Abstract in English:The accuracy of antimicrobial susceptibility tests is a crucial step for the clinical management of patients with serious infections. They must be reliable and precise because they will guide antimicrobial therapy. Our main objective was to compare the results of susceptibility testing performed by the SENTRY coordinator laboratory with those reported by the participating Latin American medical centers. A total of 10,277 bacterial isolates were tested by the reference broth microdilution method at the coordinator laboratory in the United States. The tests were performed and interpreted following the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS) recommendations. Ten antimicrobial agent-organism combinations were analyzed. The susceptibility methods utilized in each of the medical centers were also evaluated. Total agreement of the results was obtained in nearly 88% of the antimicrobial agent-organism combinations. "Very major" (false-susceptible results) and "major errors" (false-resistant results) were observed in 12% and 6% of the cases, respectively. The highest disagreements were observed for coagulase-negative Staphylococcus - oxacillin (20% - very major error) and Burkholderia cepacia - imipenem (21% - very major error). The susceptibility method with the highest agreement rate was Etest® (92%) > PASCO® (91%) > agar dilution (91%) > MicroScan® (90%) > Vitek® (87%). External quality assurance data obtained by surveillance programs such as the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program are not only helpful for detecting the emergence of patterns of antimicrobial resistance, but also to monitor the performance of the participating microbiology laboratories.
Abstract in English:There are various strategies to improve the effectiveness of antibiotics in hospitals. In general, the implementation of guidelines for appropriate antibiotic therapy and the participation of infectious disease (ID) physicians deserve considerable attention. This study was a prospective ecological time-series study that evaluates the effectiveness of the ID physician's opinion to rationalize and control the use of antibiotics in medical-surgical intensive care units (ICU), and the impact of their intervention on treatment expenditures. There was significant change in the pattern of use of antimicrobials, this pattern approximating that of a medical-surgical ICU that participates in the ICARE (Intensive Care Antimicrobial Resistance Epidemiology) Project. For example, there was a significant increase in the consumption of antimicrobials of the ampicillin group (Relative Risk [RR]=3.39; 95% CI: 2.34-4.91) and antipseudomonal penicillins (RR=2.89; 95% CI: 1.70-4.92). On the other hand, there was a significant reduction in the consumption of 3rd/4th generation cephalosporins (RR=0.66; 95% CI: 0.57-0.77) and carbapenems (RR=0.43; 95% CI: 0.33-0.56). On average, for every patient-day antibiotic expense was reduced 37.2% during calendar year 2001, when compared with 2000. The ID specialists' opinion and the adoption of guidelines for empirical antibiotic therapy of hospital-acquired pneumonia contributed to a reduction in the use of antimicrobials in medical-surgical ICU. However, further studies that have more control over confounding variables are needed to help determine the relevance of these discoveries.
Abstract in English:In order to study the prevalence of Group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS) pharyngotonsillitis in our pediatric population and to compare different sampling methods of GABHS detection, oropharyngeal swabs from 50 children with acute pharyngotonsillitis, between 1 and 12 years old, were used simultaneously for culture, molecular assay and rapid GABHS antigen detection tests. All children were clinically examined at the Division of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology of the Federal University of São Paulo. Diagnostic criteria were based on signs and symptoms, including sore throat, fever and oropharyngeal purulent secretion. Children that had been treated with antibiotics were excluded. Overall, combining the three methods, the prevalence of GABHS was 34%. GABHS was diagnosed in 30% of the bacterial cultures, in 25% of the samples tested with the molecular nucleic acid hybridization method and in 26% of the cases tested with the rapid antigen detection test. There was no significant difference between these three methods.
Abstract in English:We documented the types and degree of functional disability in 74 patients with AIDS at the Hospital de Clínicas of the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil. Few of these patients are referred for rehabilitation services and there is only a limited team approach in their care. We found that 91% of the patients had some degree of functional impairment; in 81% the complaint was weakness and in 47% it was neurological involvement. According to the Barthel Index, 79% were considered functionally independent, 14% partially dependent and 7% dependent. For most of them, independence requires effort and their quality of life is reduced. Severe disability was rather unusual, while mild or moderate disability levels were not. The functional physical disability found in 21% of the patients required management by a rehabilitation team. We conclude that it is important to focus attention on the quality of life of patients with AIDS.
Abstract in English:Adherence is the milestone of a successful therapy. Over the last decade several authors have addressed the importance of adherence for optimal results of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. Many health care systems are investing substantial resources to make available contemporary antiretroviral therapy. Despite the large investment in medications, insufficient investments have been made into an integrated adherence component to maximize the impact of these medications. Adherence, unlike drug therapy, cannot be defined as a single method with a defined prescription or formula. Instead, it is the result of a complex interaction between the patient, a prescribed medication and the health system. Many reports are available analyzing each of these components. We have found that critical elements of adherence include the patient's knowledge about the disease and how medications will help achieve a longer and healthier life, together with the motivation to adapt to a new style of life. A trilogy composed of information, motivation and behavioral skills is essential to achieve the maximum desired level of adherence. We have computerized this trilogy in a software program for self-administration in which each of the three components is provided to the patient as many times as necessary to transmit an understanding of the problem and to help make a rational decision to adhere to the ARV treatment program. In this review we analyze several efforts and techniques to improve adherence to any recommended medication that may interfere with the patient's lifestyle and outline how the adherence trilogy can be best used to optimize the ability of ARV therapy to durably suppress plasma HIV RNA to undetectable levels.
Abstract in English:Acute bacterial meningitis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among children less than five years old. Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the most important agents of bacterial meningitis in developing countries. The development of the conjugate vaccines in the beginning of the 90's, especially type b H. influenzae (Hib), and more recently the heptavalent pneumococcal and the serogroup C meningococcal vaccines, have contributed directly to changes in the epidemiological profile of these invasive diseases (direct effect) and of their carriage status (indirect effect). We review the impact of the Hib conjugate vaccine in Latin American countries, where this vaccine has been implemented, and the potential of pneumococcal and meningococcal conjugate vaccines for the reduction of meningitis worldwide. We also address constraints for the development and delivery of these vaccines and review new candidate state-of-the-art vaccines. The greatest challenge, undoubtedly, is to implement these vaccines worldwide, especially in the developing regions.
Abstract in English:We evaluated the clinical presentation and determined the ocular and neurologic sequelae in children with congenital toxoplasmosis in Brazil, taking into consideration the shortage of national publications on this disease. Follow-up evaluations were made of 43 children with congenital toxoplasmosis referred to Santa Casa de São Paulo, during a period of at least five years. Selection of the cases was based in clinical and laboratory criteria. A clear predominance of children with subclinical presentation of the disease at birth (88%) was found. Of the 43 children, 22 (51%) developed neurological manifestations. Using skull radiography, we detected neuroradiologic alterations in seven children (16%) and with tomography in 33 children (77%). Neurological sequelae were identified in 15 children (54%) in the group with cerebral calcifications and in 7 (47%) in the group without cerebral calcifications. We observed chorioretinitis in 95% of the cases. Reactivation of cicatricial lesions and the emergence of new ocular lesions were observed in five cases. The most frequent neurological manifestation was a delay in neuropsychomotor development. Most remarkable was the finding that cerebral calcifications were not associated with a higher incidence of neurological sequelae among the children. Chorioretinitis was the main ocular sequel of the infection, found in nearly all children; it can manifest years from birth, even in children submitted to specific therapy during the first year of life, highlighting the importance of a follow-up of these children.
Abstract in English:An evaluation was made of the diagnostic efficacy and utility of the Parasight-F test in diagnosing Plasmodium falciparum malaria, compared with conventional microscopy, particularly in severe and complicated cases. This study was designed as a prospective, case control hospital-based study. Febrile patients suspected to be suffering from malaria were selected randomly and were subjected to peripheral smear examinations (thick and thin) and Parasight-F tests till the required number of at least 30 cases of P. falciparum infection were identified, including at least 15 complicated cases. In addition 20 cases of P. vivax malarial infection as well as 20 healthy age and sex-matched individuals were taken as two control groups. The outcome measure was the number of cases with positive Parasight-F test results compared with conventional microscopy. Thirty-two patients with P. falciparum malaria were identified, with 15 severe and complicated cases. Peripheral smears were positive in 29 (91%) of these, while parasight-F test was positive in 31 out of 32 (97%) cases. Parasites were detected only by bone marrow examination in one case. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of peripheral smears for detecting falciparum infection were 90.6% and 100% respectively while that of the Parasight-F test were 96.8% and 100%, respectively (P>.05). The Parasight-F test has high sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing P. falciparum malarial infection, comparable to or even higher than microscopy exams, particularly in severe and complicated cases, with additional advantages of speed, simplicity and objectivity.
Abstract in English:Helicobacter pylori plays an important role in the etiology of peptic ulcer disease. Its prevalence appears to be higher in developing countries. We evaluated the seroprevalence of H. pylori and risk factors associated with infection in voluntary blood donors who attended the main blood center of the city of Salvador, Brazil. The subjects responded to an epidemiological questionnaire, with information about sex, age, race, lifestyle, social-economic level indicators, and residence and hygiene conditions. Anti-H. pylori antibody was determined by ELISA (Cobas Core, Roche). Three hundred and seven subjects were included in the study. Anti-H. pylori antibody results were indeterminate in 33 individuals (10.8%), who were excluded from analysis. Among the remaining 274 subjects, 187 (68.2%) were anti-H. pylori positive. Based on multivariate logistic regression analysis three variables were found to be significantly associated with a higher prevalence of H. pylori infection: absence of plumbing in the residence during childhood, a history of rainwater invading the dwelling during childhood, and low ingestion of milk.
Abstract in English:Patients with AIDS have a high incidence of skin problems due to the immunosuppression and malnourishment that are inherent to the progression of this disease. Clinical manifestation of these skin lesions and their severity are different in AIDS patients. We made a prospective study of five cases of measles in children with HIV infection during a community outbreak, and there were typical as well as atypical forms of the disease, including one case with negative serology. There were pulmonary complications, but none of the patients died. The anti-retroviral treatment may have contributed to the decrease in measles morbidity in these pediatric AIDS patients.
Abstract in English:We describe a treatment made with interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) plus ribavirin of two patients with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) induced by hepatitis C virus (HCV): Case 1 was a 22-year-old woman with leg and facial edema, hypertension and proteinuria, whose liver biopsy revealed chronic active hepatitis; and Case 2 was a 42-year-old man with anasarca, hypertension and proteinuria, whose liver biopsy indicated cirrhosis. Both had anti-HCV, HCV-RNA and cryoglobulins. IFN-alpha (3 million units (MU), 3 times/week) and ribavirin (1 g/day) were administered for 12 months. The drugs were well tolerated by both patients. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels normalized and HCV-RNA became negative. Cryoglobulins disappeared and an improvement in renal disease was seen after 6 months of therapy. However, after 9 months, Case 2 presented ALT elevation, and proteinuria was detected. Two years after the end of therapy, both patients were negative in repeated HCV-RNA and cryoglobulin tests. Case 1 was asymptomatic, with normal liver and renal tests, and Case 2 had normal blood pressure, with mild edema of the ankles. Based on the evolution of these two cases, the association of IFN-alpha and ribavirin may be a therapeutic option for patients with MPGN related to HCV.