Infectious Disease and Sepsis

Apr 192011

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]

Apr 182011

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]

Apr 182011

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]

Apr 182011

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]

Apr 172011

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]

Apr 162011

Death, long hospital stays, and treatment failures are more likely when vancomycin is used for MRSA bacteremia with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) > 1 mcg/mL. Lubin et al propose a clinical prediction rule to predict relative vancomycin resistance, based on a retrospective analysis of 272 patients with MRSA bacteremia at Tufts. Oversimplifying slightly: Having less [… read more]

Apr 152011

Patel et al ran 9,999 computer simulations using various vancomycin doses and MICs. When the MIC was 2.0 or greater, 2 g IV q12 hours failed to achieve target drug levels 57% of the time, with 35% predicted nephrotoxicity. But…it’s also true that multiple vancomycin models have been published, which are each internally valid using their own [… read more]

Apr 032011

Workshop on molecular diagnostics for respiratory tract infections: Procalcitonin shows promise as a biomarker for differentiating bacterial from viral pneumonias, and to assess response to therapy. Rapid PCR for MRSA in sputum may become available after further development & testing. Molecular tests for S. pneumonia in respiratory secretions currently are uninterpretable in practice, due to [… read more]

Mar 232011

(1–>3) Beta-D-glucan, or BDG, is a component of the cell wall of most fungi (not Zygomycetes or Cryptococcus though). Karageorgopoulos et al pooled 16 studies, including 2,979 patients with definite or likely fungal infections, that reported the test characteristics of serum BDG. The pooled sensitivity of serum BDG for invasive fungal infection was 77% and [… read more]