Archive for June 8, 2012

Realtime PCR is more sensitive than multiplex PCR for diagnosis and serotyping in children with culture negative pneumococcal invasive disease.

PLoS One. Feb. 2010 V.5 N.2 e9282.

Azzari C, Moriondo M, Indolfi G, Cortimiglia M, Canessa C, Becciolini L, Lippi F, de Martino M, Resti M.

Department of Pediatrics, Anna Meyer Children’s Hospital and University of Florence, Florence, Italy.



Pneumococcal serotyping is usually performed by Quellung reaction, considered the gold standard test. However the method cannot be used on culture-negative samples. Molecular methods can be a useful alternative. The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of Multiplex-sequential-PCR (MS-PCR) or Realtime-PCR on blood samples for diagnosis and serotyping of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in a pediatric clinical setting.


Sensitivity and specificity of MS-PCR and Realtime-PCR have been evaluated both on 46 well characterized pneumococcal isolates and on 67 clinical samples from children with culture-negative IPD. No difference in sensitivity and specificity between MS-PCR and Realtime PCR was found when the methods were used on isolates: both methods could type 100% isolates and the results were always consistent with culture-based methods. On the contrary, when used on clinical samples 43/67 (64.2%) were typeable by MS-PCR and 61/67 (91.0%) by Realtime-PCR (p = 0.0004,K Cohen 0.3, McNemar’s p<0.001). Non-typeability by MS-PCR was associated in 18/20 cases (90.0%) with low bacterial load. The difference between the two methods was present both when they were used on normally sterile fluids (respectively 31/33 (93.9%) typeable samples for Realtime-PCR and 24/33 (72.7%) for MS-PCR, p = 0.047, 95%CL 0.03-0.98; K Cohen 0.3; McNemar’s p = 0.0016) and when they were used on nasopharyngeal swabs (respectively 30/34 (88.2%) typeable samples for Realtime-PCR and 19/34 (55.9%) for MS-PCR, p = 0.007, 95%CL 0.04-0.66); the presence of multiple pneumococcal serotypes in nasopharyngeal swabs was found more frequently by Realtime PCR (19/30; 63.3%) than by Multiplex-sequential PCR (3/19; 15.8%; p = 0.003;95%CL 1.87-39.97).


In conclusion, both MS-PCR and Realtime PCR can be used for pneumococcal serotyping of most serotypes/serogroups directly on clinical samples from culture-negative patients but Realtime-PCR appears more sensitive.


June 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Influence of vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration on the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia.

Clin Infect Dis. January 15, 2008  V.46 N.2 P.193-200.

Soriano A, Marco F, Martínez JA, Pisos E, Almela M, Dimova VP, Alamo D, Ortega M, Lopez J, Mensa J.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



Vancomycin treatment failure in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia is not uncommon, even when MRSA is susceptible to vancomycin. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration has any influence on the mortality associated with MRSA bacteremia.


A total of 414 episodes of MRSA bacteremia were prospectively followed-up from 1991 through 2005. MIC of vancomycin for the first isolate was determined by E-test. Clinical variables recorded were age, comorbidity, prior administration of vancomycin, use of corticosteroids, prognosis of underlying disease, source of bacteremia, the need for mechanical ventilation, shock, and mortality. A “treatment group” variable was created and defined as follows: (1) receipt of empirical vancomycin and an isolate with a vancomycin MIC of 1 microg/mL (38 episodes), (2) receipt of empirical vancomycin and an isolate with a vancomycin MIC of 1.5 microg/mL (90 episodes), (3) receipt of empirical vancomycin and an isolate with a vancomycin MIC of 2 microg/mL (40 episodes), and (4) receipt of inappropriate empirical therapy (246 episodes). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.


Episodes caused by strains with a vancomycin MIC of 2 microg/mL were independently associated with a lower risk of shock (odds ratio [OR], 0.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.15-0.75). Multivariate analysis selected receipt of empirical vancomycin and an isolate with a vancomycin MIC of 2 microg/mL (OR, 6.39; 95% CI, 1.68-24.3), receipt of inappropriate empirical therapy (OR, 3.62; 95% CI, 1.20-10.9), increasing age (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.00-1.04), use of corticosteroids (OR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.04-3.29), an ultimately (OR, 10.2; 95% CI, 2.85-36.8) or rapidly (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.06-3.10) fatal underlying disease, high-risk (OR, 3.60; 95% CI, 1.89-6.88) and intermediate-risk (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.17-4.04) sources of bacteremia, and shock (OR, 7.38; 95% CI, 4.11-13.3) as the best predictors of mortality.


Mortality associated with MRSA bacteremia was significantly higher when the empirical antibiotic was inappropriate and when vancomycin was empirically used for treatment of infection with strains with a high vancomycin MIC (>1 microg/mL).


June 8, 2012 at 1:37 pm


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