Purpose of Review
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use has markedly reduced AIDS-related mortality and opportunistic illness. With improved survival, cardiovascular disease (CVD) has emerged as an important non-infectious chronic co-morbidity among antiretroviral (ARV)-treated HIV-infected persons.
HIV infection can impact CVD and co-morbidiities known to increase CVD risk. Untreated HIV can cause proatherogenic elevations in serum lipids. Chronic HIV viremia results in increases in systemic inflammation, hypercoagulation, and reductions in endovascular reactivity, all of which are at least partially reversible with virally suppressive HAART. Chronic T cell activation can also result in adverse vascular effects. Use of some ARV drugs can impact CVD risk by causing pro-atherogenic serum lipid elevations, induction of insulin resistance, increases in visceral adiposity or subcutaneous fat loss. Abacavir use may increase myocardial infarction risk by reducing vascular reactivity and/or increasing platelet activation. Traditional risk factors such as advancing age, smoking, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension remain important predictors of CVD among HAART-treated HIV-infected persons.
HIV in the HAART era is a chronic manageable condition. CVD is an important cause of morbidity among HIV-infected persons. Untreated HIV can increase CVD risk in several ways and these effects are at least partially reversible with successful treatment. Use of specific ARV’s can adversely impact CVD risk but the multiple long-term benefits of chronic HIV suppression and immune reconstitution achievable with potent HAART outweigh the adverse impact upon CVD risks that they may have. Standard CVD screening and risk-reducing interventions should be routinely undertaken for HIV-infected persons.
Cardiovascular disease in HIV infection; Inflammation; hypercoagulation; vascular functioning; Effects of antiretroviral drugs; Hyperlipidemia
In the general population, frailty, a late stage of the aging process, predicts mortality. We investigated whether manifesting a previously defined frailty-related phenotype (FRP) before initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) affects the likelihood of developing clinical AIDS or mortality after HAART initiation.
Among 596 HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study whose date of HAART initiation was known within ±6 months and who had an assessable FRP status within 3 years before HAART, survival analyses were performed to assess the effect of FRP manifestation on clinical AIDS or death after HAART.
In men free of AIDS before HAART, AIDS or death after HAART occurred in 13/36 (36%) men who exhibited the FRP before HAART but only in 69/436 (16%) men who did not (hazard ratio = 2.6; 95% confidence interval = 1.4–4.6; p < .01). After adjusting for age, ethnicity, education, nadir CD4+ T-cell count, peak HIV viral load, and hemoglobin in the 3 years before HAART, having the FRP at >25% of visits in the 3 years before HAART significantly predicted AIDS or death (adjusted hazard ratio = 3.8; 95% confidence interval = 1.9–7.9; p < .01). Results were unchanged when the analysis was restricted to the 335 AIDS-free men who were HAART responders, to the 124 men who had AIDS at HAART initiation, or to the subsets of men for whom indices of liver and kidney function could be taken into account.
Having a persistent frailty-like phenotype before HAART initiation predicted a worse prognosis after HAART, independent of known risk factors.
HIV; Aging; Frailty; HAART response; Survival analysis
Background and purpose
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may have an increased risk for cardiovascular-related events, although the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that carotid arterial stiffness was higher among persons taking HAART compared to HAART-naïve and HIV-uninfected persons.
Between 2004 and 2006, we performed high resolution B-mode ultrasound on 2,789 HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected participants of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS; 1865 women) and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; 924 men) and determined carotid arterial distensibility, a direct measure of carotid arterial stiffness. We used generalized estimating equations to evaluate the association between distensibility and HIV infection, CD4+ cell count, and exposure to HAART adjusted for demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics.
In multivariable analysis, distensibility was 4.3% lower (95% confidence interval (CI): -7.4% to -1.1%) among HIV-infected versus uninfected participants. Among HIV-infected participants with fewer than 200 CD4+ cells, distensibility was 10.5% lower (95% CI: -14.5% to -6.2%) than that among HIV-uninfected participants, and this effect did not differ significantly by cohort or race. Concurrent HAART use was independently associated with lower distensibility among MACS participants but not among WIHS participants.
Our finding that advanced HIV-related immunosuppression was associated with increased carotid arterial stiffness independent from the effects of traditional atherosclerosis risk factors suggests that the etiologic mechanism underlying reports of an increased cardiovascular disease risk among HIV-infected individuals might involve HIV-related immunosuppression leading to vascular dysfunction and arterial stiffening.
atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; carotid arteries; HIV; epidemiology
The presence of antibody to R7V (anti-R7VAb), a seven-amino acid sequence derived from β2-microglobulin incorporated into HIV-1 virions from the surface of infected cells, has been proposed as an early marker of nonprogressive HIV-1 infection. The present study was undertaken because no prospective studies have tested this hypothesis. Stored samples collected prospectively from 361 HIV-1 seroconverting men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (0.44–1.53 years after seroconversion) were assayed for the presence or absence of anti-R7VAb, using a standardized ELISA. Using Cox proportional hazards models, crude and adjusted relative hazards (RH) were determined for the following outcomes: (a) clinically defined AIDS, (b) clinically defined AIDS or CD4 T cell count of <200 cells/μl, and (c) death. A total of 143 (39.6%) men had early anti-R7VAb and 218 (60.4%) did not; 192 (53.2%) developed AIDS. At the visit tested, men with anti-R7VAb had significantly lower CD4 T cell counts and higher plasma HIV-1 viral loads than those without antibody. After adjustment for CD4 T cell count, HIV-1 viral load, CCR5 polymorphism, and use of combined antiretroviral therapy, the presence of anti-R7VAb was associated with a higher risk of progression for all outcomes, but not significantly so. Absence of anti-R7VAb was significantly associated with expression of HLA-B*5701 and -B*2705, two alleles associated with slower progression of HIV-1 disease. The early presence of anti-R7VAb in HIV-1 seroconverters was not associated with slower progression of HIV-1 disease.
We attempted to refine the understanding of an association of Y-chromosomal haplogroup I (hg-I) with enhanced AIDS progression that had been previously reported. First, we compared the progression phenotype between hg-I and its phylogenetically closest haplogroup J (hg-J). Then, we took a candidate gene approach resequencing DDX3Y, a crucial autoimmunity gene, in hg-I and other common European Y- chromosome haplogroups looking for functional variants. We extended the genetic analyses to CD24L4 and compared and contrasted the roles of disease based selection, demographic history, and population structure shaping the contemporary genetic landscape of hg-I chromosomes. Our results confirmed and refined the AIDS progression signal to hg-I, though no gene variant was identified that can explain the disease association. Molecular evolutionary and genetic analyses of the examined loci suggested a unique evolutionary history in hg-I, probably shaped by complex interactions of selection, demographic history, and high geographical differentiation leading to the formation of distinct hg-I subhaplogroups that today are associated with HIV/AIDS onset. Clearly, further studies on Y chromosome candidate loci sequencing to discover functional variants and discern the roles of evolutionary factors are warranted.
AIDS progression; CD24L4; DDX3Y; population growth; population structure; selection; Y chromosome
The host genetic basis of differential outcomes in HIV infection, progression, viral load set point and highly active retroviral therapy (HAART) responses was examined for the common Y haplogroups in European Americans and African Americans. Accelerated progression to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related death in European Americans among Y chromosome haplogroup I (Y-I) subjects was discovered. Additionally, Y-I haplogroup subjects on HAART took a longer time to HIV-1 viral suppression and were more likely to fail HAART. Both the accelerated progression and longer time to viral suppression results observed in haplogroup Y-I were significant after false-discovery-rate corrections. A higher frequency of AIDS-defining illnesses was also observed in haplogroup Y-I. These effects were independent of the previously identified autosomal AIDS restriction genes. When the Y-I haplogroup subjects were further subdivided into six I subhaplogroups, no one subhaplogroup accounted for the effects on HIV progression, viral load or HAART response. Adjustment of the analyses for population stratification found significant and concordant haplogroup Y-I results. The Y chromosome haplogroup analyses of HIV infection and progression in African Americans were not significant. Our results suggest that one or more loci on the Y chromosome found on haplogroup Y-I have an effect on AIDS progression and treatment responses in European Americans.
Immunological similarities have been noted between HIV-infected individuals and older HIV-negative adults. Immunologic alterations with aging have been noted in frailty in older adults, a clinical syndrome of high risk for mortality and other adverse outcomes. Using a frailty-related phenotype (FRP), we investigated in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) whether progressive deterioration of the immune system among HIV positive individuals independently predicts onset of FRP.
FRP was evaluated semiannually in 1,046 HIV-infected men from 1994–2005. CD4 T-cell count and plasma viral load were evaluated as predictors of FRP by logistic regression (GEE), adjusting for age, ethnicity, educational level, AIDS status, and treatment era (pre-HAART (1994–1995) and HAART (1996–1999 and 2000–2005)).
Adjusted prevalences of FRP remained low for CD4 T-cell counts >400 cells/mm3 and increased exponentially and significantly for lower counts. Results were unaffected by treatment era. After 1996, CD4 cell T-count, but not plasma viral load, was independently associated with FRP.
CD4 T-cell count predicted the development of a frailty-related phenotype among HIV infected men, independent of HAART use. This suggests that compromise of the immune system in HIV-infected individuals contributes to the systemic physiologic dysfunction of frailty.
HIV; aging; frailty; CD4 T-cell count; Highly active antiretroviral therapy; prospective population-based cohort
Detection of HIV-1 in patients is limited by the sensitivity and selectivity of available tests. The nanotechnology-based bio-barcode-amplification method offers an innovative approach to detect specific HIV-1 antigens from diverse HIV-1 subtypes. We evaluated the efficacy of this protein-detection method in detecting HIV-1 in men enrolled in the Chicago component of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).
The method relies on magnetic microparticles with antibodies that specifically bind the HIV-1 p24 Gag protein and nanoparticles that are encoded with DNA and antibodies that can sandwich the target protein captured by the microparticle-bound antibodies. The aggregate sandwich structures are magnetically separated from solution, and treated to remove the conjugated barcode DNA. The DNA barcodes (hundreds per target) were identified by a nanoparticle-based detection method that does not rely on PCR.
Of 112 plasma samples from HIV-1-infected subjects, 111 were positive for HIV-1 p24 Gag protein (range: 0.11–71.5 ng/ml of plasma) by the bio-barcode-amplification method. HIV-1 p24 Gag protein was detected in only 23 out of 112 men by the conventional ELISA. A total of 34 uninfected subjects were negative by both tests. Thus, the specificity of the bio-barcode-amplification method was 100% and the sensitivity 99%. The bio-barcode-amplification method detected HIV-1 p24 Gag protein in plasma from all study subjects with less than 200 CD4+ T cells/μl of plasma (100%) and 19 out of 20 (95%) HIV-1-infected men who had less than 50 copies/ml of plasma of HIV-1 RNA. In a separate group of 60 diverse international isolates, representative of clades A, B, C and D and circulating recombinant forms CRF01_AE and CRF02_AG, the bio-barcode-amplification method identified the presence of virus correctly.
The bio-barcode-amplification method was superior to the conventional ELISA assay for the detection of HIV-1 p24 Gag protein in plasma with a breadth of coverage for diverse HIV-1 subtypes. Because the bio-barcode-amplification method does not require enzymatic amplification, this method could be translated into a robust point-of-care test.
bio-barcode-amplification method; HIV-1; major core protein of HIV-1 (p24 Gag)
We examined the emergence of CXCR4 (i.e., X4) tropism in 67 male human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) seroconverters from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) who were selected to reflect the full spectrum of rates of HIV-1 disease progression. A mean of 10 serial samples per donor were evaluated by a laboratory-validated, commercially available assay to determine phenotypic coreceptor use. A total of 52% of men had dual- or mixed-tropic HIV-1 detected at 1 or more of the time points tested. Use of X4 by HIV-1 was detected more frequently among men who developed AIDS (defined as a CD4+ T cell count of < 200 cells/μL and/or an AIDS-defining illness)≤11 years after seroconversion than among those who did not (P = .005), as well as among men who exhibited a total T cell count decline (i.e., a CD3+ inflection point), compared with those who did not (P = .03). For men in whom both X4 virus and an inflection point were detected, emergence of X4 virus preceded the inflection point by a median of 0.83 years. The median CD4+ T cell count at first detection of X4 viruses before the onset of AIDS was 475 cells/μL. We conclude that HIV-1 variants that used X4 frequently emerged at high CD4+ T cell counts and may contribute to the decrease in T cell numbers during late HIV-1 infection.
As availability of primary cells can be limited for genetic studies of human disease, lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) are common sources of genomic DNA. LCL are created in a transformation process that entails in vitro infection of human B-lymphocytes with the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).
To test for genotypic errors potentially induced by the Epstein-Barr Virus transformation process, we compared single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotype calls in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and LCL from the same individuals. The average mismatch rate across 19 comparisons was 0.12% for SNPs with a population call rate of at least 95%, and 0.03% at SNPs with a call rate of at least 99%. Mismatch rates were not correlated across genotype subarrays run on all sample pairs.
Genotypic discrepancies found in PBMC and LCL pairs were not significantly different than control pairs, and were not correlated across subarrays. These results suggest that mismatch rates are minimal with stringent quality control, and that most genotypic discrepancies are due to technical artifacts rather than the EBV transformation process. Thus, LCL likely constitute a reliable DNA source for host genotype analysis.
Resistance to cephalothin was associated in general with a lack of susceptibility to cefazolin, a new 7-amino cephalosporanic acid derivative.
There is notable heterogeneity in the progression to Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS) among men coinfected with HIV-1 and HHV-8; additional determinants of KS likely exist. Here, we explore sexual activity as a proxy for a sexually transmitted determinant beyond HIV-1 and HHV-8.
The association between sexual activity and incident KS was estimated using data from 1,354 HIV-1 and HHV-8 coinfected homosexual men followed for up to 10 years in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.
As expected, white race, low CD4 cell count and acquiring HHV-8 after HIV-1 infection increased, while smoking decreased, the hazard of KS. The unadjusted hazard of KS among those with high sexual activity was 0.68 relative to the hazard of those with low sexual activity (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.49, 0.93), and was somewhat muted after adjustment for characteristics measured at study entry (i.e. race, smoking, CD4 cell count, infection order, history of sexual activity, and sexually transmitted diseases). However, adjustment for time-varying covariates, particularly CD4 cell count, resulted in a nullification of the association (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.06; 95% CI: 0.77, 1.48).
Once HIV-1 and HHV-8 coinfection is established in homosexual men, progression to KS does not appear to be due to a third pathogen transmitted by sexual activity.
HIV-1; HHV-8; Kaposi’s sarcoma; sexual activity
To test the predictive accuracy of the Framingham Risk Score for Stroke (FRS-S) in HIV-infected (HIV+) vs HIV-uninfected (HIV−) men.
The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) is an ongoing prospective study of HIV+ and HIV− men who have sex with men (MSM) enrolled in 4 US cities. We ascertained all reported stroke events during a recent 15-year timeframe (July 1, 1996 to June 30, 2011) among 3,945 participants (1,776 HIV+ and 2,169 HIV−). For those with strokes, FRS-S were calculated 10 years before the stroke event and assessed according to HIV status.
A total of 114 stroke events occurred, including 57 HIV+ and 37 HIV− participants with first-ever strokes and 19 fatal strokes. The incidence of first-ever stroke was 1.7/1,000 person-years among HIV− and 3.3/1,000 person-years among HIV+ participants. Among those with strokes, HIV+ participants were younger than HIV− participants (median age 51.3 vs 61.8 years, p < 0.0001). For these men with stroke, the average 10-year risk of stroke was higher for HIV− MSM (6.6% [range 3%–26%] vs 4.9% for HIV+ MSM [range 0%–15%], p < 0.04). Traditional risk factors for stroke were similar among the Framingham cohort and the MACS HIV+ and HIV− participants.
FRS-S prediction was systematically different in HIV+ vs HIV− men with stroke events. The FRS-S underestimates the long-term risk of stroke in HIV+ men.
We conducted two studies to determine the potential influence of delays in blood processing, type of anticoagulant, and assay method on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels in plasma. The first was an experimental study in which heparin- and EDTA-anticoagulated blood samples were collected from 101 HIV-positive individuals and processed to plasma after delays of 2, 6, and 18 h. HIV-1 RNA levels in each sample were then measured by both branched-DNA (bDNA) and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays. Compared to samples processed within 2 h, the loss (decay) of HIV-1 RNA in heparinized blood was significant (P < 0.05) but small after 6 h (bDNA assay, −0.12 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, −0.05 log10 copies/ml) and after 18 h (bDNA assay, −0.27 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, −0.15 log10 copies/ml). Decay in EDTA-anticoagulated blood was not significant after 6 h (bDNA assay, −0.002 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, −0.02 log10 copies/ml), but it was after 18 h (bDNA assay, −0.09 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, −0.09 log10 copies/ml). Only 4% of samples processed after 6 h lost more than 50% (≥0.3 log10 copies/ml) of the HIV-1 RNA, regardless of the anticoagulant or the assay that was used. The second study compared HIV-1 RNA levels in samples from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; samples were collected in heparin-containing tubes in 1985, had a 6-h average processing delay, and were assayed by bDNA assay) and the British Columbia Drug Treatment Program (BCDTP) (collected in EDTA- or acid citrate dextrose-containing tubes in 1996 and 1997, had a 2-h maximum processing delay, and were assayed by RT-PCR). HIV-1 RNA levels in samples from the two cohorts were not significantly different after adjusting for CD4+-cell count and converting bDNA assay values to those corresponding to the RT-PCR results. In summary, the decay of HIV-1 RNA measured in heparinized blood after 6 h was small (−0.05 to −0.12 log10 copies/ml), and the minor impact of this decay on HIV-1 RNA concentrations in archived plasma samples of the MACS was confirmed by the similarity of CD4+-cell counts and assay-adjusted HIV-1 RNA concentrations in the MACS and BCDTP.
The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), an ongoing prospective study of the natural history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has stored biologic specimens, including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), from 5,622 participants for up to 12 years. The purpose of the present analysis was to evaluate the quality of the PBMC in the MACS repository in order to test the validity and feasibility of nested retrospective studies and to guide the planning of future repositories. PBMC were collected from MACS participants at four centers at 6-month intervals from 1984 to 1995, cryopreserved, and transported to a central repository for storage. A total of 596 of these specimens were subsequently tested for viability and used to evaluate cell function, to conduct immunophenotype analysis, or to isolate HIV. Simple linear regression models were applied to evaluate trends in recovery and viability over time and by center. Results indicated that from a nominal 107 cells cryopreserved per vial at all four centers, the median number of viable cells recovered was at least 5 × 106 (50% of the number stored) and the median viability was at least 90%. Results suggested that cryopreserved cells can be stored for at least 12 years with no general tendency toward cell loss over time. Furthermore, there were no statistically significant changes in the percent cell viability according to the length of time frozen, regardless of HIV serostatus or the level of CD4+ lymphocytes. Storing 107 PBMC per vial yields sufficient viable cells for phenotypic and/or functional analysis. Results from the MACS provide the basis for the planning of future repositories for use by investigators with similar research goals.
We tested chemokine receptor subset usage by diverse, well-characterized primary viruses isolated from peripheral blood by monitoring viral replication with CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, CCR5, and CXCR4 U87MG.CD4 transformed cell lines and STRL33/BONZO/TYMSTR and GPR15/BOB HOS.CD4 transformed cell lines. Primary viruses were isolated from 79 men with confirmed human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection from the Chicago component of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study at interval time points. Thirty-five additional well-characterized primary viruses representing HIV-1 group M subtypes A, B, C, D, and E and group O and three primary simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) isolates were also used for these studies. The restricted use of the CCR5 chemokine receptor for viral entry was associated with infection by a virus having a non-syncytium-inducing phenotype and correlated with a reduced rate of disease progression and a prolonged disease-free interval. Conversely, broadening chemokine receptor usage from CCR5 to both CCR5 and CXCR4 was associated with infection by a virus having a syncytium-inducing phenotype and correlated with a faster rate of CD4 T-cell decline and progression of disease. We also observed a greater tendency for infection with a virus having a syncytium-inducing phenotype in men heterozygous for the defective CCR5 Δ32 allele (25%) than in those men homozygous for the wild-type CCR5 allele (6%) (P = 0.03). The propensity for infection with a virus having a syncytium-inducing phenotype provides a partial explanation for the rapid disease progression among some men heterozygous for the defective CCR5 Δ32 allele. Furthermore, we did not identify any primary viruses that used CCR3 as an entry cofactor, despite this CC chemokine receptor being expressed on the cell surface at a level commensurate with or higher than that observed for primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Whereas isolates of primary viruses of SIV also used STRL33/BONZO/TYMSTR and GPR15/BOB, no primary isolates of HIV-1 used these particular chemokine receptor-like orphan molecules as entry cofactors, suggesting a limited contribution of these other chemokine receptors to viral evolution. Thus, despite the number of chemokine receptors implicated in viral entry, CCR5 and CXCR4 are likely to be the physiologically relevant chemokine receptors used as entry cofactors in vivo by diverse strains of primary viruses isolated from blood.
A prospective study of 15 patients who received renal transplants defined the effect of renal transplantation on the cellular immune response to cytomegalovirus infection. Of 15 patients, 14 developed cytomegalovirus infection, usually in the first 2 months after transplantation, and all infections were accompanied by a normal humoral immune response. After the initiation of immunosuppressive therapy and transplantation, there was a general depression of lymphocyte transformation, as reflected in the response to phytohemagglutinin, accompanied by a specific defect in cellular immunity, as indicated by lymphocyte transformation to cytomegalovirus antigen. Eleven patients had cellular immunity to cytomegalovirus before transplantation, and all of these became negative in the first month after transplantation. In subsequent months, only 6 of the 14 study patients with cytomegalovirus infection developed specific cellular immune responses to cytomegalovirus. This occurred most often in patients who had severe febrile illnesses in association with infection. The specific cellular immune response which developed in the posttransplant period did not persist in three of the patients. This study demonstrates the dissociation of the humoral and cellular immune response to cytomegalovirus infection in renal transplant patients and indicates the importance of the loss of cellular immunity in the appearance of infection. Previously infected patients lost their cell-mediated immunity and had reactivation infections despite the presence of serum antibody.
Aerobic gram-negative bacilli isolated from clinical specimens from 1 January to 31 December 1976 were tested for gentamicin and tobramycin resistance by standardized disk testing. For Pseudomonas isolates, gentamicin resistance was 17.1% and tobramycin resistance was 2.8%. For other gram-negative bacilli, gentamicin resistance was 5.5% and tobramycin resistance was 5.4%. Seventy-four patients from whom gentamicin-resistant organisms were isolated from 1 January to 30 June 1976 were studied prospectively. These patients were elderly, had serious underlying diseases, and had received prior antibiotic therapy. Eleven patients carried gentamicin-resistant organisms at the time of transfer to our hospital from community hospitals or nursing homes. Of the 82 isolates from these 74 patients, 52 were from the urine. Pseudomonas was found most frequently (32 isolates), followed by Klebsiella (15 isolates), Enterobacter (10 isolates), Serratia (10 isolates), and Proteus (9 isolates). Only 3 of 32 Pseudomonas isolates caused symptomatic infection, while 16 of 50 other gram-negative bacilli were responsible for symptomatic infection. Although amikacin was the most active drug against gentamicin-resistant gram-negative bacilli and had not been used in our hospital at the time of this study, 25% of Pseudomonas and 18% of all gram-negative bacilli showed resistance to this aminoglycoside.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistant to both gentamicin and carbenicillin was isolated with increasing frequency at the Cincinnati Veterans Administration Hospital during the period 1971 to 1974. A comparison of patients from whom P. aeruginosa was isolated during this period failed to reveal any significant clinical differences between the patients colonized or infected with resistant organisms and those colonized or infected with susceptible organisms. Overt clinical infection attributable to either organism was rare. The antibiotic-resistant organisms were isolated most frequently from urine. Isolation of the antibiotic-resistant organisms was more frequent from patients who had previously received gentamicin.
Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, with resistance to gentamicin and carbenicillin which is R factor mediated, showed no alteration in virulence as tested by intraperitoneal injection of rats.
Ten patients with soft-tissue infections due to Staphylococcus aureus were treated with minocycline, a semisynthetic tetracycline with potent in vitro antistaphylococcal effects. Serum concentrations averaged three to five times the concentration of minocycline required to inhibit growth of S. aureus in vitro. Clearing of the infecting organism was slow (less than 50% of lesions were sterile on day 10 of therapy), but clinical improvement was noted in 8 of 10 patients.
In vitro lymphocyte proliferation in response to phytohemagglutinin and streptokinase-streptodornase and delayed dermal hypersensitivity to several antigens were assessed in patients with mild viral upper respiratory infections. The response to phytohemagglutinin in 18 patients was not diminished during the viral infection. Deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis induced by streptokinase-streptodornase remained unaffected by the viral illness in five patients, and skin test reactivity was not depressed during the viral infection. Thus, it appeared that localized viral upper respiratory infections were not associated with suppression of systemic cell-mediated immunity.
Phytohemagglutinin-induced lymphocyte deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis, dermal hypersensitivity, and peripheral blood thymus-derived lymphocyte numbers were assessed in nine men with experimentally induced rubella infection. Five of these men and two additional volunteers received treatment with tilorone dihydrochloride, an antiviral drug. Response to phytohemagglutinin was not changed during rubella; T lymphocyte numbers in peripheral blood were not influenced by the viral illness. However, dermal hypersensitivity was markedly impaired in all volunteers during the height of the illness. Tilorone alone, or with rubella, had no effect on any of the parameters studied.
An experimental model was designed to study the ability of antibiotics to enter the pericardial compartment. Noninfected and infected pericardial fluid and serum antibiotic activities were determined in adult mongrel dogs before and at intervals after antibiotic administration. After the administration of penicillin G, methicillin, cephaloridine, streptomycin, or gentamicin, clinically adequate antibiotic levels in the noninfected pericardial fluid were obtained within 1 h, and these levels approached or exceeded the serum levels within 2-4 h. Antibiotic levels obtained from infected dog pericardial fluids were higher than those from noninfected animals. Patients' serum and pericardial fluid antibiotic levels were measured after penicillin G, penicillin V, cephalothin, and gentamicin administration. We have found, both in the canine and human studies, that pericardial antibiotic levels taken at least 2 h after antibiotic administration are almost identical to those in the blood.
Investigation of the ecology of Staphylococcus aureus on the medical service of the Cincinnati General Hospital was carried out from 1964 to 1970. S. aureus was cultured from 1,442 patients. Overall, there was a progressive increase in the susceptibility of S. aureus to commonly used antibiotics, but not to penicillin. Hospital-acquired S. aureus remained highly resistant to all antibiotics except penicillinase-resistant penicillins. There was a progressive decline in the percentage of hospital-acquired infections from January 1964 to September 1969, followed by a rise during September 1969 to September 1970. No single bacteriophage group predominated among nosocomially acquired S. aureus. Major changes in the hospital environment did not appear to influence the prevalence of nasal carriage or hospital acquisition of S. aureus. This study identified the continuing problem of acquisition of S. aureus in the hospital, but no specific „epidemic strain.”