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1.  Real-World Experience with Echinocandin MICs against Candida Species in a Multicenter Study of Hospitals That Routinely Perform Susceptibility Testing of Bloodstream Isolates 
Reference broth microdilution methods of Candida echinocandin susceptibility testing are limited by interlaboratory variability in caspofungin MICs. Recently revised Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) breakpoint MICs for echinocandin nonsusceptibility may not be valid for commercial tests employed in hospital laboratories. Indeed, there are limited echinocandin susceptibility testing data from hospital laboratories. We conducted a multicenter retrospective study of 9 U.S., Australian, and New Zealand hospitals that routinely tested Candida bloodstream isolates for echinocandin susceptibility from 2005 to 2013. Eight hospitals used Sensititre YeastOne assays. The Candida spp. were C. albicans (n = 1,067), C. glabrata (n = 911), C. parapsilosis (n = 476), C. tropicalis (n = 185), C. krusei (n = 104), and others (n = 154). Resistance and intermediate rates were ≤1.4% and ≤3%, respectively, for each echinocandin against C. albicans, C. parapsilosis, and C. tropicalis. Resistance rates among C. glabrata and C. krusei isolates were ≤7.5% and ≤5.6%, respectively. Caspofungin intermediate rates among C. glabrata and C. krusei isolates were 17.8% and 46.5%, respectively, compared to ≤4.3% and ≤4.4% for other echinocandins. Using CLSI breakpoints, 18% and 19% of C. glabrata isolates were anidulafungin susceptible/caspofungin nonsusceptible and micafungin susceptible/caspofungin nonsusceptible, respectively; similar discrepancies were observed for 38% and 39% of C. krusei isolates. If only YeastOne data were considered, interhospital modal MIC variability was low (within 2 doubling dilutions for each agent). In conclusion, YeastOne assays employed in hospitals may reduce the interlaboratory variability in caspofungin MICs against Candida species that are observed between reference laboratories using CLSI broth microdilution methods. The significance of classifying isolates as caspofungin intermediate and anidulafungin/micafungin susceptible will require clarification in future studies.
PMCID: PMC4023707  PMID: 24395235
2.  Candida Infective Endocarditis 
Candida infective endocarditis (IE) is uncommon but often fatal. Most epidemiologic data are derived from small case series or case reports. This study was conducted to explore epidemiology, treatment patterns, and outcomes of patients with Candida IE.
We compared 33 Candida IE cases to 2716 patients with non-fungal IE in the International Collaboration on Endocarditis - Prospective Cohort Study. Patients were enrolled and data collected from June 2000 until August 2005.
Patients with Candida IE were more likely to have prosthetic valves (p<0.001), short term indwelling catheters (p<0.0001), and have healthcare-associated infection (p<0.001). Reasons for surgery differed between the two groups: myocardial abscess (46.7% vs. 22.2% p=0.026) and persistent positive blood cultures (33.3% vs. 9.9%, p=0.003) were more common among those with Candida IE. Mortality at discharge was higher in patients with Candida IE (30.3%) when compared to non-fungal cases (17%, p=0.046). Among Candida patients, mortality was similar in patients who received combination surgical and antifungal therapy versus antifungal therapy alone (33.3% vs. 27.8%, p=0.26). New antifungal drugs, particularly echinocandins, were used frequently.
These multi-center data suggest distinct epidemiologic features of Candida IE when compared to non-fungal cases. Indications for surgical intervention are different and mortality is increased. Newer antifungal treatment options are increasingly used. Large, multi-center studies are needed to help better define Candida IE.
PMCID: PMC2757733  PMID: 18283504
3.  Phylogenetic Analysis of Viridans Group Streptococci Causing Endocarditis ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(9):3087-3090.
Identification of viridans group streptococci (VGS) to the species level is difficult because VGS exchange genetic material. We performed multilocus DNA target sequencing to assess phylogenetic concordance of VGS for a well-defined clinical syndrome. The hierarchy of sequence data was often discordant, underscoring the importance of establishing biological relevance for finer phylogenetic distinctions.
PMCID: PMC2546745  PMID: 18650347
4.  Genotypic Diversity of Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Causing Endocarditis: a Global Perspective▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(5):1780-1784.
Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are important causes of infective endocarditis (IE), but their microbiological profiles are poorly described. We performed DNA target sequencing and susceptibility testing for 91 patients with definite CNS IE who were identified from the International Collaboration on Endocarditis—Microbiology, a large, multicenter, multinational consortium. A hierarchy of gene sequences demonstrated great genetic diversity within CNS from patients with definite endocarditis that represented diverse geographic regions. In particular, rpoB sequence data demonstrated unique genetic signatures with the potential to serve as an important tool for global surveillance.
PMCID: PMC2395089  PMID: 18367572
5.  Fluconazole MIC and the Fluconazole Dose/MIC Ratio Correlate with Therapeutic Response among Patients with Candidemia 
We tested 32 Candida isolates recovered in the early 1990s from the bloodstreams of patients with candidemia for in vitro susceptibility to fluconazole and determined if MIC and/or the daily dose of fluconazole/MIC ratio correlated with the response to therapy. This is a unique data set since 87.5% (28/32) of patients were treated with fluconazole doses now considered to be inadequate (≤200 mg), which contributed to high therapeutic failure rates (53% [17/32]). The geometric mean MIC and dose/MIC ratio for isolates associated with therapeutic failure (11.55 μg/ml and 14.3, respectively) differed significantly from values associated with therapeutic success (0.95 μg/ml and 219.36 [P = 0.0009 and 0.0004, respectively]). The therapeutic success rates among patients infected with susceptible (MIC ≤ 8 μg/ml), susceptible-dose dependent (S-DD) (MIC = 16 or 32 μg/ml), and resistant (MIC ≥ 64 μg/ml) isolates were 67% (14/21), 20% (1/5), and 0% (0/6), respectively. A dose/MIC ratio >50 was associated with a success rate of 74% (14/19), compared to 8% (1/13) for a dose/MIC ratio ≤50 (P = 0.0003). Our data suggest that both fluconazole MIC and dose/MIC ratio correlate with the therapeutic response to fluconazole among patients with candidemia. In clinical practice, dose/MIC ratio might prove easier to interpret than breakpoint MICs, since it quantitates the effects of increasing fluconazole doses that are alluded to in the S-DD designation.
PMCID: PMC1196236  PMID: 16048920
6.  Clinical Benefit of Recovering Dermatophytes from Skin Swabs Sent for Bacterial Culture 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(10):4838-4839.
We incubated Sabouraud dextrose agar plates to recover dermatophytes from skin swabs sent for bacterial culture. Dermatophytes were recovered from 66 (0.3%) of 22,613 cultures. Twenty-one patients received specific antifungal treatment when their dermatophyte was reported. Most clinicians thought recovering and reporting the dermatophyte contributed to patient management.
PMCID: PMC522338  PMID: 15472356
7.  Simple and Inexpensive but Highly Discriminating Method for Computer-Assisted DNA Fingerprinting of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(12):4445-4452.
We describe here a method for computer-assisted fingerprinting of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In this method, DNA is digested with SalI, and bands with molecular sizes of ≥9.7 kb are visually scored after electrophoresis on agarose gels. Pattern scores are entered into a Microsoft Excel database. In scoring, the number of bands within each of a set of molecular size ranges is scored, rather than the absolute molecular size of each band, substantially enhancing the speed and reproducibility of the method, while eliminating the need for using expensive gel scanning equipment and software. Pattern scores are used to generate matrices of genetic distance values, which can be visualized in neighbor-joining trees. The method reliably distinguishes two epidemiologically unrelated isolates in 99.3% of all comparisons. The genetic relationships between isolates observed with the method were consistent with those obtained by analysis of two P. aeruginosa genes, indicating that it provides valid estimates of genetic divergence between isolates. Using the method, respiratory tract isolates from cystic fibrosis patients in Green Lane Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, were shown to be genetically less diverse than epidemiologically unrelated isolates from other patients. This finding was not due to the existence of clusters of related strains specialized toward colonization of the respiratory tract and thus was indicative of transmission between patients. Analysis of multiple isolates from individual cystic fibrosis patients suggested that up to five separate clusters of genetically related strains may simultaneously be present in a patient. The method described should significantly enhance our ability to investigate the epidemiology of P. aeruginosa.
PMCID: PMC87619  PMID: 11101578
8.  A Comparison of Seven Tests for Serological Diagnosis of Tuberculosis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(6):2227-2231.
Seven serological tests, two immunochromatographic tests, ICT Tuberculosis and RAPID TEST TB, and five enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, TUBERCULOSIS IgA EIA, PATHOZYME-TB complex, PATHOZYME-MYCO IgG, PATHOZYME-MYCO IgA, and PATHOZYME-MYCO IgM, were evaluated simultaneously with 298 serum samples from three groups of individuals: 44 patients with active tuberculosis, 204 controls who had undergone the Mantoux test (89 Mantoux test-positive and 115 Mantoux test-negative controls), and 50 anonymous controls. The sensitivities of the tests with sera from patients with active tuberculosis were poor to modest, ranging from 16 to 57%. All the tests performed equally with sera from subgroups of those with active tuberculosis, those with pulmonary (33 patients) versus extrapulmonary (11 patients) disease, and those who were smear positive (24 patients) versus smear negative (12 patients) (P > 0.05). The specificities of the tests ranged from 80 to 97% with sera from the Mantoux test controls and 62 to 100% with sera from the anonymous controls. The TUBERCULOSIS IgA EIA had the highest sensitivity (57%) with sera from patients with active tuberculosis, with a high specificity of 93% with sera from the Mantoux test controls, but a very poor specificity of 62% with sera from the anonymous controls. Overall, ICT Tuberculosis followed by PATHOZYME-MYCO IgG had the best performance characteristics, with sensitivities of 41 and 55%, respectively, with sera from patients with active tuberculosis and specificities of 96 and 89%, respectively, with sera from the Mantoux test controls and 88 and 90%, respectively, with sera from the anonymous controls. By combining all the test results, a maximum sensitivity of 84% was obtained, with reciprocal drops in specificities to 55 and 42% for the Mantoux test controls and anonymous controls, respectively. The best combination was that of ICT Tuberculosis and PATHOZYME-MYCO IgG, with a sensitivity of 66% and a specificity of 86% for the Mantoux test controls and a sensitivity and specificity of 78% for the anonymous controls. While a negative result by any one of these tests would be useful in helping to exclude disease in a population with a low prevalence of tuberculosis, a positive result may aid in clinical decision making when applied to symptomatic patients being evaluated for active tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC86769  PMID: 10834981
9.  Maxillary Sinusitis Caused by Medusoid Form of Schizophyllum commune 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(10):3395-3398.
We present a case of maxillary sinusitis in a diabetic female caused by the basidiomycete fungus Schizophyllum commune. Identification of the isolate was hampered by its atypical features. Subcultures formed sterile medusoid structures from nonclamped mycelia until spontaneous dikaryotization resulted in the development of characteristic fan-shaped fruiting bodies. Identification was confirmed by the presence of spicules formed on the hyphae and by vegetative compatibility with known isolates.
PMCID: PMC85581  PMID: 10488217
10.  Evaluation of the Tuberculin Gamma Interferon Assay: Potential To Replace the Mantoux Skin Test 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(10):3229-3232.
We evaluated an in vitro test of cell-mediated immunity, the tuberculin gamma interferon assay, QuantiFERON-TB (QIFN), in 455 individuals from three groups: group I, 237 immigrants from high-risk countries; group II, 127 health care workers undergoing Mantoux testing; group III, 91 patients being investigated for possible active tuberculosis (79 patients) or Mycobacterium avium-Mycobacterium intracellulare complex infection (12 patients). The QIFN results were compared either to those of the Mantoux test or to microbiological and clinical diagnosis, as appropriate. In each group the correlation between the diameter of induration for the skin test and the magnitude of QIFN response was significant and of moderate strength (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient; ρ = 0.59 to 0.61; P < 0.001). For group I, the agreement between QIFN and Mantoux results was 89% for Mantoux-negative and 64% for Mantoux-positive individuals. For group II, when ≥10-mm-diameter induration was taken as positive, the agreement was 81% for Mantoux-negative and 67% for Mantoux-positive individuals. For group III, agreement was 81% for Mantoux-negative and 86% for Mantoux-positive patients. For patients being evaluated for active tuberculosis, the performance of the Mantoux test was not statistically different from that of the QIFN assay. In patients with active tuberculosis, the assay had a sensitivity of 77%, not significantly higher for extrapulmonary than pulmonary cases (83% versus 74%). QIFN sensitivity was not significantly different for smear-negative or smear-positive cases (80% versus 71%). The QIFN assay is a potential replacement for the Mantoux test. The acceptability of these performance values and those of similar evaluations will determine the place this test will have in detecting evidence of mycobacterial infection.
PMCID: PMC85534  PMID: 10488182

Results 1-10 (10)