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1.  Early Predictors of Mortality from Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in HIV-Infected Patients: 1985–2006 
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) remains the leading cause of opportunistic infection among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons. Previous studies of PCP that identified case-fatality risk factors involved small numbers of patients, were performed over few years, and often focused on patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit.
The objective of this study was to identify case-fatality risk factors present at or soon after hospitalization among adult HIV-infected patients admitted to University College London Hospitals (London, United Kingdom) from June 1985 through June 2006.
Patients and Methods
We performed a review of case notes for 494 consecutive patients with 547 episodes of laboratory-confirmed PCP.
Overall mortality was 13.5%. Mortality was 10.1% for the period from 1985 through 1989, 16.9% for the period from 1990 through June 1996, and 9.7% for the period from July 1996 through 2006 (P = .142). Multivariate analysis identified factors associated with risk of death, including increasing patient age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11–2.23; P = .011), subsequent episode of PCP (AOR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.14–4.52; P = .019), low hemoglobin level at hospital admission (AOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60–0.83; P < .001), low partial pressure of oxygen breathing room air at hospital admission (AOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60–0.81; P < .001), presence of medical comorbidity (AOR, 3.93; 95% CI, 1.77–8.72; P = .001), and pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma (AOR, 6.95; 95% CI, 2.26–21.37; P =.001). Patients with a first episode of PCP were sicker (mean partial pressure of oxygen at admission ± standard deviation, 9.3 ± 2.0 kPa) than those with a second or third episode of PCP (mean partial pressure of oxygen at admission ± standard deviation, 9.9 ± 1.9 kPa; P =.008), but mortality among patients with a first episode of PCP (12.5%) was lower than mortality among patients with subsequent episodes of PCP (22.5%) (P = .019). No patient was receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy before presentation with PCP, and none began highly active antiretroviral therapy during treatment of PCP.
Mortality risk factors for PCP were identifiable at or soon after hospitalization. The trend towards improved outcome after June 1996 occurred in the absence of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
PMCID: PMC2735405  PMID: 18190281
2.  Pneumocystis pneumonia in South African children diagnosed by molecular methods 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:26.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is an important cause of hospitalization and mortality in HIV-infected children. However, the incidence of PCP has been underestimated due to poor sensitivity of diagnostic tests. The use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pneumocystis has enabled more reliable diagnosis. This study describes the incidence, clinical features and outcome of PCP in South African children diagnosed using PCR.
A prospective study of children hospitalised in South Africa with suspected PCP was done from November 2006 to August 2008. Clinical, laboratory and radiological information were collected. Lower respiratory tract specimens were obtained for PCP immunofluorescence (IF), real- time PCR for pneumocystis, bacterial and mycobacterial culture. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were taken for immunofluorescence (IF), real-time PCR for pneumocystis and PCR for respiratory viruses. A blood specimen for bacterial culture and for cytomegalovirus PCR was taken. Children were followed for the duration of their hospitalisation and the outcome was recorded.
202 children [median (interquartile range, IQR) age 3.2 (2.1– 4.6) months] were enrolled; 124 (61.4%) were HIV infected. PCP was identified in 109 (54%) children using PCR, compared to 43 (21%) using IF and Grocott staining (p < 0.0001). Most PCP cases (88, 81%) occurred in HIV-infected children. All 21 cases (19%) occurring in HIV- negative children had another risk factor for PCP. On logistic regression, predictive factors for PCP were HIV infection, lack of fever, high respiratory rate and low oxygen saturation whilst cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was protective (OR 0.24; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.5; p < 0.002). The case fatality of children with PCP was higher than those without PCP (32.1% versus 17.2%; relative risk 1.87; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11 – 3.15). Amongst HIV-infected children, a CD4 less than 15% was the only independent predictor of mortality.
The diagnostic yield for PCP is more than 2.5 times higher on PCR than other detection methods. PCP is a very common cause of severe hypoxic pneumonia and is associated with high mortality in HIV-infected African infants.
PMCID: PMC3892044  PMID: 24410938
Pneumocystis pneumonia; HIV; Children; Prophylaxis; PCR; Diagnosis; Incidence
3.  Cellular Profiles of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid and Their Prognostic Significance for Non-HIV-Infected Patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2015;53(4):1310-1316.
The usefulness of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid cellular analysis in non-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) has not been adequately evaluated. The objective of this study was to analyze the cellular profiles of BAL fluid and to evaluate their prognostic significance in non-HIV-infected patients with PCP. A 7-year retrospective cohort study of 166 non-HIV-infected adult patients with PCP who underwent BAL was performed in a tertiary care hospital. The median total BAL fluid white blood cell count was 180/μl (interquartile range, 80 to 330) and was unaffected by the severity of PCP. The median percentages of BAL fluid neutrophils, lymphocytes, and alveolar macrophages were 13.1%, 31.7%, and 30.2%, respectively. The median percentage of BAL fluid neutrophils was significantly higher in severe than in mild-to-moderate PCP (20.4% versus 6.0%, P < 0.001), as was the absolute neutrophil count (24/μl versus 13/μl, P = 0.001). The percentage of BAL fluid neutrophils was an independent predictor of 30-day (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.03) and 60-day (aOR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.04) mortalities. The 30-day and 60-day mortalities increased at rates of 15% (P = 0.006) and 21% (P < 0.001) per 10% increment of BAL fluid neutrophil levels, respectively. The degree of BAL fluid pleocytosis was relatively low without regard to the severity of PCP. The percentage of BAL fluid neutrophils can be used as a prognostic marker in non-HIV-infected patients with PCP.
PMCID: PMC4365245  PMID: 25673796
4.  Pneumocystis Pneumonia in Hospitalized Patients; A Detailed Examination of Symptoms, Management, and Outcomes in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Persons 
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is a life-threatening infection for immunocompromised individuals. There are robust data and clear guidelines for prophylaxis and treatment of HIV-related Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (HIV-PCP), yet few data and no guidelines for non-HIV related Pneumocystis pneumonia (NH-PCP). We postulated that prevention and inpatient management of HIV-PCP differed from NH-PCP.
We performed a retrospective case review of all pathologically confirmed cases of PCP seen at the University of Alabama Medical Center from 1996 to 2008. Data on clinical presentation, hospital course, and outcome were collected using a standardized data collection instrument. Bivariate analysis compared prophylaxis, adjunctive corticosteroids, and clinical outcomes between patients with HIV-PCP and NH-PCP.
Our analysis of the cohort included 97 cases of PCP; 65 HIV and 32 non-HIV cases. Non-HIV cases rarely received primary prophylaxis (4% vs. 38%, p=0.01) and received appropriate antibiotics later in the course of hospitalization (5.2 vs 1.1 days, P<0.005). Among transplant patients, NH-PCP was diagnosed a mean of 1,066 days after transplantation and most patients were on low-dose corticosteroids (87%) at the time of disease onset. No significant differences in adjunctive corticosteroid use (69% vs. 77%, p=0.39) and 90-day mortality (41% vs. 28%, p=0.20) were detected.
Patients who have undergone organ or stem cell transplant remain at risk for PCP for many years after transplantation. In our cohort, patients who developed NH-PCP were rarely given prophylaxis and initiation of appropriate antibiotics was significantly delayed compared to cases of HIV-PCP. Medical providers should be aware of the ongoing risk for NH-PCP, even late after transplantation, and consider more aggressive approaches to both prophylaxis and earlier empiric therapy for PCP.
PMCID: PMC3889465  PMID: 22548840
Pneumocystis Pneumonia; Transplant; Infectious Complications
5.  Environmental Risk Factors for Pneumocystis Pneumonia Hospitalizations in HIV Patients 
This report identifies both climatological and air pollution constituents as independent risk factors for hospitalization of HIV-positive patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP). These findings may lead to new insights about the epidemiology and pathogenesis of PcP.
Background. Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) is the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients in the United States. Although the host risk factors for the development of PcP are well established, the environmental (climatological, air pollution) risk factors are poorly understood. The major goal of this study was to determine the environmental risk factors for admissions of HIV-positive patients with PcP to a single medical center.
Methods. Between 1997 and 2008, 457 HIV-positive patients with microscopically confirmed PcP were admitted to the San Francisco General Hospital. A case-crossover design was applied to identify environmental risk factors for PcP hospitalizations. Climatological and air pollution data were collected from the Environmental Protection Agency and Weather Warehouse databases. Conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate the association of each environmental factor and PcP hospital admission.
Results. Hospital admissions were significantly more common in the summer than in the other seasons. Increases in temperature and sulfur dioxide levels were independently associated with hospital admissions for PcP, but the effects of sulfur dioxide were modified by increasing carbon monoxide levels.
Conclusions. This study identifies both climatological and air pollution constituents as independent risk factors for hospitalization of HIV-positive patients with PcP in San Francisco. Thus, the environmental effects on PcP are more likely complex than previously thought. Further studies are needed to understand how these factors exert their effects and to determine if these factors are associated with PcP in other geographic locations.
PMCID: PMC3571628  PMID: 23042978
Pneumocystis; PcP; environmental factors; HIV
6.  Primary Care Providers’ Judgments of Opioid Analgesic Misuse in a Community-Based Cohort of HIV-Infected Indigent Adults 
Primary care providers (PCPs) must balance treatment of chronic non-cancer pain with opioid analgesics with concerns about opioid misuse.
We co-enrolled community-based indigent adults and their PCPs to determine PCPs’ accuracy of estimating opioid analgesic misuse and illicit substance use.
Patient-provider dyad study.
HIV-infected, community-based indigent adults (‘patients’) and their PCPs.
Using structured interviews, we queried patients on use and misuse of opioid analgesics and illicit substances. PCPs completed patient- and provider-specific questionnaires. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity, and measures of agreement between PCPs’ judgments and patients’ reports of opioid misuse and illicit substance use. We examined factors associated with PCPs’ thinking that their patients had misused opioid analgesics and determined factors associated with patients’ misuse.
We had 105 patient-provider dyads. Of the patients, 21 had misused opioids and 45 had used illicit substances in the past year. The sensitivity of PCPs’ judgments of opioid analgesic misuse was 61.9% and specificity, 53.6% (Kappa score 0.09, p = 0.10). The sensitivity of PCPs’ judgments of illicit substance use was 71.1% and specificity, 66.7% (Kappa score 0.37, p <0.001). PCPs were more likely to think that younger patients (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.89, 95% CI 0.84-0.97), African American patients (AOR 2.53, 95% CI 1.05-6.07) and those who had used illicit substances in the past year (AOR 3.33, 95% CI 1.35-8.20) had misused opioids. Younger (AOR 0.94, 95% CI 0.86-1.02) and African American (AOR 0.71, 95% CI 0.25-1.97) patients were not more likely to report misuse, whereas persons who had used illicit substances were (AOR 3.01, 95% CI 1.04-8.76).
PCPs’ impressions of misuse were discordant with patients’ self-reports of opioid analgesic misuse. PCPs incorrectly used age and race as predictors of misuse in this high-risk cohort.
PMCID: PMC3055969  PMID: 21061084
opioid misuse; substance use; PCP judgments; chronic pain
7.  Outcome of HIV-associated Pneumocystis pneumonia in hospitalized patients from 2000 through 2003 
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected persons. Epidemiology of PCP in the recent era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is not well known and the impact of HAART on outcome of PCP has been debated.
To determine the epidemiology of PCP in HIV-infected patients and examine the impact of HAART on PCP outcome.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of 262 patients diagnosed with PCP between January 2000 and December 2003 at a county hospital at an academic medical center. Death while in the hospital was the main outcome measure. Multivariate modeling was performed to determine predictors of mortality.
Overall hospital mortality was 11.6%. Mortality in patients requiring intensive care was 29.0%. The need for mechanical ventilation, development of a pneumothorax, and low serum albumin were independent predictors of increased mortality. One hundred and seven patients received HAART before hospitalization and 16 patients were started on HAART while in the hospital. HAART use either before or during hospitalization was not associated with mortality.
Overall hospital mortality and mortality predictors are similar to those reported earlier in the HAART era. PCP diagnoses in HAART users likely represented failing HAART regimens or non-compliance with HAART.
PMCID: PMC2551597  PMID: 18796158
8.  Serologic responses to Pneumocystis Proteins in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Patients With and Without Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia 
Immune responses to Pneumocystis jirovecii are not well understood in HIV infection, but antibody responses to proteins may be useful as a marker of Pneumocystis risk or presence of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP).
Retrospective analysis of a prospective cohort
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of antibodies to recombinant Pneumocystis proteins of major surface glycoprotein fragments (MsgC1, C3, C8, and C9) and of antibody titers to recombinant kexin protein (KEX1) were performed on three sequential serum samples up to 18 months prior to and three samples after first AIDS-defining illness from Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study participants and compared between those who had PcP or a non-PcP AIDS-defining illness.
Fifty-four participants had PcP and 47 had a non-PcP AIDS-defining illness. IgG levels to MsgC fragments were similar between groups prior to first AIDS-defining illness, but the PcP group had higher levels of IgG to MsgC9 (median units/ml 50.2 vs. 22.2, p=0.047) post-illness. Participants with PcP were more likely to have an increase in MsgC3 (OR 3.9, p=0.02), MsgC8 (OR 5.5, p=0.001), and MsgC9 (OR 4.0, p=0.007). The PcP group was more likely to have low KEX1 IgG prior to development of PcP (OR 3.6, p=0.048) independent of CD4 cell count and to have an increase in high IgG titers to KEX1 after PcP.
HIV-infected individuals develop immune responses to both Msg and kexin proteins after PcP. Low KEX1 IgG titers may be a novel marker of future PcP risk before CD4 cell count has declined below 200 cells/μl.
PMCID: PMC3150634  PMID: 21372726
HIV; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Pneumocystis; serology
9.  Critical Importance of Long-Term Adherence to Care in HIV Infected Patients in the cART Era: New Insights from Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia Cases over 2004–2011 in the FHDH-ANRS CO4 Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94183.
To describe characteristics and outcomes of HIV-infected patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) over 2004–2011 in France, in particular in those previously enrolled (PE) in the French Hospital Database on HIV (FHDH).
PE patients with an incident PCP were compared with patients with an inaugural PCP revealing HIV infection (reference). Adequate adherence to care was defined as a CD4 measurement at least every 6 months. Immune reconstitution (CD4≥200/mm3) and risk of death were studied using Kaplan-Meier estimates and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.
In a context of a decreasing incidence of PCP, 1259 HIV-infected patients had a PCP diagnosis, and 593 (47%) were PE patients of whom 161 (27%) have had a prior history of AIDS-defining clinical illness (prior ADI). Median time since enrolment was 8 years for PE patients; 74% had received cART. Median proportion of time with adequate adherence to care was 85% (IQR, 66–96) for all FHDH enrollees, but only 45% (IQR, 1–81) for PE patients during the 2 years before PCP. Median CD4 cell count (38/mm3) and HIV viral load (5.2 log10 copies/ml) at PCP diagnosis did not differ between PE patients and the reference group. Three year mortality rate of 25% was observed for PE prior ADI group, higher than in PE non-prior ADI group (8%) and the reference group (9%) (p<0.0001). In the PE prior ADI group, poor prognosis remained even after adjustment for virological control and immune reconstitution (HR, 2.4 [95%CI, 1.5–3.7]).
Almost 50% of PCP diagnoses in HIV-infected patients occurred presently in patients already in care, mainly with a previous cART prescription but with waning adherence to care. Having repeated ADI is contributing to the risk of death beyond its impact on immune reconstitution and viral suppression: special efforts must be undertaken to maintain those patients in care.
PMCID: PMC3984113  PMID: 24727746
10.  Severity Assessment of Lower Respiratory Tract Infection in Malawi: Derivation of a Novel Index (SWAT-Bp) Which Outperforms CRB-65 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82178.
To assess the validity of CRB-65 (Confusion, Respiratory rate >30 breaths/min, BP<90/60 mmHg, age >65 years) as a pneumonia severity index in a Malawian hospital population, and determine whether an alternative score has greater accuracy in this setting.
Forty three variables were prospectively recorded during the first 48 hours of admission in all patients admitted to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi, for management of lower respiratory tract infection over a two month period (N = 240). Calculation of sensitivity and specificity for CRB-65 in predicting mortality was followed by multivariate modeling to create a score with superior performance in this population.
Median age 37, HIV prevalence 79.9%, overall mortality 18.3%. CRB-65 predicted mortality poorly, indicated by the area under the ROC curve of 0.649. Independent predictors of death were: Male sex, “S” (AOR 2.6); Wasting, “W” (AOR 6.6); non-ambulatory, “A” (AOR 2.5); Temp >38°C or <35°C, “T” (AOR 3.2); BP<100/60, “Bp” (AOR 3.7). Combining these factors to form a severity index (SWAT-Bp) predicted mortality with high sensitivity and specificity (AUC: 0.867). Mortality for scores 0–5 was 0%, 3.3%, 7.4%, 29.2%, 61.5% and 87.5% respectively. A score ≥3 was 84% sensitive and 77% specific for mortality prediction, with a negative predictive value of 95.8%.
CRB-65 performs poorly in this population. The SWAT-Bp score can accurately stratify patients; ≤2 indicates non-severe infection (mortality 4.4%) and ≥3 severe illness (mortality 45%).
PMCID: PMC3855704  PMID: 24324763
11.  Failure to prescribe pneumocystis prophylaxis is associated with increased mortality, even in the cART era: results from the Treat Asia HIV observational database 
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis is recommended for patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. This study examines the proportion of patients in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) receiving PCP prophylaxis, and its effect on PCP and mortality.
TAHOD patients with prospective follow up had data extracted for prophylaxis using co-trimoxazole, dapsone or pentamidine. The proportion of patients on prophylaxis was calculated for each calendar year since 2003 among patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. The effect of prophylaxis on PCP and survival were assessed using random-effect Poisson regression models.
There were a total of 4050 patients on prospective follow up, and 90% of them were receiving combination antiretroviral therapy. Of those with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3, 58% to 72% in any given year received PCP prophylaxis, predominantly co-trimoxazole. During follow up, 62 patients developed PCP (0.5 per 100 person-years) and 169 died from all causes (1.36/100 person-years). After stratifying by site and adjusting for age, CD4 count, CDC stage and antiretroviral treatment, those without prophylaxis had no higher risk of PCP, but had a significantly higher risk of death (incident rate ratio 10.8, p < 0.001). PCP prophylaxis had greatest absolute benefit in patients with CD4 counts of less than 50 cells/mm3, lowering mortality rates from 33.5 to 6.3 per 100 person-years.
Approximately two-thirds of TAHOD patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3 received PCP prophylaxis. Patients without prophylaxis had significantly higher mortality, even in the era of combination ART. Although PCP may be under-diagnosed, these data suggest that prophylaxis is associated with important survival benefits.
PMCID: PMC3354658  PMID: 22281054
12.  Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in Tropical and Low and Middle Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e69969.
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), the commonest opportunistic infection in HIV-infected patients in the developed world, is less commonly described in tropical and low and middle income countries (LMIC). We sought to investigate predictors of PCP in these settings.
Systematic review and meta-regression.
Meta-regression of predictors of PCP diagnosis (33 studies). Qualitative and quantitative assessment of recorded CD4 counts, receipt of prophylaxis and antiretrovirals, sensitivity and specificity of clinical signs and symptoms for PCP, co-infection with other pathogens, and case fatality (117 studies).
The most significant predictor of PCP was per capita Gross Domestic Product, which showed strong linear association with odds of PCP diagnosis (p<0.0001). This was not explained by study design or diagnostic quality. Geographical area, population age, study setting and year of study also contributed to risk of PCP. Co-infection was common (444 episodes/1425 PCP cases), frequently with virulent organisms. The predictive value of symptoms, signs or simple tests in LMIC settings for diagnosis of PCP was poor. Case fatality was >30%; treatment was largely appropriate. Prophylaxis appeared to reduce the risk for development of PCP, however 24% of children with PCP were receiving prophylaxis. CD4 counts at presentation with PCP were usually <200×103/ml.
There is a positive relationship between GDP and risk of PCP diagnosis. Although failure to diagnose infection in poorer countries may contribute to this, we also hypothesise that poverty exposes at-risk patients to a wide range of infections and that the relatively non-pathogenic P. jirovecii is therefore under-represented. As LMIC develop economically they eliminate the conditions underlying transmission of virulent infection: P. jirovecii, ubiquitous in all settings, then becomes a greater relative threat.
PMCID: PMC3732248  PMID: 23936365
13.  Severity and outcomes of Pneumocystis pneumonia in patients newly diagnosed with HIV infection: an observational cohort study 
It is unclear whether patients who are unaware of their HIV infection have different severity or outcomes of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) compared to patients who have been previously diagnosed with HIV. In this retrospective observational cohort study of consecutive HIV-infected patients with microscopically diagnosed PCP at San Francisco General Hospital between 1997 and 2006, 121 of 522 patients (23%) were unaware of their HIV infection prior to their diagnosis of PCP. The proportion of patients with concurrently diagnosed HIV and PCP each year remained unchanged during the study period. Patients with newly diagnosed HIV had a significantly higher alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient at presentation (median 51 versus 45 mm Hg, p=0.03), but there were no differences in mortality, frequency of mechanical ventilation, or admission to intensive care compared to patients with previously diagnosed HIV infection. In multivariate analysis, patients who reported a sexual risk factor for HIV infection were more likely to be newly diagnosed with HIV than patients who reported injection drug use as their only HIV risk factor (odds ratio = 3.14, 95% confidence interval 1.59–6.18, p = 0.001). This study demonstrates a continued need for HIV education and earlier HIV testing, particularly in patients with high-risk sexual behavior.
PMCID: PMC2806953  PMID: 19521925
14.  Pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV-positive patients in Spain: epidemiology and environmental risk factors 
Specific environmental factors may play a role in the development of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in HIV-positive patients. The aim of this study was to estimate the PCP incidence and mortality in hospitalized HIV-positive patients in Spain during the combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) era (1997 to 2011), as well as to analyze the climatological factors and air pollution levels in relation to hospital admissions and deaths.
We carried out a retrospective study. Data were collected from the National Hospital Discharge Database and the State Meteorological Agency of Spain. A case-crossover analysis was applied to identify environmental risk factors related to hospitalizations and deaths. For each patient, climatic factors and pollution levels were assigned based on readings from the nearest meteorological station to his or her postal code.
There were 13,139 new PCP diagnoses and 1754 deaths in hospitalized HIV-positive patients from 1997 to 2011. The PCP incidence (events per 1000 person-years) dropped from 11.6 in 1997 to 2000, to 5.4 in 2004 to 2011 (p<0.001). The mortality (events per 10,000 person-years) also decreased from 14.3 in 1997 to 2000, to 7.5 in 2004 to 2011 (p<0.001). Most hospital admissions and deaths occurred in the winter season and the fewest occurred in the summer, overlapping respectively with the lowest and highest temperatures of the year in Spain. Moreover, lower temperatures prior to PCP admission, as well as higher concentrations of NO2 and particulate matter up to 10 m in size (PM10) at the time of admission were associated with higher likelihoods of hospital admission due to PCP when two weeks, one month, 1.5 months or two months were used as controls (p<0.01). Furthermore, higher concentrations of ozone at one month (p=0.007), 1.5 months (p<0.001) and two months (p=0.006) prior to admission were associated with higher likelihoods of hospital admission with PCP. For PCP-related deaths, lower temperatures prior to admission and higher concentrations of atmospheric PM10 at the time of admission were related to higher likelihood of death when two weeks, one month and 1.5 months were used as controls (p<0.05).
PCP was a significant health problem in the cART era (1997 to 2011), and PCP epidemiology was adversely influenced by colder climatological factors and higher ambient air pollution levels.
PMCID: PMC4440874  PMID: 25997453
Pneumocystis; epidemiology; seasonality; air pollution; AIDS
15.  Improved survival for HIV infected patients with severe Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia is independent of highly active antiretroviral therapy 
Thorax  2006;61(8):716-721.
Despite a decline in incidence of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), severe PCP continues to be a common cause of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) where mortality remains high. A study was undertaken to examine the outcome from intensive care for patients with PCP and to identify prognostic factors.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted of HIV infected adults admitted to a university affiliated hospital ICU between November 1990 and October 2005. Case note review collected information on demographic variables, use of prophylaxis and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and hospital course. The main outcome was 1 month mortality, either on the ICU or in hospital.
Fifty nine patients were admitted to the ICU on 60 occasions. Thirty four patients (57%) required mechanical ventilation. Overall mortality was 53%. No patient received HAART before or during ICU admission. Multivariate analysis showed that the factors associated with mortality were the year of diagnosis (before mid 1996 (mortality 71%) compared with later (mortality 34%; p = 0.008)), age (p = 0.016), and the need for mechanical ventilation and/or development of pneumothorax (p = 0.031). Mortality was not associated with sex, ethnicity, prior receipt of sulpha prophylaxis, haemoglobin, serum albumin, CD4 count, Pao2, A‐ao2 gradient, co‐pathology in bronchoscopic lavage fluid, medical co‐morbidity, APACHE II score, or duration of mechanical ventilation.
Observed improved outcomes from severe PCP for patients admitted to the ICU occurred in the absence of intervention with HAART and probably reflect general improvements in ICU management of respiratory failure and ARDS rather than improvements in the management of PCP.
PMCID: PMC2104703  PMID: 16601092
AIDS; intensive care; mechanical ventilation;  Pneumocystis jirovecii ; opportunistic infections; respiratory failure
16.  Adjunctive steroid in HIV-negative patients with severe Pneumocystis pneumonia 
Respiratory Research  2013;14(1):87.
High-dose steroid therapy has been proven effective in AIDS-related Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) but not in non-AIDS-related cases. We evaluated the effects on survival of steroids in HIV-negative patients with PCP.
Retrospective study patients admitted to the ICU with hypoxemic PCP. We compared patients receiving HDS (≥1 mg/Kg/day prednisone equivalent), low-dose steroids (LDS group, <1 mg/Kg/day prednisone equivalent), and no steroids (NS group). Variables independently associated with ICU mortality were identified.
139 HIV-negative patients with PCP were included. Median age was 48 [40–60] years. The main underlying conditions were hematological malignancies (n=55, 39.6%), cancer (n=11, 7.9%), and solid organ transplantation (n=73, 52.2%). ICU mortality was 26% (36 deaths). The HDS group had 72 (51.8%) patients, the LDS group 35 (25%) patients, and the NS group 32 (23%) patients. Independent predictors of ICU mortality were SAPS II at ICU admission (odds ratio [OR], 1.04/point; [95%CI], 1.01-1.08, P=0.01), non-hematological disease (OR, 4.06; [95%CI], 1.19-13.09, P=0.03), vasopressor use (OR, 20.31; 95%CI, 6.45-63.9, P<0.001), and HDS (OR, 9.33; 95%CI, 1.97-44.3, P=0.02). HDS was not associated with the rate of ICU-acquired infections.
HDS were associated with increased mortality in HIV-negative patients with PCP via a mechanism independent from an increased risk of infection.
PMCID: PMC3765749  PMID: 23981859
Pneumocystis jiroveci infection; Immunocompromised host; Mortality
17.  Screening of Older Community-Dwelling People at Risk for Death and Hospitalization: The Assistenza Socio-Sanitaria in Italia Project 
To develop and validate mortality and hospitalization prognostic tools based upon information readily available to primary care physicians (PCPs).
Population-based cohort study. Baseline predictors were patient demographics, a seven-item questionnaire on functional status and general health, use of five or more drugs, and previous hospitalization.
Community-based study.
Prognostic indexes were developed in 2,470 subjects and validated in 2,926 subjects, all community-dwelling, aged 65 and older, and randomly sampled from the rosters of 98 PCPs in Florence, Italy.
Fifteen-month mortality and hospitalization.
Two scores were derived from logistic regression models and used to stratify participants into four groups. With Model 1, based upon the seven-item questionnaire, mortality rate ranged from 0.8% in the lowest-risk group (0–1 point) to 9.4% in the highest risk group (≥3 points), and hospitalization rate ranged from 12.4% to 29.3%; area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) was 0.75 and 0.60, respectively. With Model 2, considering also drug use and previous hospitalization, mortality and hospitalization rates ranged from 0.3% to 8.2% and from 8.1% to 29.7%, for the lowest-risk to the highest-risk group; the AUC increased significantly only for hospitalization (0.67).
Prediction of death and hospitalization in older community-dwelling people can be easily obtained with two indexes using information promptly available to PCPs. These tools might be useful for guiding clinical care and targeting interventions to reduce the need for hospital care in older persons.
PMCID: PMC2669304  PMID: 17944891
elderly; mortality; hospitalization; screening
18.  Ambient Air Pollution Associated with Suppressed Serologic Responses to Pneumocystis jirovecii in a Prospective Cohort of HIV-Infected Patients with Pneumocystis Pneumonia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80795.
Ambient air pollution (AAP) may be associated with increased risk for Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). The mechanisms underlying this association remain uncertain.
To determine if real-life exposures to AAP are associated with suppressed IgM antibody responses to P. jirovecii in HIV-infected (HIV+) patients with active PCP, and to determine if AAP, mediated by suppressed serologic responses to Pneumocystis, is associated with adverse clinical outcomes.
We conducted a prospective cohort study in HIV+ patients residing in San Francisco and admitted to San Francisco General Hospital with microscopically confirmed PCP. Our AAP predictors were ambient air concentrations of particulate matter of < 10 µm in diameter (PM10) and < 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) measured immediately prior to hospital admission and 2 weeks prior to admission. Our primary outcomes were the IgM serologic responses to four recombinant P. jirovecii major surface glycoprotein (Msg) constructs: MsgC1, MsgC3, MsgC8, and MsgC9.
Elevated PM10 and NO2 exposures immediately prior to and two weeks prior to hospital admission were associated with decreased IgM antibody responses to P. jirovecii Msg. For exposures immediately prior to admission, every 10 µg/m3 increase in PM10 was associated with a 25 to 35% decrease in IgM responses to Msg (statistically significant for all the Msg constructs), and every 10 ppb increase in NO2 was associated with a 19-45% decrease in IgM responses to Msg (statistically significant for MsgC8 and MsgC9). Similar findings were seen with exposures two weeks prior to admission, but for fewer of the Msg constructs.
Real life exposures to PM10 and NO2 were associated with suppressed IgM responses to P. jirovecii Msg in HIV+ patients admitted with PCP, suggesting a mechanism of immunotoxicity by which AAP increases host susceptibility to pulmonary infection.
PMCID: PMC3827464  PMID: 24236202
19.  Low Prevalence of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) but High Prevalence of Pneumocystis dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) Gene Mutations in HIV-Infected Persons in Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49991.
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is an important opportunistic infection in patients infected with HIV, but its burden is incompletely characterized in those areas of sub-Saharan Africa where HIV is prevalent. We explored the prevalence of both PCP in HIV-infected adults admitted with pneumonia to a tertiary-care hospital in Uganda and of putative P. jirovecii drug resistance by mutations in fungal dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) and dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr). In 129 consecutive patients with sputum smears negative for mycobacteria, 5 (3.9%) were diagnosed with PCP by microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Concordance was 100% between Giemsa stain and PCR (dhps and dhfr). PCP was more prevalent in patients newly-diagnosed with HIV (11.4%) than in patients with known HIV (1.1%; p = 0.007). Mortality at 2 months after discharge was 29% overall: 28% among PCP-negative patients, and 60% (3 of 5) among PCP-positive patients. In these 5 fungal isolates and an additional 8 from consecutive cases of PCP, all strains harbored mutant dhps haplotypes; all 13 isolates harbored the P57S mutation in dhps, and 3 (23%) also harbored the T55A mutation. No non-synonymous dhfr mutations were detected. PCP is an important cause of pneumonia in patients newly-diagnosed with HIV in Uganda, is associated with high mortality, and putative molecular evidence of drug resistance is prevalent. Given the reliability of field diagnosis in our cohort, future studies in sub-Saharan Africa can investigate the clinical impact of these genotypes.
PMCID: PMC3500344  PMID: 23166805
20.  Diagnosis of Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in Immunocompromised Patients by Real-Time PCR: a 4-Year Prospective Study 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(9):3370-3376.
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is a life-threatening infection in immunocompromised patients. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is more sensitive than microscopic examination for the detection of P. jirovecii but also detects colonized patients. Hence, its positive predictive value (PPV) needs evaluation. In this 4-year prospective observational study, all immunocompromised patients with acute respiratory symptoms who were investigated for PCP were included, totaling 659 patients (814 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples). Patients with negative microscopy but positive qPCR were classified through medical chart review as having retained PCP, possible PCP, or colonization, and their clinical outcomes were compared to those of patients with microscopically proven PCP. Overall, 119 patients were included for analysis, of whom 35, 41, and 43 were classified as having retained PCP, possible PCP, and colonization, respectively. The 35 patients with retained PCP had clinical findings similar to those with microscopically proven PCP but lower fungal loads (P < 0.001) and were mainly non-HIV-infected patients (P < 0.05). Although the mean amplification threshold was higher in colonized patients, it was not possible to determine a discriminant qPCR cutoff. The PPV of qPCR in patients with negative microscopy were 29.4% and 63.8% when considering retained PCP and retained plus possible PCP, respectively. Patients with possible PCP had a higher mortality rate than patients with retained PCP or colonization (63% versus 3% and 16%, respectively); patients who died had not received co-trimoxazole. In conclusion, qPCR is a useful tool to diagnose PCP in non-HIV patients, and treatment might be better targeted through a multicomponent algorithm including both clinical/radiological parameters and qPCR results.
PMCID: PMC4313164  PMID: 25009050
21.  Characteristics and Predictors of Death among Hospitalized HIV-Infected Patients in a Low HIV Prevalence Country: Bangladesh 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e113095.
Predictors of death in hospitalized HIV-infected patients have not been previously reported in Bangladesh.
The primary aim of this study was to determine predictors of death among hospitalized HIV-infected patients at a large urban hospital in Bangladesh.
A study was conducted in the HIV in-patient unit (Jagori Ward) of icddr,b's Dhaka Hospital. Characteristics of patients who died during hospitalization were compared to those of patients discharged from the ward. Bivariate analysis was performed to determine associations between potential risk factors and death. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors independently associated with death.
Of 293 patients admitted to the Jagori Ward, 57 died during hospitalization. Most hospitalized patients (67%) were male and the median age was 35 (interquartile range: 2–65) years. Overall, 153 (52%) patients were diagnosed with HIV within 6 months of hospitalization. The most common presumptive opportunistic infections (OIs) identified were tuberculosis (32%), oesophageal candidiasis (9%), Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) (8%), and histoplasmosis (7%). On multivariable analysis, independent predictors of mortality were CD4 count ≤200 cells/mm3 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 16.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.7–74.4), PJP (aOR: 18.5, 95% CI: 4.68–73.3), oesophageal candidiasis (aOR: 27.5, 95% CI: 5.5–136.9), malignancy (aOR:15.2, 95% CI: 2.3–99.4), and bacteriuria (aOR:7.9, 95% CI: 1.2–50.5). Being on antiretroviral therapy prior to hospitalization (aOR: 0.2, 95% CI: 0.06–0.5) was associated with decreased mortality.
This study showed that most patients who died during hospitalization on the Jagori Ward had HIV-related illnesses which could have been averted with earlier diagnosis of HIV and proper management of OIs. It is prudent to develop a national HIV screening programme to facilitate early identification of HIV.
PMCID: PMC4259303  PMID: 25485634
22.  The Impact of Opportunistic Infections on Clinical Outcome and Healthcare Resource Uses for Adult T Cell Leukaemia 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(8):e0135042.
We examined the impact of opportunistic infections on in-hospital mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS), and the total cost (TC) among adult T-cell leukaemia (ATL) patients. In this retrospective cohort study, we identified 3712 patients with ATL using national hospital administrative data. Analysed opportunistic infections included Aspergillus spp., Candida spp., cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), tuberculosis, varicella zoster virus (VZV), Cryptococcus spp., nontuberculous mycobacteria, and Strongyloides spp. Multilevel logistic regression analysis for in-hospital mortality and a multilevel linear regression analysis for LOS and TC were employed to determine the impact of opportunistic infections on clinical outcomes and healthcare resources. We found ATL patients infected with CMV had significantly higher in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.29 [1.50–3.49] p < 0.001), longer LOS (coefficient (B): 0.13 [0.06–0.20] p < 0.001) and higher TC (B: 0.25 [0.17–0.32] p < 0.001) than those without CMV. Those with CAN and PCP were associated with a lower in-hospital mortality rate (AOR 0.72 [0.53–0.98] p = 0.035 and 0.54[0.41–0.73] p < 0.001, respectively) than their infections. VZV was associated with longer LOS (B: 0.13 [0.06–0.19] p < 0.001), while aspergillosis, HSV, or VZV infections were associated with higher TC (B: 0.16 [0.07–0.24] p < 0.001, 0.12 [0.02–0.23] p = 0.025, and 0.17 [0.10–0.24] p < 0.001, respectively). Our findings reveal that CMV infection is a major determinant of poor prognosis in patients affected by ATL.
PMCID: PMC4537272  PMID: 26274925
23.  Humoral Immune Responses to Pneumocystis jirovecii Antigens in HIV-Infected and Uninfected Young Children with Pneumocystis Pneumonia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82783.
Humoral immune responses in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and uninfected children with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) are poorly understood.
Consecutive children hospitalized with acute pneumonia, tachypnea, and hypoxia in South Africa were investigated for PcP, which was diagnosed by real-time polymerase chain reaction on lower respiratory tract specimens. Serum antibody responses to recombinant fragments of the carboxyl terminus of Pneumocystis jirovecii major surface glycoprotein (MsgC) were analyzed.
149 children were enrolled of whom 96 (64%) were HIV-infected. PcP occurred in 69 (72%) of HIV-infected and 14 (26%) of HIV-uninfected children. HIV-infected children with PcP had significantly decreased IgG antibodies to MsgC compared to HIV-infected patients without PcP, but had similar IgM antibodies. In contrast, HIV-uninfected children with PcP showed no change in IgG antibodies to MsgC, but had significantly increased IgM antibodies compared to HIV-uninfected children without PCP. Age was an independent predictor of high IgG antibodies, whereas PcP was a predictor of low IgG antibodies and high IgM antibodies. IgG and IgM antibody levels to the most closely related MsgC fragments were predictors of survival from PcP.
Young HIV-infected children with PcP have significantly impaired humoral immune responses to MsgC, whereas HIV-uninfected children with PcP can develop active humoral immune responses. The children also exhibit a complex relationship between specific host factors and antibody levels to MsgC fragments that may be related to survival from PcP.
PMCID: PMC3873266  PMID: 24386119
24.  Association between statin therapy and outcomes in critically ill patients: a nested cohort study 
The effect of statin therapy on mortality in critically ill patients is controversial, with some studies suggesting a benefit and others suggesting no benefit or even potential harm. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between statin therapy during intensive care unit (ICU) admission and all-cause mortality in critically ill patients.
This was a nested cohort study within two randomised controlled trials conducted in a tertiary care ICU. All 763 patients who participated in the two trials were included in this study. Of these, 107 patients (14%) received statins during their ICU stay. The primary endpoint was all-cause ICU and hospital mortality. Secondary endpoints included the development of sepsis and severe sepsis during the ICU stay, the ICU length of stay, the hospital length of stay, and the duration of mechanical ventilation. Multivariate logistic regression was used to adjust for clinically and statistically relevant variables.
Statin therapy was associated with a reduction in hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.36-0.99). Statin therapy was associated with lower hospital mortality in the following groups: patients >58 years of age (aOR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.35-0.97), those with an acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE II) score >22 (aOR = 0.54, 95% CI 0.31-0.96), diabetic patients (aOR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.30-0.90), patients on vasopressor therapy (aOR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.29-0.97), those admitted with severe sepsis (aOR = 0.22, 95% CI 0.07-0.66), patients with creatinine ≤100 μmol/L (aOR = 0.14, 95% CI 0.04-0.51), and patients with GCS ≤9 (aOR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.17-0.71). When stratified by statin dose, the mortality reduction was mainly observed with statin equipotent doses ≥40 mg of simvastatin (aOR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.28-1.00). Mortality reduction was observed with simvastatin (aOR = 0.37, 95% CI 0.17-0.81) but not with atorvastatin (aOR = 0.80, 95% CI 0.84-1.46). Statin therapy was not associated with a difference in any of the secondary outcomes.
Statin therapy during ICU stay was associated with a reduction in all-cause hospital mortality. This association was especially noted in high-risk subgroups. This potential benefit needs to be validated in a randomised, controlled trial.
PMCID: PMC3199769  PMID: 21819615
25.  Burden of pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2016;16(1):482.
Seroprevalence data and clinical studies in children suggest that the burden of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in Africa may be underestimated. We performed a systematic review to determine the prevalence and attributable mortality of PCP amongst HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa.
We searched Pubmed, Web of Science, Africa-Wide: NiPAD and CINAHL, from Jan 1 1995 to June 1 2015, for studies that reported the prevalence, mortality or case fatality of PCP in HIV-infected adults living in sub-Saharan African countries. Prevalence data from individual studies were combined by random-effects meta-analysis according to the Mantel-Haenszel method. Data were stratified by clinical setting, diagnostic method, and study year.
We included 48 unique study populations comprising 6884 individuals from 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The pooled prevalence of PCP among 6018 patients from all clinical settings was 15 · 4 % (95 % CI 12 · 9–18 · 0), and was highest amongst inpatients, 22 · 4 % (95 % CI 17 · 2–27 · 7). More cases were identified by bronchoalveolar lavage, 21 · 0 % (15 · 0–27 · 0), compared with expectorated, 7 · 7 % (4 · 4–11 · 1), or induced sputum, 11 · 7 % (4 · 9–18 · 4). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used in 14 studies (n = 1686). There was a trend of decreasing PCP prevalence amongst inpatients over time, from 28 % (21–34) in the 1990s to 9 % (8–10) after 2005. The case fatality rate was 18 · 8 % (11 · 0–26 · 5), and PCP accounted for 6 · 5 % (3 · 7–9 · 3) of study deaths.
PCP is an important opportunistic infection amongst HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly amongst patients admitted to hospital. Although prevalence appears to be decreasing, improved access to antiretroviral therapy and non-invasive diagnostics, such as PCR, are needed.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-016-1809-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5018169  PMID: 27612639
Pneumocystis pneumonia; HIV-associated opportunistic infection; Respiratory disease in HIV; PCP

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