Bafadhel et al collected procalcitonin and CRP on 161 people admitted for COPD exacerbations, 96 for asthma exacerbations, and 62 for pneumonia (groups were discriminated by presence of consolidation on chest film), at 2 UK hospitals. The assays performed extremely well (area under the curve >0.93 for each) at differentiating pneumonia from non-infectious causes of [… read more]
Parasitic infections of the lung: a guide for the respiratory physician. Kunst H et al. Thorax 2011;66:528-536.
Singh et al’s meta-analysis of 13 randomized trials of pioglitazone or rosiglitazone lasting for at least one year. There were 130 pneumonias among the 8,163 treated patients, and 100 among the 9,464 controls, for a relative risk of 1.40 for the thiazolidinedione group (CI 1.1-1.8, p=0.01). Pioglitazone showed more of a signal with a significant RR of [… read more]
Evans et al attempted a meta-analysis of 9 randomized trials (7 in adults) testing prolonged (4 to 52 weeks) antibiotics in people with bronchiectasis. There was an improvement in “clinical response rate,” a poorly-defined endpoint, in 2 trials, but no difference in exacerbation rates or lung function. Emergence of resistant bacteria was not tested or [… read more]
Antibiotic dosing in multiple organ dysfunction syndrome: Ulldemolins et al, CHEST 2011;139:1210-1220.
Invasive aspergillosis is often lethal in lung transplant patients, and early diagnosis and treatment improve survival. Luong M et al showed that testing bronchoalveolar lavage fluid with new rapid-result Aspergillus PCR and galactomannan tests bring both sensitivity and specificity into the 93-100% range. 150 BAL samples from lung transplant patients at Pitt were tested (there were only [… read more]
Diagnostic value of halo and reversed-halo signs in immune-compromised hosts. Georgiadou SP et al, Clin Infect Dis 2011;52:1144-1155. Review.
Waters et al tested 136 meat and poultry samples in U.S. grocery stores, and found 77% of the turkey, 42% of pork, 41% of chicken, and 37% of beef were contaminated with S. aureus. 96% of the isolates were resistant to at least one drug, and 52% of isolates were resistant to 3 antibiotic classes. In the Netherlands, [… read more]
Using PCR testing on BAL fluid, Denning et al (in Manchester UK) found Aspergillus DNA in 4 of 11 (36%) healthy volunteers; 21 of 22 patients with culture/microscopy-proven invasive aspergillosis; and 70-80% of patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis or chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Culture was positive in none of the ABPA patients, and only 17% of the CPA [… read more]
De Smet et al reheat the data from their 2009 NEJM study, in which they cluster-randomized and crossed-over 5,939 patients staying >48hrs in 13 Dutch ICUs to receive either 1) standard care; 2) selective oropharyngeal decontamination (topical amphotericin B, colistin, and tobramycin in the oropharynx), or 3) selective digestive tract decontamination (the same drugs in the mouth, stomach, [… read more]
Pseudomonas pneumonia part II, antibiotic therapy, resistance, pharmacodynamics, Sun H et al, CHEST 2011;139:1172-1185. Review.
Four-drug therapy (RIPE) requires high patient commitment and imposes logistical demands on health systems in developing countries. Lienhardt et al report that a fixed-drug combination (FDC) of rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol was noninferior in producing negative cultures at 18 months compared to taking the drugs separately (both arms ~94% cure rate) in Africa, Asia and Latin [… read more]
Maki et al randomized 407 patients at 25 dialysis units to have their catheters “locked” for up to 6 months with either heparin, or “C-MB-P solution” (citric acid, methylene blue, and propylparaben). The patients getting the antimicrobial potion had a 0.29 relative risk for bloodstream infection (BSI) without loss of catheter patency. (n=407) Crit Care Med 2011;39:613-620.
A systematic review of 3 trials (n=337) by the Bed Head Elevation Study Group (not to be confused with the Bedhead photo group) found no good evidence that head-of-bed (HOB) elevation to 45′ helps or harms in any way (pneumonia, decubiti, mortality, VTE, or hemodynamic instability). Nevertheless, a consensus panel of 22 experts agrees with previous [… read more]
Interferon-gamma release assays in the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection: Herrera V, Clin Infect Dis 2011;52:1031-1037.
The MTB/RIF test is a rapid nucleic acid amplification test for TB. In a rollout in developing countries on 6,648 patients, the test was 90% sensitive for active TB, vs. 67% for smear microscopy (sputum culture was the gold standard). In smear-negative, culture-positive TB, the test was 77% sensitive and 99% specific. It also accurately detects rifampin [… read more]
After implementing an “MRSA bundle” in 2007 including nasal surveillance, contact precautions for positive patients, hand hygiene, and culture-indoctrination of employees, MRSA infections among all VA hospital ICUs fell from 1.64 to 0.62 per 1000 patient-days (a 62% reduction, p<0.001). MRSA infections on the wards fell from 0.47 to 0.26 per 1000 patient-days (45% reduction, [… read more]
Huskins et al cluster-randomized 18 ICUs to an intervention of surveillance cultures with contact precautions for positive patients, or a control of no cultures and universal precautions (gloves). The intervention ICUs used contact precautions more frequently (51% vs. 38%), but had the same MRSA/VRE colonization/infection rates, the primary endpoint (40 vs 35%, p=0.35). Clinician compliance [… read more]
Overt vancomycin resistance in MRSA is still unusual, but ID docs are worried about the bug’s rising minimum inhibitory concentrations in some regions, with MICs > 1 mcg/mL associated with worse outcomes. Kullar et al retrospectively looked at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital’s 5-year micro data in 320 patients with MRSA bacteremia, reporting a 52% rate [… read more]
Latent tuberculosis infection in the U.S.: Horsburgh CR, NEJM 2011;364:1441-1448