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1.  Adverse outcomes associated with contact precautions: A review of the literature 
Contact Precautions (CP) are a standard method for preventing patient-to-patient transmission of multiple drug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in hospital settings. With the ongoing worldwide concern for MDROs including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and broadened use of active surveillance programs, an increasing number of patients are being placed on CP. Whereas few would argue that CP are an important tool in infection control, many reports and small studies have observed worse noninfectious outcomes in patients on CP. However, no review of this literature exists.
We systematically reviewed the literature describing adverse outcomes associated with CP. We identified 15 studies published between 1989 and 2008 relating to adverse outcomes from CP. Nine were higher quality based on standardized collection of data and/or inclusion of control groups.
Four main adverse outcomes related to CP were identified in this review. These included less patient-health care worker contact, changes in systems of care that produce delays and more noninfectious adverse events, increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, and decreased patient satisfaction with care.
Although CP are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an intervention to control spread of MDROs, our review of the literature demonstrates that this approach has unintended consequences that are potentially deleterious to the patient. Measures to ameliorate these deleterious consequences of CP are urgently needed.
PMCID: PMC3557494  PMID: 19249637
2.  Rationale for Reading Fluconazole MICs at 24 Hours Rather than 48 Hours When Testing Candida spp. by the CLSI M27-A2 Standard Method▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2008;52(11):4175-4177.
We investigated if CLSI M27-A2 Candida species breakpoints for fluconazole MIC are valid when read at 24 h. Analysis of a data set showed good correlation between 48- and 24-h MICs, as well as similar outcomes and pharmacodynamic efficacy parameters, except for isolates in the susceptible dose-dependent category, such as Candida glabrata.
PMCID: PMC2573146  PMID: 18809944
3.  Long-Term Risk for Readmission, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infection, and Death among MRSA-Colonized Veterans 
While numerous studies have assessed the outcomes of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) colonization over the short term, little is known about longer-term outcomes after discharge. An assessment of long-term outcomes could provide information about the utility of various MRSA prevention approaches. A matched-cohort study was performed among Veterans Affairs (VA) patients screened for MRSA colonization between the years 2007 and 2009 and followed to evaluate outcomes until 2010. Cox proportional-hazard models were used to evaluate the association between MRSA colonization and long-term outcomes, such as infection-related readmission and crude mortality. A total of 404 veterans were included, 206 of whom were MRSA carriers and 198 of whom were noncarriers. There were no culture-proven MRSA infections on readmission among the noncarriers, but 13% of MRSA carriers were readmitted with culture-proven MRSA infections on readmission (P < 0.01). MRSA carriers were significantly more likely to be readmitted, to be readmitted more than once due to proven or probable MRSA infections, and to be readmitted within 90 days of discharge than noncarriers (P < 0.05). Infection-related readmission (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 4.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.16 to 7.67) and mortality (adjusted HR = 2.71; 95% CI, 1.87 to 3.91) were significantly higher among MRSA carriers than among noncarriers after statistically adjusting for potential confounders. Among a cohort of VA patients, MRSA carriers are at high risk of infection-related readmission, MRSA infection, and mortality compared to noncarriers. Noncarriers are at very low risk of subsequent MRSA infection. Future studies should address whether interventions such as nasal or skin decolonization could result in improved outcomes for MRSA carriers.
PMCID: PMC3591925  PMID: 23254427
4.  Chlorhexidine and Mupirocin Susceptibilities of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus from Colonized Nursing Home Residents 
Chlorhexidine and mupirocin are used in health care facilities to eradicate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of chlorhexidine and mupirocin resistance in isolates from nares carriers in multiple nursing homes and to examine characteristics associated with resistance. Nasal swab samples were collected from approximately 100 new admissions and 100 current residents in 26 nursing homes in Orange County, CA, from October 2008 to May 2011. MRSA isolates were tested for susceptibility by using broth microdilution, disk diffusion, and Etest; for genetic relatedness using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; and for qac gene carriage by PCR. Characteristics of the nursing homes and their residents were collected from the Medicare Minimum Data Set and Long-Term Care Focus. A total of 829 MRSA isolates were obtained from swabbing 3,806 residents in 26 nursing homes. All isolates had a chlorhexidine MIC of ≤4 μg/ml. Five (0.6%) isolates harbored the qacA and/or qacB gene loci. Mupirocin resistance was identified in 101 (12%) isolates, with 78 (9%) isolates exhibiting high-level mupirocin resistance (HLMR). HLMR rates per facility ranged from 0 to 31%. None of the isolates with HLMR displayed qacA or qacB, while two isolates carried qacA and exhibited low-level mupirocin resistance. Detection of HLMR was associated with having a multidrug-resistant MRSA isolate (odds ratio [OR], 2.69; P = 0.004), a history of MRSA (OR, 2.34; P < 0.001), and dependency in activities of daily living (OR, 1.25; P = 0.004). In some facilities, HLMR was found in nearly one-third of MRSA isolates. These findings may have implications for the increasingly widespread practice of MRSA decolonization using intranasal mupirocin.
PMCID: PMC3535956  PMID: 23147721
5.  Candida guilliermondii and Other Species of Candida Misidentified as Candida famata: Assessment by Vitek 2, DNA Sequencing Analysis, and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization–Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry in Two Global Antifungal Surveillance Programs 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(1):117-124.
Candida famata (teleomorph Debaryomyces hansenii) has been described as a medically relevant yeast, and this species has been included in many commercial identification systems that are currently used in clinical laboratories. Among 53 strains collected during the SENTRY and ARTEMIS surveillance programs and previously identified as C. famata (includes all submitted strains with this identification) by a variety of commercial methods (Vitek, MicroScan, API, and AuxaColor), DNA sequencing methods demonstrated that 19 strains were C. guilliermondii, 14 were C. parapsilosis, 5 were C. lusitaniae, 4 were C. albicans, and 3 were C. tropicalis, and five isolates belonged to other Candida species (two C. fermentati and one each C. intermedia, C. pelliculosa, and Pichia fabianni). Additionally, three misidentified C. famata strains were correctly identified as Kodomaea ohmeri, Debaryomyces nepalensis, and Debaryomyces fabryi using intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) and/or intergenic spacer (IGS) sequencing. The Vitek 2 system identified three isolates with high confidence to be C. famata and another 15 with low confidence between C. famata and C. guilliermondii or C. parapsilosis, displaying only 56.6% agreement with DNA sequencing results. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight (MALDI-TOF) results displayed 81.1% agreement with DNA sequencing. One strain each of C. metapsilosis, C. fermentati, and C. intermedia demonstrated a low score for identification (<2.0) in the MALDI Biotyper. K. ohmeri, D. nepalensis, and D. fabryi identified by DNA sequencing in this study were not in the current database for the MALDI Biotyper. These results suggest that the occurrence of C. famata in fungal infections is much lower than previously appreciated and that commercial systems do not produce accurate identifications except for the newly introduced MALDI-TOF instruments.
PMCID: PMC3536252  PMID: 23100350
6.  Pneumococcal Serotypes before and after Introduction of Conjugate Vaccines, United States, 1999–20111 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(7):1074-1083.
Serotyping data for pneumococci causing invasive and noninvasive disease in 2008–2009 and 2010–2011 from >43 US centers were compared with data from preconjugate vaccine (1999–2000) and postconjugate vaccine (2004–2005) periods. Prevalence of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine serotypes decreased from 64% of invasive and 50% of noninvasive isolates in 1999–2000 to 3.8% and 4.2%, respectively, in 2010–2011. Increases in serotype 19A stopped after introduction of 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) in 2010. Prevalences of other predominant serotypes included in or related to PCV13 (3, 6C, 7F) also remained similar for 2008–2009 and 2010–2011. The only major serotype that increased from 2008–2009 to 2010–2011 was nonvaccine serotype 35B. These data show that introduction of the 7-valent vaccine has dramatically decreased prevalence of its serotypes and that addition of serotypes in PCV13 could provide coverage of 39% of isolates that continue to cause disease.
PMCID: PMC3713983  PMID: 23763847
Streptococcus pneumoniae; bacteria; streptococci; serotype; vaccine; conjugate vaccines; pathogenesis; United States
7.  Survey of High School Athletic Programs in Iowa Regarding Infections and Infection Prevention Policies and Practices 
The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal  2013;33:107-113.
To assess high school athletic programs’ infection prevention policies and procedures and to estimate the frequency of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) among Iowa’s high school athletes.
An on-line survey of high school athletic programs.
Nearly 60% of programs responded. Schools in higher classifications were more likely to have a certified athletic trainer (AT; P < 0.0001) and to report that they had a policy preventing athletes with SSTIs from participating in athletic events than were schools in lower classifications (P = 0.0002). Programs that had an AT reported that athletic training equipment (P = 0.01) and tables (P = 0.02) were cleaned more frequently than did programs without ATs. Programs were significantly more likely to provide training equipment than to provide soap or towels. About 57% of programs reported that at least one athlete acquired an SSTI during the prior school year, including methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (N = 14; 10.8%). Programs that had an AT (P = 0.02) were in higher classifications (P < 0.0001), educated athletes about SSTIs (P < 0.0001), or had policies regarding athletes with SSTIs (P = 0.01) were more likely than other programs to report having at least one athlete with an SSTI. The estimated SSTI rate per 1000 athletes ranged from 22.0 in 1A to 5.9 in 4A programs.
SSTIs are common among Iowa’s high school athletes. Staff should review and update their infection prevention policies. Athletic programs need resources to support infection prevention efforts.
PMCID: PMC3748864  PMID: 24027469
8.  In Vitro Activity of Ceftaroline against Clinical Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae Recovered in 43 U.S. Medical Centers during 2010-2011 
The in vitro activity of ceftaroline, a recently introduced parenteral cephalosporin, was assessed versus 1,750 isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae recovered from patients with a variety of pneumococcal infections in 43 U.S. medical centers during 2010-2011. Using a breakpoint of ≤0.5 μg/ml for susceptibility, all of the isolates were found to be susceptible to ceftaroline. Ceftaroline MICs were consistently 16-fold lower than ceftriaxone MICs. Among the isolates characterized in this investigation, 38.9% were found to be nonsusceptible to penicillin (oral penicillin breakpoints) and 9.1% were nonsusceptible to ceftriaxone (nonmeningitis breakpoints).
PMCID: PMC3370772  PMID: 22491687
9.  Activities of E1210 and Comparator Agents Tested by CLSI and EUCAST Broth Microdilution Methods against Fusarium and Scedosporium Species Identified Using Molecular Methods 
Fusarium (n = 67) and Scedosporium (n = 63) clinical isolates were tested by two reference broth microdilution (BMD) methods against a novel broad-spectrum (active against both yeasts and molds) antifungal, E1210, and comparator agents. E1210 inhibits the inositol acylation step in glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI) biosynthesis, resulting in defects in fungal cell wall biosynthesis. Five species complex organisms/species of Fusarium (4 isolates unspeciated) and 28 Scedosporium apiospermum, 7 Scedosporium aurantiacum, and 28 Scedosporium prolificans species were identified by molecular techniques. Comparator antifungal agents included anidulafungin, caspofungin, itraconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, and amphotericin B. E1210 was highly active against all of the tested isolates, with minimum effective concentration (MEC)/MIC90 values (μg/ml) for E1210, anidulafungin, caspofungin, itraconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, and amphotericin B, respectively, for Fusarium of 0.12, >16, >16, >8, >8, 8, and 4 μg/ml. E1210 was very potent against the Scedosporium spp. tested. The E1210 MEC90 was 0.12 μg/ml for S. apiospermum, but 1 to >8 μg/ml for other tested agents. Against S. aurantiacum, the MEC50 for E1210 was 0.06 μg/ml versus 0.5 to >8 μg/ml for the comparators. Against S. prolificans, the MEC90 for E1210 was only 0.12 μg/ml, compared to >4 μg/ml for amphotericin B and >8 μg/ml for itraconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole. Both CLSI and EUCAST methods were highly concordant for E1210 and all comparator agents. The essential agreement (EA; ±2 doubling dilutions) was >93% for all comparisons, with the exception of posaconazole and F. oxysporum species complex (SC) (60%), posaconazole and S. aurantiacum (85.7%), and voriconazole and S. aurantiacum (85.7%). In conclusion, E1210 exhibited very potent and broad-spectrum antifungal activity against azole- and amphotericin B-resistant strains of Fusarium spp. and Scedosporium spp. Furthermore, in vitro susceptibility testing of E1210 against isolates of Fusarium and Scedosporium may be accomplished using either of the CLSI or EUCAST BMD methods, each producing very similar results.
PMCID: PMC3256086  PMID: 22083469
10.  Detection of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates with Heterogeneous Intermediate-Level Resistance to Vancomycin in the United States▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(12):4203-4207.
The prevalence of heterogeneous intermediate-level resistance to vancomycin (hVISA) in Staphylococcus aureus was assessed by screening a large collection of recent isolates. Susceptibility testing by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute broth microdilution method and the Etest GRD (glycopeptide resistance detection) method (bioMérieux) was performed on 4,210 clinically significant S. aureus isolates obtained in 2009 from 43 U.S. centers. Isolates with Etest GRD-positive results for hVISA were evaluated further by repeat GRD testing and population analysis profiling–area under the curve (PAP-AUC) analysis. No VISA (vancomycin MIC, 4 to 8 μg/ml) or vancomycin-resistant (MIC ≥ 16 μg/ml) strains were detected. The Etest GRD screen for hVISA was initially positive for 68 isolates (1.6%; all by teicoplanin MIC ≥ 8 μg/ml at 24 or 48 h). Among those 68 isolates, 45 were reproducibly GRD positive. PAP-AUC testing confirmed only 11 isolates as hVISA (all had reproducible GRD-positive results). The 11 hVISA isolates were from nine medical centers and appeared genetically diverse (ten different PFGE types). The rates of resistance (including intermediate) for hVISA were as follows: oxacillin, 82%; erythromycin, 82%; clindamycin, 73%; levofloxacin, 73%; trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 9%; and daptomycin, 9%. All hVISA isolates were susceptible to linezolid, tigecycline, and ceftaroline. Our data suggest that the overall prevalence of hVISA in the United States is low (0.3%). The hVISA isolates represented 10.5% of isolates with vancomycin MICs of 2 μg/ml and 0.1% of isolates with vancomycin MICs of 1 μg/ml. The positive predictive value of GRD Etest for hVISA was 16.2% for initial screen positive and 24.4% for reproducibly positive results.
PMCID: PMC3232953  PMID: 21976769
11.  Daptomycin exposure precedes infection and/or colonization with daptomycin non-susceptible enterococcus 
Daptomycin non-susceptible enterococci (DNSE) are emerging as an important cause of healthcare-associated infection, however little is known about the epidemiology of DNSE. At the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) an increase in the frequency of patients infected and/or colonized with DNSE has occurred. The goals of this study were to evaluate potential factors associated with the development of DNSE colonization and/or infection and to compare the characteristics of patients with prior daptomycin exposure to those without prior daptomycin exposure.
The study is a retrospective case-series involving all patients with DNSE infection and/or colonization at UIHC, a 734-bed academic referral center, from June 1, 2005 to June 1, 2011.
The majority of patients with DNSE colonization and/or infection had prior daptomycin exposure (15 of 25; 60%), a concomitant gastrointestinal process (19 of 25; 76%), or were immunosuppressed (21 of 25; 84%). DNSE infection was confirmed in 17 of 25 (68%) patients, including 9 patients with bacteremia. Twelve of 17 (71%) patients with DNSE infection had prior daptomycin exposure, including 7 of 9 (78%) patients with bacteremia. Compared to patients without prior daptomycin exposure, patients with prior daptomycin exposure were less likely to harbor E. faecalis (0% vs. 33%; p = 0.019). A high proportion of patients (10 of 25; 40%) died during their hospitalizations. Most enterococcal isolates were E. faecium (86%), and were vancomycin-resistant (72%). Molecular typing revealed a diverse population of DNSE.
Prior daptomycin exposure, immunosuppression, and/or a concomitant gastrointestinal process, may be associated with the development of DNSE. PFGE revealed a diverse population of DNSE, which along with both increasing numbers of DNSE detected yearly and increasing annual rates of daptomycin usage, suggests the emergence of DNSE under antimicrobial pressure.
PMCID: PMC3436660  PMID: 22958379
Enterococcus; Daptomycin; Resistance; Non-Susceptible; DNSE
12.  Triazole and Echinocandin MIC Distributions with Epidemiological Cutoff Values for Differentiation of Wild-Type Strains from Non-Wild-Type Strains of Six Uncommon Species of Candida▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(11):3800-3804.
When clinical susceptibility breakpoints (CBPs) are absent, establishing wild-type (WT) MIC distributions and epidemiological cutoff values (ECVs) provides a sensitive means for detecting emerging resistance. We determined species-specific ECVs for anidulafungin (ANF), caspofungin (CSF), micafungin (MCF), fluconazole (FLC), posaconazole (PSC), and voriconazole (VRC) for six rarer Candida species (819 strains) using isolates obtained from the ARTEMIS Program and the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program, all tested by a reference broth microdilution method. The calculated ECVs, expressed in μg/ml (and the percentages of isolates that had MICs less than or equal to the ECVs), for ANF, CSF, MCF, FLC, PSC, and VRC, respectively, were 0.12 (95.2), 0.12 (97.8), 0.12 (100.0), 0.5 (95.7), 0.12 (98.6), and 0.03 (100.0) for Candida dubliniensis; 4 (100.0), 2 (96.0), 2 (99.1), 8 (95.0), 0.5 (97.5), and 0.25 (98.0) for C. guilliermondii; 0.25 (98.9), 0.03 (98.0), 0.12 (97.5), 1 (99.1), 0.25 (99.1), and 0.015 (100.0) for C. kefyr; 2 (100.0), 1 (99.6), 0.5 (96.6), 2 (96.1), 0.25 (98.6), and 0.03 (96.6) for C. lusitaniae; and 2 (100.0), 0.5 (100.0), 1 (100.0), 2 (98.0), 0.25 (97.1), and 0.06 (98.0) for C. orthopsilosis, but for C. pelliculosa, ECVs could be determined only for CSF (0.12 [94.4]), FLC (4 [98.2]), PSC (2 [98.2]), and VRC (0.25 [98.2]). In the absence of species-specific CBP values, these WT MIC distributions and ECVs will be useful for monitoring the emergence of reduced susceptibility to the triazole and echinocandin antifungals.
PMCID: PMC3209078  PMID: 21900519
13.  Activity of Ceftaroline and Epidemiologic Trends in Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Collected from 43 Medical Centers in the United States in 2009▿ 
A Staphylococcus aureus surveillance program was initiated in the United States to examine the in vitro activity of ceftaroline and epidemiologic trends. Susceptibility testing by Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute broth microdilution was performed on 4,210 clinically significant isolates collected in 2009 from 43 medical centers. All isolates were screened for mecA by PCR and evaluated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) were analyzed for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes and the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type. All isolates had ceftaroline MICs of ≤2 μg/ml with an MIC50 of 0.5 and an MIC90 of 1 μg/ml. The overall resistance rates, expressed as the percentages of isolates that were intermediate and resistant (or nonsusceptible), were as follows: ceftaroline, 1.0%; clindamycin, 30.2% (17.4% MIC ≥ 4 μg/ml; 12.8% inducible); daptomycin, 0.2%; erythromycin, 65.5%; levofloxacin, 39.9%; linezolid, 0.02%; oxacillin, 53.4%; tetracycline, 4.4%; tigecycline, 0%; trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 1.6%; vancomycin, 0%; and high-level mupirocin, 2.2%. The mecA PCR was positive for 53.4% of the isolates. The ceftaroline MIC90s were 0.25 μg/ml for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus and 1 μg/ml for MRSA. Among the 2,247 MRSA isolates, 51% were USA300 (96.9% PVL positive, 99.7% SCCmec type IV) and 17% were USA100 (93.4% SCCmec type II). The resistance rates for the 1,137 USA300 MRSA isolates were as follows: erythromycin, 90.9%; levofloxacin, 49.1%; clindamycin, 7.6% (6.2% MIC ≥ 4 μg/ml; 1.4% inducible); tetracycline, 3.3%; trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 0.8%; high-level mupirocin, 2.7%; daptomycin, 0.4%; and ceftaroline and linezolid, 0%. USA300 is the dominant clone causing MRSA infections in the United States. Ceftaroline demonstrated potent in vitro activity against recent S. aureus clinical isolates, including MRSA, daptomycin-nonsusceptible, and linezolid-resistant strains.
PMCID: PMC3165333  PMID: 21709080
14.  Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from the ARTEMIS Global Surveillance Study Is Primarily Due to the TR/L98H Mutation in the cyp51A Gene▿ 
We surveyed 497 isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus collected from 2008 to 2009 as part of the ARTEMIS global surveillance study for elevated MIC values to itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole. Sequencing of the cyp51A gene revealed that 8/29 isolates with elevated MIC values to one or more triazoles, all originating in China, contained the TR/L98H mutation associated with resistant European isolates of A. fumigatus. This is the first time the TR/L98H mutation has been identified outside Europe.
PMCID: PMC3165364  PMID: 21690285
15.  Clinical Microbiology and Infection Prevention 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(9 Suppl):S57-S60.
PMCID: PMC3185842
16.  Prevalence and Genetic Relatedness of Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Detected by the Xpert MRSA Nasal Assay ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(8):2996-2999.
Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) isolates lacking mecA yet testing positive on the Xpert MRSA assay were recovered from culture for 7.7% of 248 Xpert-positive nasal samples. These “false-positive” Xpert results may be attributed to staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) elements without the mecA gene. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis revealed a diverse population of MSSA strains.
PMCID: PMC3147776  PMID: 21677066
17.  Multicenter Comparison of the Vitek 2 Antifungal Susceptibility Test with the CLSI Broth Microdilution Reference Method for Testing Caspofungin, Micafungin, and Posaconazole against Candida spp.▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(5):1765-1771.
The performance of the automated Vitek 2 (bioMérieux, Inc., Marcy l'Etoile, France) antifungal susceptibility system was compared to that of broth microdilution (BMD) for the determination of MICs of various antifungal drugs. A total of 112 challenge strains and 755 clinical isolates of Candida spp. were tested against caspofungin and micafungin. An additional 452 clinical isolates of Candida albicans were tested against posaconazole. Reference BMD MIC endpoints were established after 24 h of incubation for caspofungin and micafungin and after 48 h of incubation for posaconazole. Essential agreements (EAs) between the Vitek 2 and BMD methods for caspofungin and micafungin were 99.5% and 98.6%, respectively. EA between the Vitek 2 and BMD methods was 95.6% for posaconazole. The overall categorical agreements (CAs) between the Vitek 2 system and BMD were 99.8% for caspofungin, 98.2% for micafungin, and 98.1% for posaconazole. The Vitek 2 system reliably determined caspofungin and micafungin MICs among Candida spp. and posaconazole MICs among C. albicans isolates and demonstrated excellent quantitative and qualitative agreement with the reference BMD method.
PMCID: PMC3122687  PMID: 21430096
18.  Multilaboratory Testing of Two-Drug Combinations of Antifungals against Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, and Candida parapsilosis▿  
There are few multilaboratory studies of antifungal combination testing to suggest a format for use in clinical laboratories. In the present study, eight laboratories tested quality control (QC) strain Candida parapsilosis ATCC 22019 and clinical isolates Candida albicans 20533.043, C. albicans 20464.007, Candida glabrata 20205.075, and C. parapsilosis 20580.070. The clinical isolates had relatively high azole and echinocandin MICs. A modified CLSI M27-A3 protocol was used, with 96-well custom-made plates containing checkerboard pairwise combinations of amphotericin B (AMB), anidulafungin (AND), caspofungin (CSP), micafungin (MCF), posaconazole (PSC), and voriconazole (VRC). The endpoints were scored visually and on a spectrophotometer or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) reader for 50% growth reduction (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50]). Combination IC50s were used to calculate summation fractional inhibitory concentration indices (FICIs) (ΣFIC) based on the Lowe additivity formula. The results revealed that the IC50s of all drug combinations were lower or equal to the IC50 of individual drugs in the combination. A majority of the ΣFIC values were indifferent (ΣFIC = 0.51 to 2.0), but no antagonism was observed (ΣFIC ≥ 4). Synergistic combinations (ΣFIC ≤ 0.5) were found for AMB-PSC against C. glabrata and for AMB-AND and AMB-CSP against C. parapsilosis by both visual and spectrophotometric readings. Additional synergistic interactions were revealed by either of the two endpoints for AMB-AND, AMB-CSP, AMB-MCF, AMB-PSC, AMB-VRC, AND-PSC, CSP-MCF, and CSP-PSC. The percent agreements among participating laboratories ranged from 37.5% (lowest) for AND-CSP and POS-VOR to 87.5% (highest) for AMB-MCF and AND-CSP. Median ΣFIC values showed a wide dispersion, and interlaboratory agreements were less than 85% in most instances. Additional studies are needed to improve the interlaboratory reproducibility of antifungal combination testing.
PMCID: PMC3067183  PMID: 21282457
19.  Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Pork Production Shower Facilities ▿  
As methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been found in pigs, we sought to determine if MRSA is present in pork production shower facilities. In two production systems tested, 3% and 26% of shower samples were positive for MRSA. spa types identified included t034, t189, t753, and t1746.
PMCID: PMC3020538  PMID: 21097587
20.  Low Prevalence of fks1 Hot Spot 1 Mutations in a Worldwide Collection of Candida Strains▿  
We evaluated the prevalence of fks1 hot spot (HS) 1 mutations among 133 Candida strains from six species displaying various caspofungin MIC values (from ≤0.008 to >8 μg/ml). Only 4 (2.9%) strains displayed FKS1 HS1 amino acid substitutions: 1 C. albicans (F641Y) among 32 isolates tested (3.1%), 1 C. glabrata (S645P) among 34 isolates tested (2.9%), and 2 C. tropicalis (F641S) among 12 isolates tested (16.7%). The 4 isolates displaying FKS1 HS1 alterations showed elevated caspofungin MIC results (1 to >8 μg/ml) but lower anidulafungin and micafungin MIC values (0.12 to 4 μg/ml and 0.25 to 4 μg/ml, respectively) in some instances within the wild-type MIC population, as determined using the epidemiologic cutoff values (ECV). Candida krusei, C. parapsilosis, and C. guilliermondii isolates tested showed no FKS1 HS1 alterations regardless of echinocandin MIC result. We additionally analyzed 8 C. albicans and 7 C. glabrata strains for mutations on other HS regions of fks1 and fks2. Three C. glabrata strains showed alterations on FKS2 HS1 (two S645P and one L644W). In general, strains displaying S645P alteration showed higher echinocandin MIC values than strains harboring other mutations. Overall, Candida spp. strains showing caspofungin MIC values within the ECV did not display fks HS mutations. In contrast, strains showing alterations in this region displayed anidulafungin and/or micafungin MIC values within the wild-type population, suggesting that caspofungin could be the most sensitive agent for detection of these resistance mutations. Furthermore, results from this large, geographically diverse Candida spp. collection demonstrated that fks1 HS1 mutations remain uncommon among isolates with various echinocandin MIC levels.
PMCID: PMC2876398  PMID: 20368396
21.  Screening of a Large Global Aspergillus fumigatus Species Complex Collection by Using a Species-Specific Microsphere-Based Luminex Assay ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(12):4171-4172.
A microsphere-based Luminex assay was developed and validated for rapid identification of Aspergillus fumigatus from the other species within the A. fumigatus species complex (section Fumigati). This molecular tool was then employed to screen 499 clinical A. fumigatus species complex isolates collected from multiple medical centers throughout the world with results demonstrating the exclusive presence of A. fumigatus.
PMCID: PMC2786642  PMID: 19794043
22.  Characterization of blaKPC-containing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates detected in different institutions in the Eastern USA 
The emergence of blaKPC-containing Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC-Kp) isolates is attracting significant attention. Outbreaks in the Eastern USA have created serious treatment and infection control problems. A comparative multi-institutional analysis of these strains has not yet been performed.
We analysed 42 KPC-Kp recovered during 2006–07 from five institutions located in the Eastern USA. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests, analytical isoelectric focusing (aIEF), PCR and sequencing of bla genes, PFGE and rep-PCR were performed.
By in vitro testing, KPC-Kp isolates were highly resistant to all non-carbapenem β-lactams (MIC90s ≥ 128 mg/L). Among carbapenems, MIC50/90s were 4/64 mg/L for imipenem and meropenem, 4/32 mg/L for doripenem and 8/128 for ertapenem. Combinations of clavulanate or tazobactam with a carbapenem or cefepime did not significantly lower the MIC values. Genetic analysis revealed that the isolates possessed the following bla genes: blaKPC-2 (59.5%), blaKPC-3 (40.5%), blaTEM-1 (90.5%), blaSHV-11 (95.2%) and blaSHV-12 (50.0%). aIEF of crude β-lactamase extracts from these strains supported our findings, showing β-lactamases at pIs of 5.4, 7.6 and 8.2. The mean number of β-lactamases was 3.5 (range 3–5). PFGE demonstrated that 32 (76.2%) isolates were clonally related (type A). Type A KPC-Kp isolates (20 blaKPC-2 and 12 blaKPC-3) were detected in each of the five institutions. rep-PCR showed patterns consistent with PFGE.
We demonstrated the complex β-lactamase background of KPC-Kp isolates that are emerging in multiple centres in the Eastern USA. The prevalence of a single dominant clone suggests that interstate transmission has occurred.
PMCID: PMC2640158  PMID: 19155227
carbapenemases; ESBLs; Enterobacteriaceae; PFGE; rep-PCR
23.  Identification of Candida nivariensis and Candida bracarensis in a Large Global Collection of Candida glabrata Isolates: Comparison to the Literature▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(4):1216-1217.
We analyzed 1,598 Candida glabrata isolates for the presence of the cryptic species Candida nivariensis and Candida bracarensis. Both species were very rare in this collection (0.2% prevalence), despite the number of isolates analyzed and the global distribution of the isolates. We saw no associated antifungal resistance in C. nivariensis.
PMCID: PMC2668319  PMID: 19193845
24.  Strain-Relatedness of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Recovered from Patients with Repeated Infection 
Invasive disease following methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) detection is common, regardless of whether initial detection involves colonization or infection. We assessed the genetic relatedness of isolates obtained ≥2 weeks apart representing either repeated infections or colonization-infection sets to determine if infections are likely to be caused by previously harbored strains. We found that MRSA infection following initial colonization or infection is caused by the same strain in most cases, suggesting that a single successful attempt at decolonization may prevent the majority of later infection.
PMCID: PMC2723744  PMID: 18444862
25.  Identification and Susceptibility Profile of Candida fermentati from a Worldwide Collection of Candida guilliermondii Clinical Isolates▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;47(1):242-244.
Candida fermentati isolates make up a small percentage of the clinical isolates of the Candida guilliermondii complex and have a global distribution pattern. With the exception that the MICs of micafungin were significantly lower, the calculated average MICs for C. fermentati were not significantly different from those for C. guilliermondii.
PMCID: PMC2620835  PMID: 19036938

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