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1.  Utility of 11C-methionine and 11C-donepezil for imaging of Staphylococcus aureus induced osteomyelitis in a juvenile porcine model: comparison to autologous 111In-labelled leukocytes, 99mTc-DPD, and 18F-FDG 
The aim of this study was to compare 11C-methionine and 11C-donepezil positron emission tomography (PET) with 111In-labeled leukocyte and 99mTc-DPD (Tc-99m 3,3-diphosphono-1,2-propanedicarboxylic acid) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET to improve detection of osteomyelitis. The tracers’ diagnostic utility where tested in a juvenile porcine hematogenously induced osteomyelitis model comparable to osteomyelitis in children. Five 8-9 weeks old female domestic pigs were scanned seven days after intra-arterial inoculation in the right femoral artery with a porcine strain of Staphylococcus aureus. The sequential scan protocol included Computed Tomography, 11C-methionine and 11C-donepezil PET, 99mTc-DPD and 111In-labelled leukocytes scintigraphy, and 18F-FDG PET. This was followed by necropsy of the pigs and gross pathology, histopathology, and microbial examination. The pigs developed a total of 24 osteomyelitic lesions, 4 lesions characterized as contiguous abscesses and pulmonary abscesses (in two pigs). By comparing the 24 osteomyelitic lesions, 18F-FDG accumulated in 100%, 111In-leukocytes in 79%, 11C-methionine in 79%, 11C-donepezil in 58%, and 99mTc-DPD in none. Overall, 18F-FDG PET was superior to 111In-leukocyte SPECT and 11C-methionine in marking infectious lesions.
PMCID: PMC5218858  PMID: 28078182
11C-methionine; 11C-donepezil; 111In-labelled leukocytes; 99mTc-DPD; 18F-FDG; Staphylococcus aureus; osteomyelitis; porcine; swine; pig; PET/CT; scintigraphy; SPECT/CT; CT
2.  Design of a Tablet Computer App for Facilitation of a Molecular Blood Culture Test in Clinical Microbiology and Preliminary Usability Evaluation 
JMIR mHealth and uHealth  2016;4(1):e20.
User mobility is an important aspect of the development of clinical information systems for health care professionals. Mobile phones and tablet computers have obtained widespread use by health care professionals, offering an opportunity for supporting the access to patient information through specialized applications (apps) while supporting the mobility of the users. The use of apps for mobile phones and tablet computers may support workflow of complex tasks, for example, molecular-based diagnostic tests in clinical microbiology. Multiplex Blood Culture Test (MuxBCT) is a molecular-based diagnostic test used for rapid identification of pathogens in positive blood cultures. To facilitate the workflow of the MuxBCT, a specialized tablet computer app was developed as an accessory to the diagnostic test. The app aims to reduce the complexity of the test by step-by-step guidance of microscopy and to assist users in reaching an exact bacterial or fungal diagnosis based on blood specimen observations and controls. Additionally, the app allows for entry of test results, and communication thereof to the laboratory information system (LIS).
The objective of the study was to describe the design considerations of the MuxBCT app and the results of a preliminary usability evaluation.
The MuxBCT tablet app was developed and set up for use in a clinical microbiology laboratory. A near-live simulation study was conducted in the clinical microbiology laboratory to evaluate the usability of the MuxBCT app. The study was designed to achieve a high degree of realism as participants carried out a scenario representing the context of use for the MuxBCT app. As the MuxBCT was under development, the scenario involved the use of molecular blood culture tests similar to the MuxBCT for identification of microorganisms from positive blood culture samples. The study participants were observed, and their interactions with the app were recorded. After the study, the participants were debriefed to clarify observations.
Four medical laboratory technicians, for example, representative of end users of the app, participated in the clinical simulation study. Using the MuxBCT app, the study participants successfully identified and reported all microorganisms from the positive blood cultures examined. Three of the four participants reported that they found the app useful, while one study participant reported that she would prefer to make notes on paper and later enter them into the LIS.
The preliminary usability evaluation results indicate that use of the MuxBCT tablet app can facilitate the workflow of the MuxBCT diagnostic test.
PMCID: PMC4818374  PMID: 26993432
usability; mobile applications; tablet computers; clinical simulation; health information systems; diagnostic test; clinical microbiology
3.  Hospital-based herpes zoster diagnoses in Denmark: rate, patient characteristics, and all-cause mortality 
Herpes zoster (HZ) may result in severe complications requiring hospital treatment, particularly in patients with comorbidity. Nevertheless, data on HZ from nationwide population-based hospital registries are sparse.
We conducted a cohort study describing first-time hospital-based (inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room) HZ diagnoses in the Danish National Patient Registry, 1994–2012. We computed the diagnosis rate; prevalence of demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and complications; length of hospital stay; and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) using the Danish population as reference. We classified comorbidity using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) scoring system and categorized patients in groups of no (score 0), moderate (score 1), severe (score 2), and very severe comorbidity (score ≥3). In addition, we computed the prevalence of certain conditions associated with immune dysregulation (stem cell or bone marrow transplantation, solid organ transplantation, HIV infection, primary immunodeficiency, any cancer, and autoimmune diseases).
The diagnosis rate increased almost exponentially from 6 to 91.9 per 100,000 person-years between age 50 and ≥90 years. The age-standardized rate was stable throughout the study period. The median length of hospital stay was 4 days (interquartile range: 1–8 days) for inpatients with HZ as the main reason for admission. According to the CCI, 44.3 % of patients had no comorbidity, 17.3 % moderate comorbidity, 17.4 % severe comorbidity, and 21.0 % very severe comorbidity. Comorbidities involving immune dysregulation, such as malignant (21 %) and autoimmune diseases (17 %), were particularly prevalent. Thirty percent had neurological, ophthalmic, or other complications. HZ was associated with increased all-cause mortality overall (SMR 1.8, 95 % CI: 1.7–1.8), but not in analyses restricted to patients without comorbidity (SMR 1.0, 95 % CI: 0.9–1.0).
This study provides estimates of the epidemiology of hospital-based (severe) HZ. The diagnosis rate increased substantially with age. Complications and comorbidities were prevalent, likely resulting in increased mortality.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-016-1369-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4773995  PMID: 26932311
Complications; Epidemiology; Herpes zoster; Hospitalization; Outpatient clinics; Hospital
4.  Biodistribution of the radionuclides 18F-FDG, 11C-methionine, 11C-PK11195, and 68Ga-citrate in domestic juvenile female pigs and morphological and molecular imaging of the tracers in hematogenously disseminated Staphylococcus aureus lesions 
Approximately 5-7% of acute-care patients suffer from bacteremia. Bacteremia may give rise to bacterial spread to different tissues. Conventional imaging procedures as X-ray, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and ultrasound are often first-line imaging methods for identification and localization of infection. These methods are, however, not always successful. Early identification and localization of infection is critical for the appropriate and timely selection of therapy. The aim of this study was thus; a head to head comparison of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) to PET with tracers that potentially could improve uncovering of infectious lesions in soft tissues. We chose 11C-methionine, 11C-PK11195, and 68Ga-citrate as tracers and besides presenting their bio-distribution we validated their diagnostic utility in pigs with experimental bacterial infection. Four juvenile 14-15 weeks old female domestic pigs were scanned seven days after intra-arterial inoculation in the right femoral artery with a porcine strain of S. aureus using a sequential scanning protocol with 18F-FDG, 11C-methionine, 11C-PK11195 and 68Ga-citrate. This was followed by necropsy of the pigs consisting of gross pathology, histopathology and microbial examination. The pigs primarily developed lesions in lungs and neck muscles. 18F-FDG had higher infection to background ratios and accumulated in most infectious foci caused by S. aureus, while 11C-methionine and particularly 11C-PK11195 and 68Ga-citrate accumulated to a lesser extent in infectious foci. 18F-FDG-uptake was seen in the areas of inflammatory cells and to a much lesser extent in reparative infiltration surrounding necrotic regions.
PMCID: PMC4749504  PMID: 27069765
Osteomyelitis; domestic pigs; porcine; swine; Staphylococcus aureus; positron emission tomography; computed tomography; infection; 18F-FDG; 68Ga-citrate; 11C-methionine; 11C-PK11195; animal
6.  Existing data sources for clinical epidemiology: The North Denmark Bacteremia Research Database 
Clinical Epidemiology  2010;2:171-178.
Bacteremia is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Improving prevention and treatment requires better knowledge of the disease and its prognosis. However, in order to study the entire spectrum of bacteremia patients, we need valid sources of information, prospective data collection, and complete follow-up. In North Denmark Region, all patients diagnosed with bacteremia have been registered in a population-based database since 1981. The information has been recorded prospectively since 1992 and the main variables are: the patient’s unique civil registration number, date of sampling the first positive blood culture, date of admission, clinical department, date of notification of growth, place of acquisition, focus of infection, microbiological species, antibiogram, and empirical antimicrobial treatment. During the time from 1981 to 2008, information on 22,556 cases of bacteremia has been recorded. The civil registration number makes it possible to link the database to other medical databases and thereby build large cohorts with detailed longitudinal data that include hospital histories since 1977, comorbidity data, and complete follow-up of survival. The database is suited for epidemiological research and, presently, approximately 60 studies have been published. Other Danish departments of clinical microbiology have recently started to record the same information and a population base of 2.3 million will be available for future studies.
PMCID: PMC2943179  PMID: 20865114
bloodstream infection; epidemiology; register; population-based
7.  Salmonella enterica bacteraemia: a multi-national population-based cohort study 
Salmonella enterica is an important emerging cause of invasive infections worldwide. However, population-based data are limited. The objective of this study was to define the occurrence of S. enterica bacteremia in a large international population and to evaluate temporal and regional differences.
We conducted population-based laboratory surveillance for all salmonella bacteremias in six regions (annual population at risk 7.7 million residents) in Finland, Australia, Denmark, and Canada during 2000-2007.
A total of 622 cases were identified for an annual incidence of 1.02 per 100,000 population. The incidence of typhoidal (serotypes Typhi and Paratyphi) and non-typhoidal (other serotypes) disease was 0.21 and 0.81 per 100,000/year. There was major regional and moderate seasonal and year to year variability with an increased incidence observed in the latter years of the study related principally to increasing rates of non-typhoidal salmonella bacteremias. Advancing age and male gender were significant risk factors for acquiring non-typhoidal salmonella bacteremia. In contrast, typhoidal salmonella bacteremia showed a decreasing incidence with advancing age and no gender-related excess risk.
Salmonella enterica is an important emerging pathogen and regional determinants of risk merits further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2861061  PMID: 20398281
8.  Comparison of autologous 111In-leukocytes, 18F-FDG, 11C-methionine, 11C-PK11195 and 68Ga-citrate for diagnostic nuclear imaging in a juvenile porcine haematogenous staphylococcus aureus osteomyelitis model 
The aim of this study was to compare 111In-labeled leukocyte single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) to PET with tracers that potentially could improve detection of osteomyelitis. We chose 11C-methionine, 11C-PK11195 and 68Ga-citrate and validated their diagnostic utility in a porcine haematogenous osteomyelitis model. Four juvenile 14-15 weeks old female pigs were scanned seven days after intra-arterial inoculation in the right femoral artery with a porcine strain of Staphylococcus aureus using a sequential scan protocol with 18F-FDG, 68Ga-citrate, 11C-methionine, 11C-PK11195, 99mTc-Nanocoll and 111In-labelled autologous leukocytes. This was followed by necropsy of the pigs and gross pathology, histopathology and microbial examination. The pigs developed a total of five osteomyelitis lesions, five lesions characterized as abscesses/cellulitis, arthritis in three joints and five enlarged lymph nodes. None of the tracers accumulated in joints with arthritis. By comparing the 10 infectious lesions, 18F-FDG accumulated in nine, 111In-leukocytes in eight, 11C-methionine in six, 68Ga-citrate in four and 11C-PK11195 accumulated in only one lesion. Overall, 18F-FDG PET was superior to 111In-leukocyte SPECT in marking infectious and proliferative, i.e. hyperplastic, lesions. However, leukocyte SPECT was performed as early scans, approximately 6 h after injection of the leukocytes, to match the requirements of the 18 h long scan protocol. 11C-methionine and possibly 68Ga-citrate may be useful for diagnosis of soft issue lesions.
PMCID: PMC4396013  PMID: 25973338
Osteomyelitis; models; animal; domestic pigs; sus scrofa; swine; staphylococcus aureus; positron-emission tomography; tomography; emission-computed; single-photon; tomography; X-Ray computed; lnflammation; lnfection
9.  Risk and prognosis of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia among individuals with and without end-stage renal disease: a Danish, population-based cohort study 
Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of bloodstream infections among hemodialysis patients and of exit-site infections among peritoneal dialysis patients. However, the risk and prognosis of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia among end-stage renal disease patients have not been delineated.
In this Danish nationwide, population-based cohort study patients with end-stage renal disease and matched population controls were observed from end-stage renal disease diagnosis/sampling until first episode of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, death, or end of study period. Staphylococcus aureus positive blood cultures, hospitalization, comorbidity, and case fatality were obtained from nationwide microbiological, clinical, and administrative databases. Incidence rates and risk factors were assessed by regression analysis.
The incidence rate of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia was very high for end-stage renal disease patients (35.7 per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 33.8-37.6) compared to population controls (0.5 per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.5-0.6), yielding a relative risk of 65.1 (95% CI, 59.6-71.2) which fell to 28.6 (95% CI, 23.3-35.3) after adjustment for sex, age, and comorbidity. After stratification for type of renal replacement therapy, we found the highest incidence rate of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia among hemodialysis patients (46.3 per 1,000 person-years) compared to peritoneal dialysis patients (22.0 per 1,000 person-years) and renal transplant recipients (8.9 per 1,000 person-years). In persons with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, ninety-day case fatality was 18.2% (95% CI, 16.2%-20.3%) for end-stage renal disease patients and 33.7% (95% CI, 30.3-37.3) for population controls.
Patients with end-stage renal disease, and hemodialysis patients in particular, have greatly increased risk of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia compared to population controls. Future challenges will be to develop strategies to reduce Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia-related morbidity and death in this high-risk population.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0740-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4296555  PMID: 25566857
Bacteremia; Staphylococcus aureus; End-stage renal disease; Dialysis
10.  ‘All in a box’ a concept for optimizing microbiological diagnostic sampling in prosthetic joint infections 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:418.
Accurate microbial diagnosis is crucial for effective management of prosthetic joint infections. Culturing of multiple intraoperative tissue samples has increased diagnostic accuracy, but new preparatory techniques and molecular methods hold promise of further improvement. The increased complexity of sampling is, however, a tough challenge for surgeons and assistants in the operation theatre, and therefore we devised and tested a new concept of pre-packed boxes with a complete assortment of swabs, vials and additional tools needed in the operating theatre for non-standard samples during a clinical study of prosthetic joint infections.
The protocol for the clinical study required triplicate samples of joint fluid, periprosthetic tissue, bone tissue, and swabs from the surface of the prosthesis. Separate boxes were prepared for percutaneous joint puncture and surgical revision; the latter included containers for prosthetic components or the entire prosthesis. During a 2-year project period 164 boxes were used by the surgeons, 98 of which contained a complete set of samples. In all, 1508 (89%) of 1685 scheduled samples were received.
With this concept a high level of completeness of sample sets was achieved and thus secured a valid basis for evaluation of new diagnostics. Although enthusiasm for the project may have been a contributing factor, the extended project period suggests that the ‘All in a box’ concept is equally applicable in routine clinical settings with standardized but complex diagnostic sampling.
PMCID: PMC4105167  PMID: 24993888
Prosthesis; Infections; Specimen handling; Specimen types; Transport media
11.  Venous Thromboembolism after Community-Acquired Bacteraemia: A 20-year Danish Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86094.
Infections may increase the risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), but little is known about VTE risk associated with community-acquired bacteraemia (CAB). We examined the risk for VTE within one year of CAB in comparison to that in matched controls.
We conducted a population-based cohort study in North Denmark 1992–2011, using data from high-quality health-care databases. We included 4,213 adult CAB patients who had positive blood cultures drawn on the day of hospital admission, 20,084 matched hospitalised controls admitted for other acute medical illness, and 41,121 matched controls from the general population. We computed 0–90 and 91–365 day absolute risks for hospital-diagnosed VTE and used regression analyses with adjustment for confounding factors to compare the risk for VTE in bacteraemia patients and controls.
Among CAB patients, 1.1% experienced VTE within 90 days of admission and 0.5% during 91–365 days after admission. The adjusted 90-day odds ratio (OR) for VTE was 1.9 (95% CI 1.4–2.7) compared with hospitalised controls, and 23.4 (95% CI 12.9–42.6) compared with population controls. During 91–365 days after CAB admission, the VTE risk remained moderately increased (adjusted hazard ratio vs. hospitalised controls, 1.4; 95% CI 0.8–2.5, and vs. population controls, 1.9; 95% CI 1.0–3.3). Compared to hospitalised controls, the 90-day VTE risk increase was greater for Gram-positive infection (adjusted OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.6–4.1) than for Gram-negative infection (adjusted OR, 1.2; 95% CI 0.7–2.1), partly due to a high risk after Staphylococcus aureus infection (3.6%).
The risk for VTE is substantially increased within 90 days after community-acquired bacteraemia when compared to hospitalised controls and population controls. However, the absolute risk of VTE following CAB is low.
PMCID: PMC3900448  PMID: 24465892
13.  Impact of positive chest X-ray findings and blood cultures on adverse outcomes following hospitalized pneumococcal lower respiratory tract infection: a population-based cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:197.
Little is known about the clinical presentation and outcome of pneumococcal lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) without positive chest X-ray findings and blood cultures. We investigated the prognostic impact of a pulmonary infiltrate and bacteraemia on the clinical course of hospitalized patients with confirmed pneumococcal LRTI.
We studied a population-based multi-centre cohort of 705 adults hospitalized with LRTI and Streptococcus pneumoniae in LRT specimens or blood: 193 without pulmonary infiltrate or bacteraemia, 250 with X-ray confirmed pneumonia, and 262 with bacteraemia. We compared adverse outcomes in the three groups and used multiple regression analyses to adjust for differences in age, sex, comorbidity, and lifestyle factors.
Patients with no infiltrate and no bacteraemia were of similar age but had more comorbidity than the other groups (Charlson index score ≥1: no infiltrate and no bacteraemia 81% vs. infiltrate without bacteraemia 72% vs. bacteraemia 61%), smoked more tobacco, and had more respiratory symptoms. In contrast, patients with a pulmonary infiltrate or bacteraemia had more inflammation (median C-reactive protein: no infiltrate and no bacteraemia 82 mg/L vs. infiltrate without bacteraemia 163 mg/L vs. bacteraemia 316 mg/L) and higher acute disease severity scores. All adverse outcomes increased from patients with no infiltrate and no bacteraemia to those with an infiltrate and to those with bacteraemia: Length of hospital stay (5 vs. 6 vs. 8 days); intensive care admission (7% vs. 20% vs. 23%); pulmonary complications (1% vs. 5% vs. 14%); and 30-day mortality (5% vs. 11% vs. 21%). Compared with patients with no infiltrate and no bacteraemia, the adjusted 30-day mortality rate ratio was 1.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-4.1) in patients with an infiltrate without bacteraemia and 4.1 (95% CI 2.0-8.5) in bacteraemia patients. Adjustment for acute disease severity and inflammatory markers weakened these associations.
Hospitalization with confirmed pneumococcal LRTI is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality even without positive chest X-ray findings and blood cultures. Still, there is a clinically important outcome gradient from LRTI patients with pneumococcal isolation only to those with detected pulmonary infiltrate or bacteraemia which is partly mediated by higher acute disease severity and inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3655859  PMID: 23634696
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Pneumococcal infection/diagnosis; Respiratory tract infection; Pneumonia; Bacteremia; Sepsis; Epidemiologic study; Outcome assessment (Health care); Thoracic radiography
14.  Stable incidence and continued improvement in short term mortality of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia between 1995 and 2008 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:260.
The objective of this study was to assess temporal changes in incidence and short term mortality of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) from 1995 through 2008.
The study was conducted as a nation-wide observational cohort study with matched population controls. The setting was hospitalized patients in Denmark 1995-2008. Uni- and multivariate analyses were used to analyze the hazard of death within 30 days from SAB.
A total of 16 330 cases of SAB were identified: 57% were hospital-associated (HA), 31% were community-acquired (CA) and 13% were of undetermined acquisition. The overall adjusted incidence rate remained stable at 23 per 100 000 population but the proportion of SAB cases older than 75 years increased significantly. Comorbidity in the cohort as measured by Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) score and alcohol-related diagnoses increased over the study period. In contrast, among the population controls the CCI remained stable and alcohol-related diagnoses increased slightly. For HA SAB crude 30-day mortality decreased from 27.8% to 21.8% (22% reduction) whereas the change for CA SAB was small (26.5% to 25.8%). By multivariate Cox regression, age, female sex, time period, CCI score and alcohol-related diagnoses were associated with increased mortality regardless of mode of acquisition.
Throughout a 14-year period the overall incidence of SAB remained stable while the overall short term prognosis continued to improve despite increased age and accumulation of comorbidity in the cohort. However, age and comorbidity were strong prognostic indicators for short term mortality.
PMCID: PMC3507819  PMID: 23075215
Bacteraemia; Epidemiology; Incidence; Mortality; Comorbidity; Alcoholism; Staphylococcus aureus; Charlson comorbidity index
15.  Classification of positive blood cultures: computer algorithms versus physicians' assessment - development of tools for surveillance of bloodstream infection prognosis using population-based laboratory databases 
Information from blood cultures is utilized for infection control, public health surveillance, and clinical outcome research. This information can be enriched by physicians’ assessments of positive blood cultures, which are, however, often available from selected patient groups or pathogens only. The aim of this work was to determine whether patients with positive blood cultures can be classified effectively for outcome research in epidemiological studies by the use of administrative data and computer algorithms, taking physicians’ assessments as reference.
Physicians’ assessments of positive blood cultures were routinely recorded at two Danish hospitals from 2006 through 2008. The physicians’ assessments classified positive blood cultures as: a) contamination or bloodstream infection; b) bloodstream infection as mono- or polymicrobial; c) bloodstream infection as community- or hospital-onset; d) community-onset bloodstream infection as healthcare-associated or not. We applied the computer algorithms to data from laboratory databases and the Danish National Patient Registry to classify the same groups and compared these with the physicians’ assessments as reference episodes. For each classification, we tabulated episodes derived by the physicians’ assessment and the computer algorithm and compared 30-day mortality between concordant and discrepant groups with adjustment for age, gender, and comorbidity.
Physicians derived 9,482 reference episodes from 21,705 positive blood cultures. The agreement between computer algorithms and physicians’ assessments was high for contamination vs. bloodstream infection (8,966/9,482 reference episodes [96.6%], Kappa = 0.83) and mono- vs. polymicrobial bloodstream infection (6,932/7,288 reference episodes [95.2%], Kappa = 0.76), but lower for community- vs. hospital-onset bloodstream infection (6,056/7,288 reference episodes [83.1%], Kappa = 0.57) and healthcare-association (3,032/4,740 reference episodes [64.0%], Kappa = 0.15). The 30-day mortality in the discrepant groups differed from the concordant groups as regards community- vs. hospital-onset, whereas there were no material differences within the other comparison groups.
Using data from health administrative registries, we found high agreement between the computer algorithms and the physicians’ assessments as regards contamination vs. bloodstream infection and monomicrobial vs. polymicrobial bloodstream infection, whereas there was only moderate agreement between the computer algorithms and the physicians’ assessments concerning the place of onset. These results provide new information on the utility of computer algorithms derived from health administrative registries.
PMCID: PMC3546010  PMID: 22970812
16.  Prevalence of infective endocarditis in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia: the value of screening with echocardiography 
Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis (IE) is a critical medical condition associated with a high morbidity and mortality. In the present study, we prospectively evaluated the importance of screening with echocardiography in an unselected S. aureus bacteraemia (SAB) population.
Methods and results
From 1 January 2009 to 31 August 2010, a total of 244 patients with SAB at six Danish hospitals underwent screening echocardiography. The inclusion rate was 73% of all eligible patients (n= 336), and 53 of the 244 included patients (22%; 95% CI: 17–27%) were diagnosed with definite IE. In patients with native heart valves the prevalence was 19% (95% CI: 14–25%) compared with 38% (95% CI: 20–55%) in patients with prosthetic heart valves and/or cardiac rhythm management devices (P= 0.02). No difference was found between Main Regional Hospitals and Tertiary Cardiac Hospitals, 20 vs. 23%, respectively (NS). The prevalence of IE in high-risk patients with one or more predisposing condition or clinical evidence of IE were significantly higher compared with low-risk patients with no additional risk factors (38 vs. 5%; P < 0.001). IE was associated with a higher 6 months mortality, 14(26%) vs. 28(15%) in SAB patients without IE, respectively (P < 0.05).
SAB patients carry a high risk for development of IE, which is associated with a worse prognosis compared with uncomplicated SAB. The presenting symptoms and clinical findings associated with IE are often non-specific and echocardiography should always be considered as part of the initial evaluation of SAB patients.
PMCID: PMC3117467  PMID: 21685200
Infective endocarditis; Echocardiography; Staphylococcus aureus; Screening
17.  Porcine and Human Community Reservoirs of Enterococcus faecalis, Denmark 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2011;17(12):2395-2397.
PMCID: PMC3311169  PMID: 22172303
Keywords: Enterococcus faecalis; endocarditis; disease reservoirs; swine; multilocus sequence typing; electrophoresis; gel; pulsed-field; biofilms; virulence factors; drug resistance; bacteria
18.  International travel and the risk of hospitalization with non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteremia. A Danish population-based cohort study, 1999-2008 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:277.
Information is sparse regarding the association between international travel and hospitalization with non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteremia. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion, risk factors and outcomes of travel-related non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteremia.
We conducted a 10-year population-based cohort study of all patients hospitalized with non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteremia in three Danish counties (population 1.6 million). We used denominator data on Danish travellers to assess the risk per 100,000 travellers according to age and travel destination. We used patients contemporaneously diagnosed with travel-related Salmonella gastroenteritis as reference patients to estimate the relative risk of presenting with travel-related bacteremia as compared with gastroenteritis. To evaluate clinical outcomes, we compared patients with travel-related bacteremia and patients with domestically acquired bacteremia in terms of length of hospital stay, number of extraintestinal focal infections and mortality after 30 and 90 days.
We identified 311 patients hospitalized with non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteremia of whom 76 (24.4%) had a history of international travel. The risk of travel-related bacteremia per traveller was highest in the age groups 15-24 years (0.8/100,000 travellers) and 65 years and above (1.2/100,000 travellers). The sex- and age-adjusted relative risk of presenting with bacteremia was associated with travel to Sub-Saharan Africa (odds ratio 18.4; 95% confidence interval [6.9-49.5]), the Middle East (10.6; [2.1-53.2]) and South East Asia (4.0; [2.2-7.5]). We found high-risk countries in the same three regions when estimating the risk per traveller according to travel destination. Patients hospitalized with travel-related bacteremia had better clinical outcomes than patients with domestically acquired bacteremia, they had a shorter length of hospital stay (8 vs. 11 days), less extraintestinal focal infections (5 vs. 31 patients) and a lower risk of death within both 30 days (relative risk 0.2; [0.1-0.7]) and 90 days (0.3; [0.1-0.7]). A healthy traveller effect was a plausible explanation for the observed differences in outcomes.
International travel is a notable risk factor for being hospitalized with non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteremia and the risk differs between age groups and travel destinations. Healthy travellers hospitalized with bacteremia are less likely to have poor outcomes than patients with domestically acquired bacteremia.
PMCID: PMC3206861  PMID: 22011371
19.  Blood culture status and mortality among patients with suspected community-acquired bacteremia: a population-based cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:139.
Comparison of mortality among patients with positive and negative blood cultures may indicate the contribution of bacteremia to mortality. This study (1) compared mortality among patients with community-acquired bacteremia with mortality among patients with negative blood cultures and (2) determined the effects of bacteremia type and comorbidity level on mortality among patients with positive blood cultures.
This cohort study included 29,273 adults with blood cultures performed within the first 2 days following hospital admission to an internal medical ward in northern Denmark during 1995-2006. We computed product limit estimates and used Cox regression to compute adjusted mortality rate ratios (MRRs) within 0-2, 3-7, 8-30, and 31-180 days following admission for bacteremia patients compared to culture-negative patients.
Mortality in 2,648 bacteremic patients and 26,625 culture-negative patients was 4.8% vs. 2.0% 0-2 days after admission, 3.7% vs. 2.7% 3-7 days after admission, 5.6% vs. 5.1% 8-30 days after admission, and 9.7% vs. 8.7% 31-180 days after admission, corresponding to adjusted MRRs of 1.9 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6-2.2), 1.1 (95% CI: 0.9-1.5), 0.9 (95% CI: 0.8-1.1), and 1.0 (95% CI: 0.8-1.1), respectively. Mortality was higher among patients with Gram-positive (adjusted 0-2-day MRR 1.9, 95% CI: 1.6-2.2) and polymicrobial bacteremia (adjusted 0-2-day MRR 3.5, 95% CI: 2.2-5.5) than among patients with Gram-negative bacteremia (adjusted 0-2-day MRR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-2.0). After the first 2 days, patients with Gram-negative bacteremia had the same risk of dying as culture-negative patients (adjusted MRR 0.8, 95% CI: 0.5-1.1). Only patients with polymicrobial bacteremia had increased mortality within 31-180 days following admission (adjusted MRR 1.3, 95% CI: 0.8-2.1) compared to culture-negative patients. The association between blood culture status and mortality did not differ substantially by level of comorbidity.
Community-acquired bacteremia was associated with an increased risk of mortality in the first week of medical ward admission. Higher mortality among patients with Gram-positive and polymicrobial bacteremia compared with patients with Gram-negative bacteremia and negative cultures emphasizes the prognostic importance of these infections.
PMCID: PMC3128048  PMID: 21599971
20.  Utilization of serology for the diagnosis of suspected Lyme borreliosis in Denmark: Survey of patients seen in general practice 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:317.
Serological testing for Lyme borreliosis (LB) is frequently requested by general practitioners for patients with a wide variety of symptoms.
A survey was performed in order to characterize test utilization and clinical features of patients investigated for serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. During one calendar year a questionnaire was sent to the general practitioners who had ordered LB serology from patients in three Danish counties (population 1.5 million inhabitants). Testing was done with a commercial ELISA assay with purified flagella antigen from a Danish strain of B. afzelii.
A total of 4,664 patients were tested. The IgM and IgG seropositivity rates were 9.2% and 3.3%, respectively. Questionnaires from 2,643 (57%) patients were available for analysis. Erythema migrans (EM) was suspected in 38% of patients, Lyme arthritis/disseminated disease in 23% and early neuroborreliosis in 13%. Age 0-15 years and suspected EM were significant predictors of IgM seropositivity, whereas suspected acrodermatitis was a predictor of IgG seropositivity. LB was suspected in 646 patients with arthritis, but only 2.3% were IgG seropositive. This is comparable to the level of seropositivity in the background population indicating that Lyme arthritis is a rare entity in Denmark, and the low pretest probability should alert general practitioners to the possibility of false positive LB serology. Significant predictors for treating the patient were a reported tick bite and suspected EM.
A detailed description of the utilization of serology for Lyme borreliosis with rates of seropositivity according to clinical symptoms is presented. Low rates of seropositivity in certain patient groups indicate a low pretest probability and there is a notable risk of false positive results. 38% of all patients tested were suspected of EM, although this is not a recommended indication due to a low sensitivity of serological testing.
PMCID: PMC2990752  PMID: 21040576
21.  Clinical features and predictors of mortality in admitted patients with community- and hospital-acquired legionellosis: A Danish historical cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:124.
Legionella is a common cause of bacterial pneumonia. Community-acquired [CAL] and hospital-acquired legionellosis [HAL] may have different presentations and outcome. We aimed to compare clinical characteristics and examine predictors of mortality for CAL and HAL.
We identified hospitalized cases of legionellosis in 4 Danish counties from January 1995 to December 2005 using the Danish national surveillance system and databases at departments of clinical microbiology. Clinical and laboratory data were retrieved from medical records; vital status was obtained from the Danish Civil Registration System. We calculated 30- and 90-day case fatality rates and identified independent predictors of mortality using logistic regression analyses.
We included 272 cases of CAL and 60 cases of HAL. Signs and symptoms of HAL were less pronounced than for CAL and time from in-hospital symptoms to legionellosis diagnosis was shorter for CAL than for HAL (5.5 days vs. 12 days p < 0.001). Thirty-day case fatality was 12.9% for CAL and 33.3% for HAL; similarly 90-day case fatalities in the two groups were 15.8% and 55.0%, respectively. In a logistic regression analysis (excluding symptoms and laboratory tests) age >65 years (OR = 2.6, 95% CI: 1.1-5.9) and Charlson comorbidty index ≥2 (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.1-6.5) were associated with an increased risk of death in CAL. We identified no statistically significant predictors of 30-day mortality in HAL.
Signs and symptoms were less pronounced in HAL compared to CAL. Conversely, 30-day case fatality was almost 3 times higher. Clinical awareness is important for the timely diagnosis and treatment especially of HAL. There is a need for further studies of prognostic factors in order to improve the therapeutic approach to legionellosis and potentially reduce mortality.
PMCID: PMC2881091  PMID: 20492639
22.  Porcine-Origin Gentamicin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis in Humans, Denmark 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2010;16(4):682-684.
During 2001–2002, high-level gentamicin-resistant (HLGR) Enterococcus faecalis isolates were detected in 2 patients in Denmark who had infective endocarditis and in pigs and pork. Our results demonstrate that these isolates belong to the same clonal group, which suggests that pigs are a source of HLGR E. faecalis infection in humans.
PMCID: PMC3321936  PMID: 20350387
Keywords: Enterococcus faecalis; high-level gentamicin resistance; pigs; infective endocarditis; molecular typing; MLST; PFGE; zoonoses; bacteria; dispatch
23.  Diabetes, Glycemic Control, and Risk of Hospitalization With Pneumonia 
Diabetes Care  2008;31(8):1541-1545.
OBJECTIVE—To examine whether diabetes is a risk factor for hospitalization with pneumonia and to assess the impact of A1C level on such risk.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—In this population-based, case-control study we identified patients with a first-time pneumonia-related hospitalization between 1997 and 2005, using health care databases in northern Denmark. For each case, 10 sex- and age-matched population control subjects were selected from Denmark's Civil Registration System. We used conditional logistic regression to compute relative risk (RR) for pneumonia-related hospitalization among subjects with and without diabetes, controlling for potential confounding factors.
RESULTS—The study included 34,239 patients with a pneumonia-related hospitalization and 342,390 population control subjects. The adjusted RR for pneumonia-related hospitalization among subjects with diabetes was 1.26 (95% CI 1.21–1.31) compared with nondiabetic individuals. The adjusted RR was 4.43 (3.40–5.77) for subjects with type 1 diabetes and 1.23 (1.19–1.28) for subjects with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes duration ≥10 years increased the risk of a pneumonia-related hospitalization (1.37 [1.28–1.47]). Compared with subjects without diabetes, the adjusted RR was 1.22 (1.14–1.30) for diabetic subjects whose A1C level was <7% and 1.60 (1.44–1.76) for diabetic subjects whose A1C level was ≥9%.
CONCLUSIONS—Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are risk factors for a pneumonia-related hospitalization. Poor long-term glycemic control among patients with diabetes clearly increases the risk of hospitalization with pneumonia.
PMCID: PMC2494631  PMID: 18487479
24.  Rationale for and protocol of a multi-national population-based bacteremia surveillance collaborative 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:146.
Bloodstream infections are frequent causes of human illness and cause major morbidity and death. In order to best define the epidemiology of these infections and to track changes in occurrence, adverse outcome, and resistance rates over time, population based methodologies are optimal. However, few population-based surveillance systems exist worldwide, and because of differences in methodology inter-regional comparisons are limited. In this report we describe the rationale and propose first practical steps for developing an international collaborative approach to the epidemiologic study and surveillance for bacteremia.
The founding collaborative participants represent six regions in four countries in three continents with a combined annual surveillance population of more than 8 million residents.
Future studies from this collaborative should lead to a better understanding of the epidemiology of bloodstream infections.
PMCID: PMC2721840  PMID: 19624839
25.  First Notification of Positive Blood Cultures and the High Accuracy of the Gram Stain Report▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(4):1113-1117.
When blood cultures turn positive, the attending physicians are usually notified immediately about Gram stain findings. However, information on the accuracy of Gram staining is very limited. We examined the accuracy of preliminary blood culture reports provided by a regional laboratory in an observational study including the years 1996, 2000 to 2001, and 2003. We used data from computer files and technicians' laboratory notes. The study was restricted to cultures with one morphological type. Using cultural identification as a reference, we estimated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV, respectively) for the following defined morphological groups: gram-positive cocci in clusters, gram-positive cocci in chains or diplococci, gram-positive rods, gram-negative cocci, gram-negative rods, and yeasts. We further evaluated the Gram stain and wet mount findings for the most frequent bacterial species/groups. We obtained 5,893 positive blood cultures and the following results for the defined groups: sensitivity, range of 91.3 to 99.7%; specificity, 98.9 to 100%; PPV, 94.6 to 100%; and NPV, 99.0 to 100%. The sensitivity for the most frequent species was in the range 91.3 to 100%, with nonhemolytic streptococci having the lowest value (sensitivity, 91.3%; 95% confidence interval, 86.2 to 94.9%). Wet mount reports were less accurate (sensitivity of 30 to 70% for species with peritrichous motility), and Enterobacteriaceae (notably Salmonella spp.) accounted for 25% of the reports stating polar motility. In conclusion, we demonstrated a high accuracy of Gram stain reports, whereas wet mount microscopy was generally less accurate.
PMCID: PMC1865800  PMID: 17301283

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