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1.  Safety and Tolerability of Cyclosporin A in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: Results from a Prospective Randomized Trial 
Journal of Neurotrauma  2009;26(12):2195-2206.
Cyclosporin A (CsA) has recently been proposed for use in the early phase after traumatic brain injury (TBI), for its ability to preserve mitochondrial integrity in experimental brain injury models, and thereby provide improved behavioral outcomes as well as significant histological protection. The aim of this prospective, randomized, double-blind, dual-center, placebo-controlled trial was to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of a single intravenous infusion of CsA in patients with severe TBI. Fifty adult severe TBI patients were enrolled over a 22-month period. Within 12 h of the injury patients received 5 mg/kg of CsA infused over 24 h, or placebo. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, hemoglobin, platelets, white blood cell count (WBC), and a hepatic panel were monitored on admission, and at 12, 24, 36, and 48 h, and on days 4 and 7. Potential adverse events (AEs) were also recorded. Neurological outcome was recorded at 3 and 6 months after injury. This study revealed only transient differences in BUN levels at 24 and 48 h and for WBC counts at 24 h between the CsA and placebo patients. These modest differences were not clinically significant in that they did not negatively impact on patient course. Both BUN and creatinine values, markers of renal function, remained within their normal limits over the entire monitoring period. There were no significant differences in other mean laboratory values, or in the incidence of AEs at any other measured time point. Also, no significant difference was demonstrated for neurological outcome. Based on these results, we report a good safety profile of CsA infusion when given at the chosen dose of 5 mg/kg, infused over 24 h, during the early phase after severe head injury in humans, with the aim of neuroprotection.
PMCID: PMC2824218  PMID: 19621985
cyclosporin A; neurological outcome; neuroprotection; safety; traumatic brain injury
2.  Analysis of the Genotype and Virulence of Staphylococcus epidermidis Isolates from Patients with Infective Endocarditis▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(11):5127-5132.
Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of the most common causes of infections of prosthetic heart valves (prosthetic valve endocarditis [PVE]) and an increasingly common cause of infections of native heart valves (native valve endocarditis [NVE]). While S. epidermidis typically causes indolent infections of prosthetic devices, including prosthetic valves and intravascular catheters, S. epidermidis NVE is a virulent infection associated with valve destruction and high mortality. In order to see if the differences in the course of infection were due to characteristics of the infecting organisms, we examined 31 S. epidermidis NVE and 65 PVE isolates, as well as 21 isolates from blood cultures (representing bloodstream infections [BSI]) and 28 isolates from nasal specimens or cultures considered to indicate skin carriage. Multilocus sequence typing showed both NVE and PVE isolates to have more unique sequence types (types not shared by the other groups; 74 and 71%, respectively) than either BSI isolates (10%) or skin isolates (42%). Thirty NVE, 16 PVE, and a total of 9 of the nasal, skin, and BSI isolates were tested for virulence in Caenorhabditis elegans. Twenty-one (70%) of the 30 NVE isolates killed at least 50% of the worms by day 5, compared to 1 (6%) of 16 PVE isolates and 1 (11%) of 9 nasal, skin, or BSI isolates. In addition, the C. elegans survival rate as assessed by log rank analyses of Kaplan-Meier survival curves was significantly lower for NVE isolates than for each other group of isolates (P < 0.0001). There was no correlation between the production of poly-β(1-6)-N-acetylglucosamine exopolysaccharide and virulence in worms. This study is the first analysis suggesting that S. epidermidis isolates from patients with NVE constitute a more virulent subset within this species.
PMCID: PMC2573358  PMID: 18794284

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