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1.  Spontaneous gram-negative bacillary meningitis in adult patients: characteristics and outcome 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:451.
Background
Spontaneous meningitis caused by gram-negative bacilli in adult patients is uncommon and poorly characterized. Our objective is to describe and compare the characteristics and the outcome of adult patients with spontaneous gram-negative bacilli meningitis (GNBM) and spontaneous meningitis due to other pathogens.
Methods
Prospective single hospital-based observational cohort study conducted between 1982 and 2006 in a university tertiary hospital in Barcelona (Spain). The Main Outcome Measure: In-hospital mortality.
Results
Gram-negative bacilli meningitis was diagnosed in 40 (7%) of 544 episodes of spontaneous acute bacterial meningitis. The most common pathogens were Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas species. On admission, characteristics associated with spontaneous gram-negative bacilli meningitis by multivariate modeling were advanced age, history of cancer, nosocomial acquisition of infection, urinary tract infection as distant focus of infection, absence of rash, hypotension, and a high cerebrospinal fluid white-cell count. Nine (23%) episodes were acquired in the hospital and they were most commonly caused by Pseudomonas. The in-hospital mortality rate was 53%. The mortality rate was higher among patients with Gram-negative bacillary meningitis than among those with other bacterial meningitis and their risk of death was twenty times higher than among patients infected with Neisseria meningitidis (odds ratio 20.47; 95% confidence interval 4.03-103.93; p<0.001).
Conclusions
Gram-negative bacilli cause 9% of spontaneous bacterial meningitis of known etiology in adults. Characteristics associated with GNBM include advanced age, history of cancer, nosocomial acquisition, and urinary tract infection as distant focus of infection. The mortality rate is higher among patients with gram-negative bacillary meningitis than among those with other bacterial meningitides.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-451
PMCID: PMC3849584  PMID: 24079517
2.  Trough colistin plasma level is an independent risk factor for nephrotoxicity: a prospective observational cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:380.
Background
Data regarding the most efficacious and least toxic schedules for the use of colistin are scarce. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and the potential risk factors of colistin-associated nephrotoxicity including colistin plasma levels.
Methods
A prospective observational cohort study was conducted for over one year in patients receiving intravenous colistin methanesulfonate sodium (CMS). Blood samples for colistin plasma levels were collected immediately before (Cmin) and 30 minutes after CMS infusion (Cmax). Renal function was assessed at baseline, on day 7 and at the end of treatment (EOT). Severity of acute kidney injury (AKI) was defined by the RIFLE (risk, injury, failure, loss, and end-stage kidney disease) criteria.
Results
One hundred and two patients met the inclusion criteria. AKI related to CMS treatment on day 7 and at the end of treatment (EOT) was observed in 26 (25.5%) and 50 (49.0%) patients, respectively. At day 7, Cmin (OR, 4.63 [2.33-9.20]; P < 0.001) was the only independent predictor of AKI. At EOT, the Charlson score (OR 1.26 [1.01-1.57]; P = 0.036), Cmin (OR 2.14 [1.33-3.42]; P = 0.002), and concomitant treatment with ≥ 2 nephrotoxic drugs (OR 2.61 [1.0-6.8]; P = 0.049) were independent risk factors for AKI. When Cmin was evaluated as a categorical variable, the breakpoints that better predicted AKI were 3.33 mg/L (P < 0.001) on day 7 and 2.42 mg/L (P < 0.001) at EOT.
Conclusions
When using the RIFLE criteria, colistin-related nephrotoxicity is observed in a high percentage of patients. Cmin levels are predictive of AKI. Patients who receive intravenous colistin should be closely monitored and Cmin might be a new useful tool to predict AKI.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-380
PMCID: PMC3765824  PMID: 23957376
Colistin; Nephrotoxicity risk factors; RIFLE criteria; Colistin plasma levels
3.  Health Care–Associated Native Valve Endocarditis in Patients with no History of Injection Drug Use: Current Importance of Non-Nosocomial Acquisition 
Annals of internal medicine  2009;150(9):586-594.
Background
The clinical profile and outcome of nosocomial and non-nosocomial health care–associated native valve endocarditis are not well defined.
Objective
To describe the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of nosocomial and non-nosocomial health care–associated native valve endocarditis.
Design
Prospective observational study.
Setting
61 hospitals in 28 countries.
Patients
Patients with definite native valve endocarditis and no history of injection drug use who were enrolled in the International Collaboration on Endocarditis–Prospective Cohort Study from June 2000 to August 2005.
Measurements
Characteristics of nosocomial and non-nosocomial health care–associated native valve endocarditis cases were described and compared with those cases acquired in the community.
Results
Health care–associated native valve endocarditis was present in 557 (34%) of 1622 patients with native valve endocarditis and no history of injection drug use (nosocomial native valve endocarditis 303 patients [54%]; non-nosocomial health care–associated native valve endocarditis 254 patients [46%]). Staphylococcus aureus was the most common cause of health care-associated native valve endocarditis (nosocomial native valve endocarditis, 47%; non-nosocomial health care–associated native valve endocarditis, 42%; p=0.3), with a notable proportion of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (nosocomial native valve endocarditis, 57%; non-nosocomial health care–associated native valve endocarditis, 41%; p=0.014). Patients with health care–associated native valve endocarditis had lower rates of cardiac surgery (41% health care–associated native valve endocarditis vs 51% community-acquired native valve endocarditis, p<0.001) and higher in-hospital mortality rates than patients with community-acquired native valve endocarditis (25% health care–associated native valve endocarditis vs. 13% community-acquired native valve endocarditis vs., p<0.001). Multivariable analysis confirmed a higher mortality associated with health care–associated native valve endocarditis (incidence risk ratio=1.20 (CI 95%, 1.03–1.61).
Limitations
This study involves tertiary hospitals with cardiac surgery programs. The results may not be generalized to patient populations receiving care in other types of facility.
Conclusions
More than one-third of all cases of native valve endocarditis in non-drug users involve contact with health care. S. aureus is the leading cause of health care–associated native valve endocarditis. Non-nosocomial health care–associated native valve endocarditis is common, especially in the US. Patients with health care-associated and community-acquired native valve endocarditis differ in their presentation, microbiology, and outcome. By contrast, patients with nosocomial and non-nosocomial healthcare-associated endocarditis are similar.
PMCID: PMC3625649  PMID: 19414837
infective endocarditis; healthcare-associated endocarditis; nosocomial endocarditis; non-nosocomial healthcare-associated endocarditis; community-acquired endocarditis; Staphylococcal aureus endocarditis; MRSA endocarditis; Coagulase-negative staphylococcal endocarditis; Surgery; Outcome
4.  The spectrum of acute bacterial meningitis in elderly patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:108.
Background
We conducted a prospective, observational study in Barcelona to determine the epidemiology, clinical features, and outcome of elderly patients with acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) compared with younger adults.
Methods
During 1982–2010, all patients with ABM were prospectively evaluated. There were two groups: I (15–64 years) and II (≥ 65 years). All patients underwent clinical examination on admission and at discharge following a predefined protocol.
Results
We evaluated 635 episodes of ABM. The incidence was 4.03/100,000 (Group I) and 7.40 /100,000 inhabitants/year (Group II) (RR = 1.84; 95%CI: 1.56–2.17, P < 0.0001). Elderly patients had co-morbid conditions more frequently (P < 0.0001) and more frequently lacked fever (P = 0.0625), neck stiffness (P < 0.0001) and skin rash (P < 0.0001), but had an altered level of consciousness more often (P < 0.0001). The interval admission-start of antibiotic therapy was longer for elderly patients (P < 0.0001). Meningococcal meningitis was less frequent in elderly patients (P < 0.0001), whereas listerial (P = 0.0196), gram-negative bacillary (P = 0.0065), and meningitis of unknown origin (P = 0.0076) were more frequent. Elderly patients had a higher number of neurologic (P = 0.0009) and extra-neurologic complications (P < 0.0001). The overall mortality ratio was higher in elderly patients (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions
Elderly people are at higher risk of having ABM than younger adults. ABM in the elderly presents with co-morbid conditions, is clinically subtler, has a longer interval admission-antibiotic therapy, and has non-meningococcal etiology. It is associated with an earlier and higher mortality rate than in younger patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-108
PMCID: PMC3599144  PMID: 23446215
Bacterial meningitis; Acute; Elderly; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Listeria monocytogenes; Co-morbidities; Outcome; Complications; Post-meningitic sequelae
5.  Adherence to recommendations by infectious disease consultants and its influence on outcomes of intravenous antibiotic-treated hospitalized patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:292.
Background
Consultation to infectious diseases specialists (ID), although not always performed by treating physicians, is part of hospital’s daily practice. This study analyses adherence by treating physicians to written ID recommendations (inserted in clinical records) and its effect on outcome in hospitalized antibiotic-treated patients in a tertiary hospital in Spain.
Methods
A prospective, randomized, one-year study was performed. Patients receiving intravenous antimicrobial therapy prescribed by treating physicians for 3 days were identified and randomised to intervention (insertion of written ID recommendations in clinical records) or non-intervention. Appropriateness of empirical treatments (by treating physicians) was classified as adequate, inadequate or unnecessary. In the intervention group, adherence to recommendations was classified as complete, partial or non-adherence.
Results
A total of 1173 patients were included, 602 in the non-intervention and 571 in the intervention group [199 (34.9%) showing complete adherence, 141 (24.7%) partial adherence and 231 (40.5%) non-adherence to recommendations]. In the multivariate analysis for adherence (R2 Cox=0.065, p=0.009), non-adherence was associated with prolonged antibiotic prophylaxis (p=0.004; OR=0.37, 95%CI=0.19-0.72). In the multivariate analysis for clinical failure (R2 Cox=0.126, p<0.001), Charlson index (p<0.001; OR=1.19, 95%CI=1.10-1.28), malnutrition (p=0.006; OR=2.00, 95%CI=1.22-3.26), nosocomial infection (p<0.001; OR=4.12, 95%CI=2.27-7.48) and length of hospitalization (p<0.001; OR=1.01, 95%CI=1.01-1.02) were positively associated with failure, while complete adherence (p=0.001; OR=0.35, 95%CI=0.19-0.64) and adequate initial treatment (p=0.010; OR=0.39, 95%CI=0.19-0.80) were negatively associated.
Conclusions
Adherence to ID recommendations by treating physicians was associated with favorable outcome, in turn associated with shortened length of hospitalization. This may have important health–economic benefits and stimulates further investigation.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN83234896. http://www.controlled-trials.com/isrctn/sample_documentation.asp
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-292
PMCID: PMC3514236  PMID: 23140210
Infectious diseases specialists; Antibiotic intervention; Antibiotic use; Antibiotic management; Antimicrobial stewardship
6.  Inflammatory Responses in Blood Samples of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients with Pulmonary Infections 
We analyzed the characteristics of the inflammatory response occurring in blood during pulmonary infections in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. A prospective study of consecutive hospital admissions of HIV-infected patients with new-onset radiologic pulmonary infiltrates was carried out in a tertiary university hospital from April 1998 to May 2001. Plasma cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels were determined at the time of admission and 4, 5, and 6 days later. Patients were included in a protocol addressed to study etiology and outcome of disease. A total of 249 episodes of infection were included, with the main diagnoses being bacterial pneumonia (BP) (118 episodes), Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) (41 episodes), and mycobacteriosis (36 episodes). For these three patient groups, at the time of admission the median CRP and cytokine levels were as follows: CRP, 10.2, 3.8 and 5 mg/dl, respectively (P = 0.0001); IL-8, 19, 3, and 2.9 pg/ml (P = 0.045); and TNF-α, 46.4, 44, and 75 pg/ml, respectively (P = 0.029). There were no significant differences in levels of IL-1β, IL-6, or IL-10 among the patient groups. A total of 23 patients died. At the time of admission, HIV-infected patients with BP had higher plasma CRP and IL-8 levels than did PCP and mycobacteriosis patients. TNF-α levels were higher in patients with mycobacteriosis. An elevated IL-8 level (>61 pg/ml) at the time of admission was an independent factor associated with higher mortality (odds ratio, 12; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 235.5).
doi:10.1128/CDLI.11.3.608-614.2004
PMCID: PMC404570  PMID: 15138189
7.  Pulmonary Infiltrates in Immunosuppressed Patients: Analysis of a Diagnostic Protocol 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(6):2134-2140.
A diagnostic protocol was started to study the etiology of pulmonary infiltrates in immunosuppressed patients. The diagnostic yields of the different techniques were analyzed, with special emphasis on the importance of the sample quality and the role of rapid techniques in the diagnostic strategy. In total, 241 patients with newly developed pulmonary infiltrates within a period of 19 months were included. Noninvasive or invasive evaluation was performed according to the characteristics of the infiltrates. Diagnosis was achieved in 202 patients (84%); 173 patients (72%) had pneumonia, and specific etiologic agents were found in 114 (66%). Bronchoaspirate and bronchoalveolar lavage showed the highest yields, either on global analysis (23 of 35 specimens [66%] and 70 of 134 specimens [52%], respectively) or on analysis of each type of pneumonia. A tendency toward better results with optimal-quality samples was observed, and a statistically significant difference was found in sputum bacterial culture. Rapid diagnostic tests yielded results in 71 of 114 (62.2%) diagnoses of etiological pneumonia.
doi:10.1128/JCM.40.6.2134-2140.2002
PMCID: PMC130687  PMID: 12037077

Results 1-7 (7)