Publications by authors named "Pekka Suomalainen"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Clinical characteristics and evaluation of the incidence of cryptococcosis in Finland 2004-2018.

Infect Dis (Lond) 2021 09 11;53(9):684-690. Epub 2021 May 11.

HUS Diagnostic Center, HUSLAB, Clinical Microbiology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Cryptococcosis is one of the major causes of mortality among HIV patients worldwide. Though most often associated with late stage HIV infection/AIDS, a significant number of cases occur in other immunocompromised patients such as solid organ transplant recipients and patients with hematological malignancies. Immunocompromised patients are a heterogeneous group and their number increases constantly. Since little is known about the incidence and the clinical features of cryptococcosis in Northern Europe, our aim was to investigate the clinical characteristics of cryptococcosis patients in Finland.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the laboratory confirmed cryptococcosis cases in Finland during 2004-2018. Only those who were treated for cryptococcosis were included in the study. Initial laboratory findings and medical records were also collected.

Results: A total of 22 patients with cryptococcosis were included in our study. The annual incidence of cryptococcosis was 0.03 cases per 100,000 population. Ten patients were HIV-positive and 12 out of 22 were HIV-negative. Hematological malignancy was the most common underlying condition among HIV-negative patients.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study of the clinical presentation and incidence of cryptococcosis in Finland. We demonstrate that invasive cryptococcal infection occurs not only in HIV/AIDS patients or otherwise immunocompromised patients but also in immunocompetent individuals. Even though cryptococcosis is extremely rare in Finland, its recognition is important since the prognosis depends on rapid diagnostics and early antifungal therapy.
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September 2021

Unexpectedly High Prevalence of Common Variable Immunodeficiency in Finland.

Front Immunol 2017 28;8:1190. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Adult Immunodeficiency Unit, Infectious Diseases, Inflammation Center, University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is the most common primary immunodeficiency. Prevalence varies greatly between countries and studies. Most diagnostic criteria include hypogammaglobulinemia and impaired vaccine response.

Aim: To evaluate the minimum prevalence as well as the clinical and immunological phenotypes of CVID in Southern Finland.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study to assess all adult CVID patients followed up in three hospital districts in Southern and South-Eastern Finland between April 2007 and August 2015. CVID diagnosis was based, with a minor modification, on the ESID/PAGID criteria for primary CVID. Antipolysaccharide responses to Pneumovax were defined as impaired only if 50% or more of the serotypes did not reach a level of 0.35 µg/mL after vaccination. We further characterized the patients' B cell phenotypes and complications associated with CVID.

Results: In total, 9 patients were excluded due to potential secondary causes before diagnosis. ESID/PAGID criteria were met by 132 patients (males 52%), of whom, 106 had "probable" and 26 "possible CVID." Based on the population statistics in the three hospital districts, the minimum adult prevalence per 100,000 inhabitants in Finland for all CVID ("probable CVID," respectively) patients was 6.9 (5.5). In the highest prevalence district (Helsinki and Uusimaa), the prevalence was 7.7 (6.1). CVID patients suffer from frequent complications. Ten patients died during follow-up. Of probable CVID patients, 73% had more than one clinical phenotype. Intriguingly, gradual B cell loss from peripheral blood during follow-up was seen in as many as 16% of "probable CVID" patients. Patients with possible CVID displayed somewhat milder clinical and laboratory phenotypes than probable CVID patients. We also confirm that large granular lymphocyte lymphoproliferation is a CVID-associated complication.

Conclusion: The prevalence of CVID in Finland appears the highest recorded, likely reflecting the genetic isolation and potential founder effects in the Finnish population. Studies to discover potential gene variants responsible for the high prevalence in Finland thus seem warranted. Increased awareness of CVID among physicians would likely lead to earlier diagnosis and improved quality of care.
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September 2017

[Update on current care guidelines: diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections].

Duodecim 2010 ;126(17):2077-8

Recognition of common sexually transmitted infection (STI) syndromes allows more efficient diagnosis and treatment. These evidence-based guidelines provide advice on the management of STIs, including the use of the appropriate diagnostic methods and therapeutic regimens. Early and appropriate therapy has the potential to significantly reduce the long-term complications of STIs. The prevention of further infection through the counselling and treatment of partners contributes to the sexual health of patients.
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December 2010

Fatal babesiosis in man, Finland, 2004.

Emerg Infect Dis 2010 Jul;16(7):1116-8

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

We report an unusual case of human babesiosis in Finland in a 53-year-old man with no history of splenectomy. He had a rudimentary spleen, coexisting Lyme borreliosis, exceptional dark streaks on his extremities, and subsequent disseminated aspergillosis. He was infected with Babesia divergens, which usually causes bovine babesiosis in Finland.
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July 2010

Surface activity profiling of drugs applied to the prediction of blood-brain barrier permeability.

J Med Chem 2004 Mar;47(7):1783-8

Kibron Inc., P.O. Box 141, FIN-00171 Helsinki, Finland.

The present study describes a novel in vitro platform for physicochemical profiling of compounds, based on their impact on the air/water interfacial tension. Interfacial partitioning coefficient, cross-sectional area, and critical micelle concentration were derived from the Gibbs adsorption isotherms recorded for 76 structurally diverse drugs. An approximation for the membrane partitioning coefficient, K(memb), is introduced and calculated for the measured compounds. This methodology provides a fully automatic, high-throughput screening technique for compound characterization, yielding precise thermodynamic information on the partitioning behavior of molecules at air/water interfaces, which can be directly related to their anisotropic interaction with lipid bilayers in biological membranes. The latter represents the barrier for the passive entry of compounds into cells. The surface activity profiles are shown to correlate to the ability of the compounds to pass passively through the blood-brain barrier.
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March 2004

Fatal case of diphtheria in an unvaccinated infant in Finland.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2003 Sep;22(9):844-6

Tampere University Hospital, PO Box 2000, FIN-33521 Tampere, Finland.

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September 2003