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1.  Bloodstream infections and sepsis in Greece: over-time change of epidemiology and impact of de-escalation on final outcome 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:272.
Background
Choice of empirically prescribed antimicrobials for sepsis management depends on epidemiological factors. The epidemiology of sepsis in Greece was studied in two large-periods.
Methods
Sepsis due to bloodstream infections (BSI) from July 2006 until March 2013 was recorded in a multicenter study in 46 departments. Patients were divided into sepsis admitted in the emergencies and hospitalized in the general ward (GW) and sepsis developing after admission in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The primary endpoints were the changes of epidemiology and the factors related with BSIs by multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens; the secondary endpoint was the impact of de-escalation on antimicrobial therapy.
Results
754 patients were studied; 378 from 2006–2009 and 376 from 2010–2013. Major differences were recorded between periods in the GW. They involved increase of: sepsis severity; the incidence of underlying diseases; the incidence of polymicrobial infections; the emergence of Klebsiella pneumoniae as a pathogen; and mortality. Factors independently related with BSI by MDR pathogens were chronic hemofiltration, intake of antibiotics the last three months and residence into long-term care facilities. De-escalation in BSIs by fully susceptible Gram-negatives did not affect final outcome. Similar epidemiological differences were not found in the ICU; MDR Gram-negatives predominated in both periods.
Conclusions
The epidemiology of sepsis in Greece differs in the GW and in the ICU. De-escalation in the GW is a safe strategy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-272
PMCID: PMC4035827  PMID: 24885072
Bloodstream infections; Sepsis; De-escalation; Resistance
2.  Detrimental effect of apoptosis of lymphocytes at an early time point of experimental abdominal sepsis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:321.
Background
Apoptosis of lymphocytes is considered a late sequelum in the sepsis cascade. The role of apoptosis of lymphocytes as a driver of final outcome was investigated.
Methods
Abdominal sepsis was induced after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in 31 rabbits. Blood was sampled at serial time intervals and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated. Apoptosis of lymphocytes and monocytes was measured through flow cytometric analysis. PBMCs were stimulated with LPS and Pam3Cys for the release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα). Tissue bacterial growth was quantitatively measured. In a second set of experiments, CLP was performed in another 40 rabbits; 20 received single intravenous infusions of ciprofloxacin and of metronidazole 4 hours after surgery.
Results
Animals were divided into two groups based on the percentage of lymphocyte apoptosis at 4 hours after surgery; less than or equal to 32% and more than 32%. Survival of the former was shorter than the latter (p: 0.017). Tissue growth was similar between groups. Apoptosis of lymphocytes and of monocytes was lower in the former group over follow-up. Release of ΤNFα did not differ. The above findings on survival were repeated in the second set of experiments. Administration of antimicrobials prolonged survival of the former group (p: 0.039) but not of the latter group (pNS).
Conclusions
Lymphocyte apoptosis at an early time point of experimental peritonitis is a major driver for death. A lower percentage of apoptosis leads earlier to death. Antimicrobials were beneficial even at that disease state.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-321
PMCID: PMC3247197  PMID: 22099496
apoptosis; abdominal sepsis; survival; lymphocytes; antimicrobials
3.  TREM-1 expression on neutrophils and monocytes of septic patients: relation to the underlying infection and the implicated pathogen 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:309.
Background
Current knowledge on the exact ligand causing expression of TREM-1 on neutrophils and monocytes is limited. The present study aimed at the role of underlying infection and of the causative pathogen in the expression of TREM-1 in sepsis.
Methods
Peripheral venous blood was sampled from 125 patients with sepsis and 88 with severe sepsis/septic shock. The causative pathogen was isolated in 91 patients. Patients were suffering from acute pyelonephritis, community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), intra-abdominal infections (IAIs), primary bacteremia and ventilator-associated pneumonia or hospital-acquired pneumonia (VAP/HAP). Blood monocytes and neutrophils were isolated. Flow cytometry was used to estimate the TREM-1 expression from septic patients.
Results
Within patients bearing intrabdominal infections, expression of TREM-1 was significantly lower on neutrophils and on monocytes at severe sepsis/shock than at sepsis. That was also the case for severe sepsis/shock developed in the field of VAP/HAP. Among patients who suffered infections by Gram-negative community-acquired pathogens or among patients who suffered polymicrobial infections, expression of TREM-1 on monocytes was significantly lower at the stage of severe sepsis/shock than at the stage of sepsis.
Conclusions
Decrease of the expression of TREM-1 on the membrane of monocytes and neutrophils upon transition from sepsis to severe sepsis/septic shock depends on the underlying type of infection and the causative pathogen.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-309
PMCID: PMC3241479  PMID: 22050935
4.  Diagnostic value of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 and C-reactive protein for patients with lung infiltrates: an observational study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:286.
Background
Differential diagnosis of patients with lung infiltrates remains a challenge. Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-1 is a neutrophil and monocyte receptor up-regulated during infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of TREM-1 and of C-reactive protein (CRP) from patients with lung infiltrates to discern community acquired lung infections.
Methods
68 patients admitted to a medical ward with acute respiratory illness were enrolled in the study. Neutrophil and monocyte TREM-1 expression were measured by flow cytometry, sTREM-1 by an enzyme immunoassay and C-reactive protein by nephelometry. Clinical pulmonary infection score was recorded.
Results
34 patients were diagnosed with bacterial community acquired pneumonia (group A) and 34 with non-bacterial pulmonary disease (group B). Median serum TREM-1 concentration was 102.09 pg/ml in group A and lower than 15.10 pg/ml (p < 0.0001) in group B. Mean±SE neutrophil TREM-1 expression was 4.67 ± 0.53 MFI in group A and 2.64 ± 0.25 MFI (p = 0.001) in group B. Monocyte TREM-1 expression was 4.2 ± 0.42 MFI in group A and 2.64 ± 0.35 MFI (p = 0.007) in group B and mean±SE CRP was 18.03 ± 2 mg/ml in group A and 7.1 ± 1.54 mg/ml (p < 0.001) in group B. A cut-off of 19.53 pg/ml of sTREM-1 with sensitivity 82.6% and specificity 63% to discriminate between infectious and non-infectious pulmonary infiltrates was found. sTREM-1 at admission greater than 180 pg/ml was accompanied with unfavourable outcome.
Conclusion
TREM-1 myeloid expression and sTREM-1 are reliable markers of bacterial infection among patients with pulmonary infiltrates; sTREM-1 is a predictor of final outcome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-286
PMCID: PMC2955686  PMID: 20920231
5.  Kinetics of progenitor hemopoetic stem cells in sepsis: Correlation with patients survival? 
Background
Current theories underline the crucial role of pro-inflammatory mediators produced by monocytes for the pathogenesis of sepsis. Since monocytes derive from progenitor hemopoetic cells, the kinetics of stem cells was studied in peripheral blood of patients with sepsis.
Methods
Blood was sampled from 44 patients with septic syndrome due to ventilator-associated pneumonia on days 1, 3, 5 and 7 upon initiation of symptoms. Concentrations of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and G-CSF were estimated by ELISA. CD34/CD45 cells were determined after incubation with anti-CD45 FITC and anti-CD34 PE monocloncal antibodies and flow cytometric analysis. Samples from eight healthy volunteers served as controls.
Results
Median of CD34/CD45 absolute count of controls was 1.0/μl. Respective values of the total study population were 123.4, 112.4, 121.5 and 120.9/μl on days 1, 3, 5 and 7 (p < 0.0001 compared to controls). Positive correlations were found between the absolute CD34/CD45 count and the absolute monocyte count on days 1, 5 and 7. Survival was prolonged among patients with less than 310/μl CD34/CD45 cells on day 1 compared to those with more than 310/μl of CD34/CD45 cells (p: 0.022). Hazard ratio for death due to sepsis was 5.47 (p: 0.039) for CD34/CD45 cells more than 310/μl. Median IL-6 on day 1 was 56.78 and 233.85 pg/ml respectively for patients with less than 310/μl and more than 310/μl CD34/CD45 cells (p: 0.021).
Conclusion
Stem cells are increased in peripheral blood over all days of follow-up compared to healthy volunteers. Patients with counts on day 1 less than 310/μl are accompanied by increased survival compared to patients with more than 310/μl.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-142
PMCID: PMC1586204  PMID: 16981997
6.  Clarithromycin is an effective immunomodulator when administered late in experimental pyelonephritis by multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Background
To apply clarithromycin as an immunomodulatory treatment in experimental urosepsis by multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Methods
Acute pyelonephritis was induced in 40 rabbits after inoculation of the test isolate in the renal pelvis. Therapy was administered upon signs of sepsis in four groups: A, controls; B, intravenous clarithromycin; C, amikacin; and D, both agents. Survival and vital signs were recorded; blood was sampled for culture and estimation of pro-inflammatory mediators; monocytes were isolated for determination of apoptotic rate and ex vivo TNFα secretion. Quantitative cultures and biopsies of organs were performed after death.
Results
Increased rectal temperature and oxygen saturation were found in groups B and D compared to A and C. Mean survival of groups A, B, C and D was 2.65, 7.15, 4.25 and 8.70 days respectively. No differences were noted between groups concerning bacterial load in blood and tissues and serum endotoxins. Serum MDA and total caspase-3 activity of monocytes of group D decreased following treatment compared to other groups. Negative correlation was detected between cytoplasmic caspase-3 and ex vivo secretion of TNFα of blood monocytes of group A; similar correlation was not found for any other group. Pathology scores of liver and lung of group B were lower than group A.
Conclusion
Clarithromycin administered late in experimental urosepsis by multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa prolonged survival and ameliorated clinical findings. Its effect is probably attributed to immunomodulatory intervention on blood monocytes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-31
PMCID: PMC1397846  PMID: 16504031
7.  Immunomodulatory intervention in sepsis by multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa with thalidomide: an experimental study 
Background
Thalidomide is an inhibitor of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) that has been proven effective for the treatment of experimental sepsis by Escherichia coli. It was tested whether it might behave as an effective immunomodulator in experimental sepsis by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Methods
Sepsis was induced by the intraperitoneal injection of 1 × 108 cfu/kg inoculum of the test isolate in a total of 109 Wistar rats divided in three groups as follows: group A controls; group B administered seed oil 30 minutes before bacterial challenge; and group C administered 50 mg/kg of thalidomide diluted in seed oil 30 minutes before bacterial challenge. Blood was sampled for estimation of endotoxins (LPS), TNFα, interferon-gamma (IFNγ), nitric oxide (NO) and malondialdehyde (MDA). LPS was measured by the QCL-1000 LAL assay, TNFα and IFNγ by ELISA, NO by a colorimetric assay and MDA by the thiobarbiturate assay.
Results
Mean (± SE) survival of groups A, B and C were 18.60 ± 1.84, 12.60 ± 0.60 and 30.50 ± 6.62 hours (p of comparisons A to C equal to 0.043 and B to C equal to 0.002). Decreased TNFα and NO levels were found in sera of animals of group C compared to group A. Plasma levels of LPS, MDA and IFNγ did not differ between groups.
Conclusion
Intake of thalidomide considerably prolonged survival in experimental sepsis by MDR P.aeruginosa an effect probably attributed to decrease of serum TNFα.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-5-51
PMCID: PMC1185538  PMID: 15978135

Results 1-7 (7)