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1.  Household Risk Factors for Colonization with Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54733.
Antimicrobial resistance, particularly in pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), limits treatment options and increases healthcare costs. To understand patient risk factors, including household and animal contact, potentially associated with colonization with multidrug-resistant MRSA isolates, we performed a prospective study of case patients colonized with MRSA on admission to a rural tertiary care hospital. Patients were interviewed and antimicrobial resistance patterns were tested among isolates from admitted patients colonized with MRSA in 2009–10. Prevalence of resistance was compared by case-patient risk factors and length-of-stay outcome among 88 MRSA case patients. Results were compared to NHANES 2003–04. Overall prevalence of multidrug resistance (non-susceptibility to ≥four antimicrobial classes) in MRSA nasal isolates was high (73%) and was associated with a 1.5-day increase in subsequent length of stay (p = 0.008). History of hospitalization within the past six months, but not antimicrobial use in the same time period, was associated with resistance patterns. Within a subset of working-age case patients without recent history of hospitalization, animal contact was potentially associated with multidrug resistance. History of hospitalization, older age, and small household size were associated with multidrug resistance in NHANES data. In conclusion, recent hospitalization of case patients was predictive of antimicrobial resistance in MRSA isolates, but novel risk factors associated with the household may be emerging in CA-MRSA case patients. Understanding drivers of antimicrobial resistance in MRSA isolates is important to hospital infection control efforts, relevant to patient outcomes and to indicators of the economic burden of antimicrobial resistance.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054733
PMCID: PMC3554652  PMID: 23359808
2.  Outcomes from pandemic influenza A H1N1 infection in recipients of solid-organ transplants: a multicentre cohort study 
The Lancet infectious diseases  2010;10(8):521-526.
Summary
Background
There are few data on the epidemiology and outcomes of influenza infection in recipients of solid-organ transplants. We aimed to establish the outcomes of pandemic influenza A H1N1 and factors leading to severe disease in a cohort of patients who had received transplants.
Methods
We did a multicentre cohort study of adults and children who had received organ transplants with microbiological confirmation of influenza A infection from April to December, 2009. Centres were identified through the American Society of Transplantation Influenza Collaborative Study Group. Demographics, clinical presentation, treatment, and outcomes were assessed. Severity of disease was measured by admission to hospital and intensive care units (ICUs). The data were analysed with descriptive statistics. Proportions were compared by use of χ2 tests. We used univariate analysis to identify factors leading to pneumonia, admission to hospital, and admission to an ICU. Multivariate analysis was done by use of a stepwise logistic regression model. We analysed deaths with Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
Findings
We assessed 237 cases of medically attended influenza A H1N1 reported from 26 transplant centres during the study period. Transplant types included kidney, liver, heart, lung, and others. Both adults (154 patients; median age 47 years) and children (83; 9 years) were assessed. Median time from transplant was 3.6 years. 167 (71%) of 237 patients were admitted to hospital. Data on complications were available for 230 patients; 73 (32%) had pneumonia, 37 (16%) were admitted to ICUs, and ten (4%) died. Antiviral treatment was used in 223 (94%) patients (primarily oseltamivir monotherapy). Seven (8%) patients given antiviral drugs within 48 h of symptom onset were admitted to an ICU compared with 28 (22.4%) given antivirals later (p=0.007). Children who received transplants were less likely to present with pneumonia than adults, but rates of admission to hospital and ICU were similar.
Interpretation
Influenza A H1N1 caused substantial morbidity in recipients of solid-organ transplants during the 2009–10 pandemic. Starting antiviral therapy early is associated with clinical benefit as measured by need for ICU admission and mechanical ventilation.
doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(10)70133-X
PMCID: PMC3045703  PMID: 20620116
3.  Patients' request for and emergency physicians' prescription of antimicrobial prophylaxis for anthrax during the 2001 bioterrorism-related outbreak 
BMC Public Health  2005;5:2.
Background
Inappropriate use of antibiotics by individuals worried about biological agent exposures during bioterrorism events is an important public health concern. However, little is documented about the extent to which individuals with self-identified risk of anthrax exposure approached physicians for antimicrobial prophylaxis during the 2001 bioterrorism attacks in the United States.
Methods
We conducted a telephone survey of randomly selected members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians to assess patients' request for and emergency physicians' prescription of antimicrobial agents during the 2001 anthrax attacks.
Results
Ninety-seven physicians completed the survey. Sixty-four (66%) respondents had received requests from patients for anthrax prophylaxis; 16 (25%) of these physicians prescribed antibiotics to a total of 23 patients. Ten physicians prescribed ciprofloxacin while 8 physicians prescribed doxycycline.
Conclusion
During the 2001 bioterrorist attacks, the majority of the emergency physicians we surveyed encountered patients who requested anthrax prophylaxis. Public fears may lead to a high demand for antibiotic prophylaxis during bioterrorism events. Elucidation of the relationship between public health response to outbreaks and outcomes would yield insights to ease burden on frontline clinicians and guide strategies to control inappropriate antibiotic allocation during bioterrorist events.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-2
PMCID: PMC546188  PMID: 15634353
4.  Aseptic Meningitis Epidemic during a West Nile Virus Avian Epizootic 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2003;9(9):1082-1088.
While enteroviruses have been the most commonly identified cause of aseptic meningitis in the United States, the role of the emerging, neurotropic West Nile virus (WNV) is not clear. In summer 2001, an aseptic meningitis epidemic occurring in an area of a WNV epizootic in Baltimore, Maryland, was investigated to determine the relative contributions of WNV and enteroviruses. A total of 113 aseptic meningitis cases with onsets from June 1 to September 30, 2001, were identified at six hospitals. WNV immunoglobulin M tests were negative for 69 patients with available specimens; however, 43 (61%) of 70 patients tested enterovirus-positive by viral culture or polymerase chain reaction. Most (76%) of the serotyped enteroviruses were echoviruses 13 and 18. Enteroviruses, including previously rarely detected echoviruses, likely caused most aseptic meningitis cases in this epidemic. No WNV meningitis cases were identified. Even in areas of WNV epizootics, enteroviruses continue to be important causative agents of aseptic meningitis.
doi:10.3201/eid0909.030068
PMCID: PMC3016784  PMID: 14519244
Meningitis; aseptic; epidemiology; enterovirus infections; echovirus infections; West Nile fever; disease outbreaks; communicable diseases; emerging; population surveillance
5.  Early-Season Avian Deaths from West Nile Virus as Warnings of Human Infection 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2003;9(4):483-484.
An analysis of 2001 and 2002 West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance data shows that counties that report WNV-infected dead birds early in the transmission season are more likely to report subsequent WNV disease cases in humans than are counties that do not report early WNV-infected dead birds.
doi:10.3201/eid0904.020421
PMCID: PMC2957970  PMID: 12702231
West Nile virus; surveillance data; early reports; avian deaths; relative risk; dispatch
6.  Molecular and Phenotypic Characteristics of Healthcare- and Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus at a Rural Hospital 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38354.
Background
While methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) originally was associated with healthcare, distinct strains later emerged in patients with no prior hospital contact. The epidemiology of MRSA continues to evolve.
Methods
To characterize the current epidemiology of MRSA-colonized patients entering a hospital serving both rural and urban communities, we interviewed patients with MRSA-positive admission nasal swabs between August 2009 and March 2010. We applied hospitalization risk factor, antimicrobial resistance phenotype, and multi-locus sequence genotype (MLST) classification schemes to 94 case-patients.
Results
By MLST analysis, we identified 15 strains with two dominant clonal complexes (CCs)–CC5 (51 isolates), historically associated with hospitals, and CC8 (27 isolates), historically of community origin. Among patients with CC5 isolates, 43% reported no history of hospitalization within the past six months; for CC8, 67% reported the same. Classification by hospitalization risk factor did not correlate strongly with genotypic classification. Sensitivity of isolates to ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, or amikacin was associated with the CC8 genotype; however, among CC8 strains, 59% were resistant to ciprofloxacin, 15% to clindamycin, and 15% to amikacin.
Conclusions
Hospitalization history was not a strong surrogate for the CC5 genotype. Conversely, patients with a history of hospitalization were identified with the CC8 genotype. Although ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, and amikacin susceptibility distinguished CC8 strains, the high prevalence of ciprofloxacin resistance limited its predictive value. As CC8 strains become established in healthcare settings and CC5 strains disseminate into the community, community-associated MRSA definitions based on case-patient hospitalization history may prove less valuable in tracking community MRSA strains.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038354
PMCID: PMC3376098  PMID: 22719880

Results 1-6 (6)