methicillin resistant (MRSA). The proportion of MRSA isolates increased over time (linear test of trend: p=0.03 from 2000 to 2003), and MRSA isolates were more likely than methicillin-susceptible isolates to be resistant to commonly used antimicrobials recommended by the national SSTI treatment guideline.
Conclusions. We report a high and increasing proportion of MRSA SSTIs in Gaborone. This high rate of MRSA resistance to currently recommended empiric antibiotics for SSTIs dictates the need for revising national guidelines and ongoing prospective surveillance of SSTIs in this setting.
Background. Human and animal studies support the role of MC4R and MC3R in human obesity, but limited data are available on the genetic contribution to obesity in South African populations. Objective. To screen obese-overweight South African pupils for MC3R and MC4R polymorphisms that may play a role in the development of obesity.
Design. A cross-sectional study screened 227 obese-overweight (115 black and 112 coloured) and 204 normal weight (94 black, 110 coloured) school pupils for the presence of MC4R and MC3R polymorphisms using a single strand conformation polymorphism, subsequent sequencing, and allele specific restriction enzyme analysis.
Results. Two polymorphisms were detected in the MC3R (T6K and V81I) but none in MC4R. After adjusting for age, gender and case-control status, the frequency distributions of T6K and V81I genotype and allele varied significantly between the ethnic groups. The frequency of the V81I A allele was significantly lower in coloured overweight-obesity than normal pupils. In coloured pupils, both polymorphisms were associated with obesity indices and total cholesterol. The T6K A allele was also associated with lower blood pressure. Likewise, different T6K-V81I haplotypes demonstrated negative associations with obesity indices and blood pressure.
Conclusion. We demonstrated that the MC3R polymorphisms have a protective effect on metabolic traits; however, further analysis is required to confirm whether this translates to a lower incidence of metabolic syndrome in coloured populations.