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1.  Improving the diagnosis of meningitis due to enterovirus and herpes simplex virus I and II in a tertiary care hospital 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:487.
Background
Enterovirus and herpes simplex viruses are common causes of lymphocytic meningitis. The purpose of this study was to analyse the impact of the use molecular testing for Enteroviruses and Herpes simplex viruses I and II in all suspected cases of viral meningitis.
Methods
From November 18, 2008 to November 17, 2009 (phase II, intervention), all patients admitted with suspected viral meningitis (with pleocytosis) had a CSF sample tested using a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Data collected during this period were compared to those from the previous one-year period, i.e. November 18, 2007 to November 17, 2008 (phase I, observational), when such tests were available but not routinely used.
Results
In total, 2,536 CSF samples were assessed, of which 1,264 were from phase I, and 1,272 from phase II. Of this total, a NAAT for Enterovirus was ordered in 123 cases during phase I (9.7% of the total phase I sample) and in 221 cases in phase II (17.4% of the total phase II sample). From these, Enterovirus was confirmed in 35 (28.5%, 35/123) patients during phase I and 71 (32.1%, 71/221) patients during phase II (p = 0.107). The rate of diagnosis of meningitis by HSV I and II did not differ between the groups (13 patients, 6.5% in phase I and 13, 4.7% in phase II) (p = 1.0), from 200 cases in phase I and 274 cases in phase II.
Conclusions
The number of cases diagnosed with enteroviral meningitis increased during the course of this study, leading us to believe that the strategy of performing NAAT for Enterovirus on every CSF sample with pleocytosis is fully justified.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-487
PMCID: PMC3853767  PMID: 24138798
2.  Time to blood culture positivity as a predictor of clinical outcome in patients with Candida albicans bloodstream infection 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:486.
Background
Few studies have assessed the time to blood culture positivity as a predictor of clinical outcome in fungal bloodstream infections (BSIs). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the time to positivity (TTP) of blood cultures in patients with Candida albicans BSIs and to assess its impact on clinical outcome.
Methods
A historical cohort study with 89 adults patients with C. albicans BSIs. TTP was defined as the time between the start of incubation and the time that the automated alert signal indicating growth in the culture bottle sounded.
Results
Patients with BSIs and TTPs of culture of ≤36 h (n=39) and >36 h (n=50) were compared. Septic shock occurred in 46.2% of patients with TTPs of ≤36 h and in 40.0% of patients with TTP of >36 h (p=0.56). A central venous catheter source was more common with a BSI TTP of ≤36 h (p=0.04). Univariate analyis revealed that APACHE II score≥20 at BSI onset, the development of at least one organ system failure (respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, hematologic, or hepatic), SOFA at BSI onset, SAPS II at BSI onset, and time to positivity were associated with death. By using logistic regression analysis, the only independent predictor of death was time to positivity (1.04; 95% CI, 1.0-1.1, p=0.035), with the chance of the patient with C. albicans BSI dying increasing 4.0% every hour prior to culture positivity.
Conclusion
A longer time to positivity was associated with a higher mortality for Candida albicans BSIs; therefore, initiating empiric treatment with antifungals may improve outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-486
PMCID: PMC3854507  PMID: 24138760
Candida; Bloodstream infection; Time to positivity; Antifungal therapy
3.  A program for sustained improvement in preventing ventilator associated pneumonia in an intensive care setting 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:234.
Background
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common infection in the intensive care unit (ICU) and associated with a high mortality.
Methods
A quasi-experimental study was conducted in a medical-surgical ICU. Multiple interventions to optimize VAP prevention were performed from October 2008 to December 2010. All of these processes, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) ventilator bundle plus oral decontamination with chlorhexidine and continuous aspiration of subglottic secretions (CASS), were adopted for patients undergoing mechanical ventilation.
Results
We evaluated a total of 21,984 patient-days, and a total of 6,052 ventilator-days (ventilator utilization rate of 0.27). We found VAP rates of 1.3 and 2.0 per 1,000 ventilator days respectively in 2009 and 2010, achieving zero incidence of VAP several times during 12 months, whenever VAP bundle compliance was over 90%.
Conclusion
These results suggest that it is possible to reduce VAP rates to near zero and sustain these rates, but it requires a complex process involving multiple performance measures and interventions that must be permanently monitored.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-234
PMCID: PMC3521195  PMID: 23020101
Ventilator associated pneumonia; Prevention; Intensive care; VAP bundle
4.  Hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile-associated disease in the intensive care unit setting: epidemiology, clinical course and outcome 
Background
Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) is a serious nosocomial infection, however few studies have assessed CDAD outcome in the intensive care unit (ICU). We evaluated the epidemiology, clinical course and outcome of hospital-acquired CDAD in the critical care setting.
Methods
We performed a historical cohort study on 58 adults with a positive C. difficile cytotoxin assay result occurring in intensive care units.
Results
Sixty-two percent of patients had concurrent infections, 50% of which were bloodstream infections. The most frequently prescribed antimicrobials prior to CDAD were anti-anaerobic agents (60.3%). Septic shock occurred in 32.8% of CDAD patients. The in-hospital mortality was 27.6%. Univariate analysis revealed that SOFA score, at least one organ failure and age were predictors of mortality. Charlson score ≥3, gender, concurrent infection, and number of days with diarrhea before a positive C. difficile toxin assay were not significant predictors of mortality on univariate analysis. Independent predictors for death were SOFA score at infection onset (per 1-point increment, OR 1.40; CI95 1.13–1.75) and age (per 1-year increment, OR 1.10; CI95 1.02–1.19).
Conclusion
In ICU patients with CDAD, advanced age and increased severity of illness at the onset of infection, as measured by the SOFA score, are independent predictors of death.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-42
PMCID: PMC1888698  PMID: 17517130
5.  Systemic inflammatory response syndrome in adult patients with nosocomial bloodstream infections due to enterococci 
Background
Enterococci are the third leading cause of nosocomial bloodstream infection (BSI). Vancomycin resistant enterococci are common and provide treatment challenges; however questions remain about VRE's pathogenicity and its direct clinical impact. This study analyzed the inflammatory response of Enterococcal BSI, contrasting infections from vancomycin-resistant and vancomycin-susceptible isolates.
Methods
We performed a historical cohort study on 50 adults with enterococcal BSI to evaluate the associated systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and mortality. We examined SIRS scores 2 days prior through 14 days after the first positive blood culture. Vancomycin resistant (n = 17) and susceptible infections (n = 33) were compared. Variables significant in univariate analysis were entered into a logistic regression model to determine the affect on mortality.
Results
60% of BSI were caused by E. faecalis and 34% by E. faecium. 34% of the isolates were vancomycin resistant. Mean APACHE II (A2) score on the day of BSI was 16. Appropriate antimicrobials were begun within 24 hours in 52%. Septic shock occurred in 62% and severe sepsis in an additional 18%. Incidence of organ failure was as follows: respiratory 42%, renal 48%, hematologic 44%, hepatic 26%. Crude mortality was 48%. Progression to septic shock was associated with death (OR 14.9, p < .001). There was no difference in A2 scores on days -2, -1 and 0 between the VRE and VSE groups. Maximal SIR (severe sepsis, septic shock or death) was seen on day 2 for VSE BSI vs. day 8 for VRE. No significant difference was noted in the incidence of organ failure, 7-day or overall mortality between the two groups. Univariate analysis revealed that AP2>18 at BSI onset, and respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, hematologic and hepatic failure were associated with death, but time to appropriate therapy >24 hours, age, and infection due to VRE were not. Multivariate analysis revealed that hematologic (OR 8.4, p = .025) and cardiovascular failure (OR 7.5, p = 032) independently predicted death.
Conclusion
In patients with enterococcal BSI, (1) the incidence of septic shock and organ failure is high, (2) patients with VRE BSI are not more acutely ill prior to infection than those with VSE BSI, and (3) the development of hematologic or cardiovascular failure independently predicts death.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-145
PMCID: PMC1592497  PMID: 17002792
6.  Comparison of severity of illness scoring systems for patients with nosocomial bloodstream infection due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Background
Several acute illness severity scores have been proposed for evaluating patients on admission to intensive care units but these have not been compared for patients with nosocomial bloodstream infection (nBSI). We compared three severity of illness scoring systems for predicting mortality in patients with nBSI due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Methods
We performed a historical cohort study on 63 adults in intensive care units with P. aeruginosa monomicrobial nBSI.
Results
The Acute Physiology, Age, Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II), Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA), and Simplified Acute Physiologic Score (SAPS II), were calculated daily from 2 days prior through 2 days after the first positive blood culture. Calculation of the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve confirmed that APACHE II and SAPS II at day -1 and SOFA at day +1 were better predictors of outcome than days -2, 0 and day 2 of BSI. By stepwise logistic regression analysis of these three scoring systems, SAPS II (OR: 13.03, CI95% 2.51–70.49) and APACHE II (OR: 12.51, CI95% 3.12–50.09) on day -1 were the best predictors for mortality.
Conclusion
SAPS II and APACHE II are more accurate than the SOFA score for predicting mortality in this group of patients at day -1 of BSI.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-132
PMCID: PMC1563469  PMID: 16916466
7.  Nosocomial bloodstream infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae: impact of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production on clinical outcome in a hospital with high ESBL prevalence 
Background
The frequency of ESBL producing Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infections (BSI) is high in Brazilian hospitals, however little is known regarding what role, if any, resistance plays in the expected outcome in hospitals with a high prevalence of these pathogens.
Methods
From 1996 to 2001, hospital acquired K. pneumoniae BSI were evaluated retrospectively. Each patient was included only once at the time of BSI. ESBL producing strains were identified using the E-test method. The association of variables with the mortality related to bacteremia was included in a stepwise logistic regression model.
Results
One hundred and eight hospital acquired K. pneumoniae BSI met criteria for inclusion. Fifty two percent were due to ESBL producing strains. The overall in-hospital mortality was 40.8%. Variables independently predicting death by multivariate analysis were the following: mechanical ventilation (p = 0.001), number of comorbidities (p = 0.003), antimicrobials prescribed before bacteremia (p = 0.01) and fatal underlying disease (p = 0.025).
Conclusion
Bacteremia due to ESBL producing K. pneumoniae strains was not an independent predictor for death in patients with BSI. An increased mortality in hospital-acquired BSI by K. pneumoniae was related to the requirement for mechanical ventilation, more than two comorbidities, the previous use of two or more antibiotics, and the presence of a rapidly fatal disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-24
PMCID: PMC1382232  PMID: 16478537
8.  Comparison of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome between monomicrobial and polymicrobial Pseudomonas aeruginosa nosocomial bloodstream infections 
Background
Some studies of nosocomial bloodstream infection (nBSI) have demonstrated a higher mortality for polymicrobial bacteremia when compared to monomicrobial nBSI. The purpose of this study was to compare differences in systemic inflammatory response and mortality between monomicrobial and polymicrobial nBSI with Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Methods
We performed a historical cohort study on 98 adults with P. aeruginosa (Pa) nBSI. SIRS scores were determined 2 days prior to the first positive blood culture through 14 days afterwards. Monomicrobial (n = 77) and polymicrobial BSIs (n = 21) were compared.
Results
78.6% of BSIs were caused by monomicrobial P. aeruginosa infection (MPa) and 21.4% by polymicrobial P. aeruginosa infection (PPa). Median APACHE II score on the day of BSI was 22 for MPa and 23 for PPa BSIs. Septic shock occurred in 33.3% of PPa and in 39.0% of MPa (p = 0.64). Progression to septic shock was associated with death more frequently in PPa (OR 38.5, CI95 2.9–508.5) than MPa (OR 4.5, CI95 1.7–12.1). Maximal SIR (severe sepsis, septic shock or death) was seen on day 0 for PPa BSI vs. day 1 for MPa. No significant difference was noted in the incidence of organ failure, 7-day or overall mortality between the two groups. Univariate analysis revealed that APACHE II score ≥20 at BSI onset, Charlson weighted comorbidity index ≥3, burn injury and respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and hematologic failure were associated with death, while age, malignant disease, diabetes mellitus, hepatic failure, gastrointestinal complications, inappropriate antimicrobial therapy, infection with imipenem resistant P. aeruginosa and polymicrobial nBSI were not. Multivariate analysis revealed that hematologic failure (p < 0.001) and APACHE II score ≥20 at BSI onset (p = 0.005) independently predicted death.
Conclusion
In this historical cohort study of nBSI with P. aeruginosa, the incidence of septic shock and organ failure was high in both groups. Additionally, patients with PPa BSI were not more acutely ill, as judged by APACHE II score prior to blood culture positivity than those with MPa BSI. Using multivariable logistic regression analysis, the development of hematologic failure and APACHE II score ≥20 at BSI onset were independent predictors of death; however, PPa BSI was not.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-5-94
PMCID: PMC1289283  PMID: 16259623

Results 1-8 (8)