Browse Health
Pediatrician, Infectious Disease Specialist (virus, bacteria, parasites), Pediatric Specialist
30 years of experience
Accepting new patients

Education ?

Medical School Score
Saint Louis University (1980)
  • Currently 2 of 4 apples

Awards & Distinctions ?

Associations
American Board of Pediatrics

Affiliations ?

Dr. La Puma is affiliated with 5 hospitals.

Hospital Affilations

Score

Rankings

  • Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
    320 W Pueblo St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
    • Currently 4 of 4 crosses
    Top 25%
  • University of Michigan Health System
  • University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers
  • C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
    1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
  • University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. La Puma has contributed to 10 publications.
    Title Genetic Diversity and Multihost Pathogenicity of Clinical and Environmental Strains of Burkholderia Cenocepacia.
    Date October 2009
    Journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology
    Excerpt

    A collection of 54 clinical and agricultural isolates of Burkholderia cenocepacia was analyzed for genetic relatedness by using multilocus sequence typing (MLST), pathogenicity by using onion and nematode infection models, antifungal activity, and the distribution of three marker genes associated with virulence. The majority of clinical isolates were obtained from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients in Michigan, and the agricultural isolates were predominantly from Michigan onion fields. MLST analysis resolved 23 distinct sequence types (STs), 11 of which were novel. Twenty-six of 27 clinical isolates from Michigan were genotyped as ST-40, previously identified as the Midwest B. cenocepacia lineage. In contrast, the 12 agricultural isolates represented eight STs, including ST-122, that were identical to clinical isolates of the PHDC lineage. In general, pathogenicity to onions and the presence of the pehA endopolygalacturonase gene were detected only in one cluster of related strains consisting of agricultural isolates and the PHDC lineage. Surprisingly, these strains were highly pathogenic in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans infection model, killing nematodes faster than the CF pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 on slow-kill medium. The other strains displayed a wide range of pathogenicity to C. elegans, notably the Midwest clonal lineage which displayed high, moderate, and low virulence. Most strains displayed moderate antifungal activity, although strains with high and low activities were also detected. We conclude that pathogenicity to multiple hosts may be a key factor contributing to the potential of B. cenocepacia to opportunistically infect humans both by increasing the prevalence of the organism in the environment, thereby increasing exposure to vulnerable hosts, and by the selection of virulence factors that function in multiple hosts.

    Title Recurrent Burkholderia Infection in Patients with Chronic Granulomatous Disease: 11-year Experience at a Large Referral Center.
    Date June 2009
    Journal Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
    Excerpt

    The epidemiology of Burkholderia infection in persons with chronic granulomatous disease is poorly understood. We used species-specific polymerase chain reaction-based assays and genotyping analyses to identify 32 strains representing 9 Burkholderia species among 50 isolates recovered from 18 patients with chronic granulomatous disease. We found that recurrent pulmonary infection with distinct Burkholderia strains is common in chronic granulomatous disease.

    Title Recovery of Herbaspirillum Species from Persons with Cystic Fibrosis.
    Date October 2008
    Journal Journal of Clinical Microbiology
    Excerpt

    Herbaspirillum species are not known to be human pathogens. We report on the identification of Herbaspirillum from cultures from 28 persons with cystic fibrosis (CF). Most isolates were initially identified as members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex. Although the role that these species play in lung disease in persons with CF is not known, their differentiation from other species is important and has serious implications for clinical care and patient well-being.

    Title Survival After Lung Transplantation of Cystic Fibrosis Patients Infected with Burkholderia Cepacia Complex.
    Date August 2008
    Journal American Journal of Transplantation : Official Journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons
    Excerpt

    Within the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), B. cenocepacia portends increased mortality compared with other species. We investigated the impact of Bcc infection on mortality and re-infection following lung transplant (LT). Species designation for isolates from Bcc-infected patients was determined using 16S rDNA and recA gene analyses. Of 75 cystic fibrosis patients undergoing LT from September 1992 to August 2002, 59 had no Bcc and 16 had Bcc (including 7 B. cenocepacia) isolated in the year before LT. Of the latter, 87.5% had Bcc recovered after transplantation, and all retained their pretransplant strains. Survival was 97%, 92%, 76% and 63% for noninfected patients; 89%, 89%, 67% and 56% for patients infected with Bcc species other than B. cenocepacia; and 71%, 29%, 29% and 29% for patients with B. cenocepacia (p = 0.014) at 1 month, 1 year, 3 years and 5 years, respectively. Patients infected with B. cenocepacia before transplant were six times more likely to die within 1 year of transplant than those infected with other Bcc species (p = 0.04) and eight times than noninfected patients (p < 0.00005). Following LT, infection with Bcc species other than B. cenocepacia does not significantly impact 5-year survival whereas infection with B. cenocepacia pretransplant is associated with decreased survival.

    Title An Outbreak of Burkholderia Cepacia Associated with Contamination of Albuterol and Nasal Spray.
    Date December 2006
    Journal Chest
    Excerpt

    Species within the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) can contaminate medications and disinfectants and cause severe pneumonia in critically ill patients or persons with cystic fibrosis. In March 2004, we investigated a hospital outbreak of Bcc possibly associated with a contaminated nasal spray.

    Title Chronic Colonization with Pandoraea Apista in Cystic Fibrosis Patients Determined by Repetitive-element-sequence Pcr.
    Date June 2006
    Journal Journal of Clinical Microbiology
    Excerpt

    Pandoraea apista is recovered with increasing frequency from the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and may represent an emerging pathogen (I. M. Jorgensen et al., Pediatr. Pulmonol. 36:439-446, 2003). We identified two CF patients from our hospital whose sputum specimens were culture positive for P. apista over the course of several years. Repetitive-element-sequence PCR was employed to determine whether sequential isolates that were recovered from these patients represented a single clone and whether each patient had been chronically colonized with the same strain. Banding patterns generated with ERIC primers, REP primers, and BOX primers showed that individual patient isolates had a high degree of similarity (>97%) and were considered identical. However, only the banding patterns from the ERIC primers and BOX primers were able to show that the strains from patients I and II were unique (similarity indices of 79.8% and 70.0%, respectively). We concluded that all strains of P. apista from patient I were identical, as were all strains from patient II, establishing chronic colonization. Only two of the three methods employed indicate that the strains from the two patients are distinct. This implied that the organism was not transferred from one patient to the other, suggesting that the choice of methodology could generate misleading results when examining person-to-person transmission regarding this organism.

    Title Impact of Burkholderia Dolosa on Lung Function and Survival in Cystic Fibrosis.
    Date April 2006
    Journal American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
    Excerpt

    RATIONALE: Chronic infection with Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria in cystic fibrosis is associated with accelerated decline in pulmonary function and increased mortality. Clinical implications of the recently characterized genomovar VI, B. dolosa, are unknown. OBJECTIVES: Characterization of impact of B. dolosa on pulmonary function and mortality in cystic fibrosis. METHODS: We compared patients chronically infected with B. dolosa (n = 31) with unmatched patients with B. multivorans (n = 24) and with age- and sex-matched control subjects without Burkholderia species (n = 58). We analyzed rates of pulmonary function decline (% predicted FEV(1)) using a random effects model assuming segmented linear trends. All available FEV(1) measurements from 5 yr (median, 4.8) before until 2.5 yr (median, 1.5) after the first positive culture for Burkholderia (reference date) were analyzed. Survival was compared using the Kaplan-Meier method and proportional hazards model. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Baseline FEV(1) and rate of decline were similar in the cohorts. Decline in FEV(1) after the reference date accelerated in patients with B. dolosa (-2.3 percentage points/yr pre vs. -7.1 post, p = 0.002), but was unchanged in the B. multivorans and control patients (-2.3 vs. -0.8 post, p = 0.38, and -2.1 pre vs. -0.5 post, p = 0.20, respectively). The probability of dying within 18 mo of the reference date was 13, 7, and 3% for B. dolosa, B. multivorans, and control patients, respectively (B. dolosa vs. control hazard ratio, 10.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-92.8; p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: B. dolosa chronic infection in cystic fibrosis is associated with accelerated loss of lung function and decreased survival.

    Title Multilocus Sequence Typing Scheme That Provides Both Species and Strain Differentiation for the Burkholderia Cepacia Complex.
    Date October 2005
    Journal Journal of Clinical Microbiology
    Excerpt

    A single multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme was developed for precise characterization of the opportunistic pathogens of Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC), a group composed of at least nine closely related species. Seven conserved housekeeping genes were selected after a comparison of five Burkholderia species, and a collection of strains was subjected to nucleotide sequence analysis using a nested PCR amplification approach for each gene. MLST differentiated all nine current BCC species and identified 114 sequence types within a collection of 119 strains. No differentiation was found between strains recovered from environmental or clinical sources. The improved resolution in strain identification offered by MLST was able to identify previously characterized epidemic strain lineages and also demonstrated the presence of four novel potential species groups within the complex. There was also evidence for recombination having an important role in the recent evolution of individual BCC species. This highly transferable, validated, MLST scheme provides a new means to assist in species identification as well as unambiguous strain discrimination of the BCC by a single approach. It is also the first MLST scheme designed at the outset to incorporate multiple species and should facilitate global epidemiological investigations of the BCC.

    Title Identification of Dna Markers for a Transmissible Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Cystic Fibrosis Strain.
    Date August 2005
    Journal American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
    Excerpt

    A number of transmissible Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains have been identified which potentially constitute an emerging threat to patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). We sought to identify DNA markers that were specific to a transmissible P. aeruginosa CF clone and evaluate these probes on a large collection of genotypically distinct P. aeruginosa strains. Using subtractive DNA hybridization, in combination with analysis using the P. aeruginosa PAO1 genome chip, DNA markers specific for or absent from the Manchester transmissible CF strain (MA) were identified. Five subtractive DNA hybridization markers (MA15, MA18, MA21, MA22, and MA30) were found to be specific to strain MA and were located within a novel 13,318-bp genomic island, designated the MA island. The MA island encoded 18 genes and consisted of two bacteriophage-like regions; one region encoded the MA-specific subtractive hybridization markers, while the other bacteriophage-like region contained a Vibrio cholera-like toxin gene. Probes MA15, MA18, MA21, MA22, and MA30 were all found to be specific to strain MA when a collection of 141 P. aeruginosa strains was examined by hybridization with each DNA marker. In contrast, a previously isolated DNA marker for the Liverpool transmissible CF strain, PS21, was not found to be specific, detecting two additional strain types in the collection screened. Both the Manchester and Liverpool strain types were not encountered in CF populations outside the United Kingdom. The MA genomic island and Vibrio cholera-like toxin gene within it constitute novel genetic factors associated with a transmissible P. aeruginosa strain and their role in pathogenesis remains to be determined.

    Title Inapparent Transmission of Pseudomonas (burkholderia) Cepacia Among Patients with Cystic Fibrosis.
    Date December 1994
    Journal The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
    Excerpt

    Pseudomonas cepacia is a significant pathogen in children and young adults with cystic fibrosis, and prevention of its acquisition has become an important goal in patient management. Although it is now clear that this bacterium can be transmitted from person to person, the frequency of this mode of acquisition and the measures required to prevent it are controversial. In this report we describe the use of a novel genotyping method to extend our previous investigation of person to person transmission of P. cepacia among patients with cystic fibrosis attending an educational program. Three (20%) of 15 individuals acquired P. cepacia after contact with a chronically colonized patient. Analysis revealed that the isolates recovered from the three newly colonized patients were the same as that from the index patient. We also demonstrated that pulmonary colonization with P. cepacia may not be detected by currently recommended culture methods for as long as 2 years after acquisition. These data indicate a need to develop more sensitive means of detecting P. cepacia colonization in order better to understand host-pathogen interaction and to optimize preventive strategies.

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