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Background: Although most HIV-1 infections in Brazil are due to subtype B, Southern Brazil has a high prevalence of subtype C and recombinant forms, such as CRF31_BC. This study assessed the impact of viral diversity on clinical progression in a cohort of newly diagnosed HIV-positive patients.
Methods: From July/2004 to December/2005, 135 HIV-infected patients were recruited. The partial pol region was subtyped by phylogeny. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) model was used to examine the relationship between viral subtype, CD4+ T cell count and viral load levels before antiretroviral therapy. Hazard ratio (Cox regression) was used to evaluate factors associated with viral suppression (viral load < 50 copies/mL at six months).
Results: Main HIV-1 subtypes included B (29.4%), C (28.2%), and CRF31_BC (23.5%). Subtypes B and C showed a similar trend in CD4+ T cell decline. Comparison of non-B (C and CRF31_BC) and B subtypes revealed no significant difference in the proportion of patients with viral suppression at six months (week 24). Higher CD4+ T cell count and lower viral load were independently associated with viral suppression.
Conclusion: No significant differences were found between subtypes; however, lower viral load and higher CD4+ T cell count before therapy were associated with better response.
PMCID: PMC4085862  PMID: 24878998
HIV infections; CD4-positive T-lymphocytes; Viral load; Highly active antiretroviral therapy
2.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis of the RDRio Genotype Is the Predominant Cause of Tuberculosis and Associated with Multidrug Resistance in Porto Alegre City, South Brazil 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(4):1071-1077.
Spoligotyping has shown Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains to be composed of different lineages, and some of them are not just geographically restricted but also affect specific ethnic populations and are associated with outbreaks and drug resistance. We recently described a particular subtype within the Latin American-Mediterranean (LAM) family, called RDRio, widespread in Brazil. Moreover, recent data also indicate that RDRio is present in many countries on all continents and is associated with cavitary disease and multidrug resistance (MDR). To further explore the relationship between RDRio and MDR, we conducted a study in a tuberculosis (TB) reference center responsible for the care of MDR patients in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost Brazilian state. From a collection of 237 clinical isolates, RDRio alone was responsible for one-half of all MDR cases, including one large group composed of strains with identical IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and having the LAM5 signature. We additionally had complete data records for 96 patients and could make comparisons between the presence and absence of RDRio. No difference in clinical, radiological or laboratory features was observed, but a significantly greater number of cases with MDR were described in patients infected with an RDRio strain (P = 0.0015). Altogether, RDRio was responsible for 38% of all TB cases. These data support and confirmed previous findings that RDRio is the main agent responsible for TB in Brazil and is associated with drug resistance. Considering that RDRio is a globally distributed genotype, such findings raise concern about the increase in MDR in certain human populations.
PMCID: PMC3666761  PMID: 23325819
3.  Effects of starting hemodialysis with an arteriovenous fistula or central venous catheter compared with peritoneal dialysis: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:88.
Although several studies have demonstrated early survival advantages with peritoneal dialysis (PD) over hemodialysis (HD), the reason for the excess mortality observed among incident HD patients remains to be established, to our knowledge. This study explores the relationship between mortality and dialysis modality, focusing on the role of HD vascular access type at the time of dialysis initiation.
A retrospective cohort study was performed among local adult chronic kidney disease patients who consecutively initiated PD and HD with a tunneled cuffed venous catheter (HD-TCC) or a functional arteriovenous fistula (HD-AVF) in our institution in the year 2008. A total of 152 patients were included in the final analysis (HD-AVF, n = 59; HD-TCC, n = 51; PD, n = 42). All cause and dialysis access-related morbidity/mortality were evaluated at one year. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to compare the survival of PD patients with those who initiated HD with an AVF or with a TCC.
Compared with PD patients, both HD-AVF and HD-TCC patients were more likely to be older (p<0.001) and to have a higher frequency of diabetes mellitus (p = 0.017) and cardiovascular disease (p = 0.020). Overall, HD-TCC patients were more likely to have clinical visits (p = 0.069), emergency room visits (p<0.001) and hospital admissions (p<0.001). At the end of follow-up, HD-TCC patients had a higher rate of dialysis access-related complications (1.53 vs. 0.93 vs. 0.64, per patient-year; p<0.001) and hospitalizations (0.47 vs. 0.07 vs. 0.14, per patient-year; p = 0.034) than HD-AVF and PD patients, respectively. The survival rates at one year were 96.6%, 74.5% and 97.6% for HD-AVF, HD-TCC and PD groups, respectively (p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, HD-TCC use at the time of dialysis initiation was the important factor associated with death (HR 16.128, 95%CI [1.431-181.778], p = 0.024).
Our results suggest that HD vascular access type at the time of renal replacement therapy initiation is an important modifier of the relationship between dialysis modality and survival among incident dialysis patients.
PMCID: PMC3476986  PMID: 22916962
4.  Patients' recollections of experiences in the intensive care unit may affect their quality of life 
Critical Care  2005;9(2):R96-R109.
We wished to obtain the experiences felt by patients during their ICU stay using an original questionnaire and to correlate the memories of those experiences with health-related quality of life (HR-QOL).
We conducted a prospective study in 10 Portuguese intensive care units (ICUs). Six months after ICU discharge, an original questionnaire on experiences of patients during their ICU stay, the recollection questionnaire, was delivered. HR-QOL was evaluated simultaneously, with the EQ-5D questionnaire. Between 1 September 2002 and 31 March 2003 1433 adult patients were admitted. ICU and hospital mortalities were 21% and 28%, respectively. Six months after ICU discharge, 464 patients completed the recollection questionnaire.
Thirty-eight percent of the patients stated they did not remember any moment of their ICU stay. The ICU environment was described as friendly and calm by 93% of the patients. Sleep was described as being good and enough by 73%. The experiences reported as being more stressful were tracheal tube aspiration (81%), nose tube (75%), family worries (71%) and pain (64%). Of respondents, 51% experienced dreams and nightmares during their ICU stay; of these, 14% stated that those dreams and nightmares disturb their present daily life and they exhibit a worse HR-QOL. Forty-one percent of patients reported current sleep disturbances, 38% difficulties in concentrating in current daily activities and 36% difficulties in remembering recent events. More than half of the patients reported more fatigue than before the ICU stay. Multiple and linear regression analysis showed that older age, longer ICU stay, higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, non-scheduled surgery and multiple trauma diagnostic categories, present sleep disturbances, daily disturbances by dreams and nightmares, difficulties in concentrating and difficulties in remembering recent events were independent predictors of worse HR-QOL. Multicollinearity analysis showed that, with the exception of the correlation between admission diagnostic categories and length of ICU stay (0.47), all other correlations between the independent variables and coefficient estimates included in the regression models were weak (below 0.30).
This study suggests that neuropsychological consequences of critical illness, in particular the recollection of ICU experiences, may influence subsequent HR-QOL.
PMCID: PMC1175917  PMID: 15774056
critical illness; follow-up; health-related quality of life; intensive care; neuropsychological sequelae; outcome

Results 1-4 (4)