FWD: Help required concerning unusual necrotic disease

Sat Feb 11 19:17:34 EST 1995

On 10 Feb 1995, Martin Latterich wrote:

> The following article has been crossposted from bionet.general. If
> anybody has any suggestions, please contact Huangxd at BEPC2.IHEP.AC.CN
>                         Sincerely,
>                         Martin Latterich
>                         BIONET.MICROBIOLOGY Discussion Leader
>                         micro at mendel.berkeley.edu
> ---------
> A young  Chinese girl suffering from a mysterious infection that
> causes progressive necrosis of her right forearm and left hand is
> arousing
> great concern in the whole country. After fighting the disease for
> nearly
> four months without any success, doctors in Beijing are appealing for
> emergency help from colleagues arround the world.
> The thirteen year old girl, Yang Xiaoxia comes from a poor farm family
> in
> Shangdong province in east China. The girl has been tortured by the
> 2mysterious disease for 8 months. The disease first began as a black
> spot
> under a finger nail of her right hand suspected by a local clinic as a
> stab
> wound caused by small stick or barb. A local doctor tried to get
> something
> ou8t of the black spot, but thing got worse. She began to suffer from
> paronychiais and the infection soon spread to the whole right forearm
> and
> the mid-finger on her left hand.
> After treatments in five different hospitals in provincial capital
> Jinan
> had all failed, the girls parents took her to Beijing. She has
> hospitalized
> in a Beijing military hospital since early November, but the disease
> continued to progress despite all out efforts by the city's most elite
> doctors. The doctors have to amputate one third of her right forearm
> and three fingers of her left hand. Although the spreed of the
> infection
> s8eems a little bit slower, still there was no sign the infection will
> stop.
> What puzzled the whole medical community is that from the appearance of
> the affected surfaces it looks like an infection, but the infection
> have
> failed to response to any exsiting antibiotics and hyperbaric oxgen
> treatment. Bacterior cultures have always been negtive.
>  2
> Officals of the city public health bureau have invited experts to probe
> 8into the mystirous disease and welcomes any suggestions from doctors
> arround the world.
> We will continue to update information on Yang Xiaoxia's condition.
> I2f you have any suggestions, please send e-mail to the following
> address:
>    Huangxd at BEPC2.IHEP.AC.CN
> Dr. Xiangdong Huang
> Institute of Medical Information,
> 27 Taiping Road,
> Beijing 100039,
> China.
> Tel:86-1-8215603
> Fax:86-1-8213044  

Have they
1.)  Gram stained the necrotic tissue?
2.)  Hypothesized any viral causes?
3.)  Done an electron microscopic observation of the amputated tissue?

Very mysterious indeed!  Hope the girl's infection heals and they 
discover what it is...

David J. McGee
MCGEED at hal.hahnemann.edu

Graduate Student
McPHU (Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University)
Center City Campus
15th and Vine Streets
Dept. Microbiology and Immunology M.S. 410
New College Building RM 10302
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Phone: 215-762-8275
Fax: 215-762-1004 

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