Publications by authors named "Chun-Yuan Lee"

27 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

High prevalence of unawareness of HCV infection status among both HCV-seronegative and seropositive people living with human immunodeficiency virus in Taiwan.

PLoS One 2021 6;16(5):e0251158. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Objectives: HCV infection status awareness is crucial in the HCV care continuum for both HCV-seropositive (HCV-positive status awareness) and seronegative (HCV-negative status awareness) populations. However, trends in the unawareness of HCV infection status (UoHCV) remain unknown in HIV-positive patients. This study investigated UoHCV prevalence, the associated factors of UoHCV, and its association with HCV-related knowledge in HIV-positive patients.

Methods: For this cross-sectional, multicenter, questionnaire-based study, 844 HIV-infected participants were recruited from three hospitals in Taiwan from June 2018 to March 2020. Participants were grouped by HCV serostatus (HCV-seronegative [n = 734] and HCV-seropositive [n = 110]) and categorized by their HIV diagnosis date (before 2008, 2008-2013, and 2014-2020). Exploratory factor analysis was used to categorize the 15 items of HCV-related knowledge into three domains: route of HCV transmission, HCV course and complications, and HCV treatment.

Results: The prevalence of UoHCV was 58.7%-62.6% and 15.1%-31.3% in the HCV-seronegative and HCV-seropositive groups, respectively, across 3 periods. More participants with UoHCV believed that HCV infection was only contracted by intravenous injection. In the HCV-seropositive group, participants with UoHCV were more likely to have HIV diagnosis before 2008 (vs. 2014-2020), be men who have sex with men (vs. people who inject drugs), and have hepatitis A virus seronegativity. In the HCV-seronegative group, participants with UoHCV were more likely to have a recent history of sexually transmitted diseases, but had a lower education level, had received less information on HCV infection from clinicians, and were less likely to have heard of HCV infection prior to the research. UoHCV was associated with lower scores for three domains of HCV-related knowledge in both groups.

Conclusions: The negative association of UoHCV with HCV-related knowledge suggests that strategies targeting patients according to their HCV serostatus should be implemented to reduce UoHCV and eradicate HCV infection among HIV-positive patients.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0251158PLOS
May 2021

Changing Pattern of Chemsex Drug Use Among Newly Diagnosed HIV-Positive Taiwanese from 2015 to 2020 in the Era of Treat-All Policy.

AIDS Patient Care STDS 2021 04;35(4):134-143

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Chemsex drug use (CDU) is a frequent, yet neglected issue in the era of treat-all policy. We evaluated the temporal pattern of CDU, factors associated with CDU, and drug-drug interactions (DDIs) between chemsex drugs and initial antiretroviral therapy (ART) by surveying 621 Taiwanese individuals (mean age: 29.7 years; 99.2% men; 92.9% men who have sex with men) diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) from 2015 to 2020 [2015 to 2016 (period 1), 2017 to 2018 (period 2), and 2019 to 2020 (period 3)]. CDU was defined as chemsex in the past 1 year before HIV diagnosis. CDU remained prevalent across three periods (34.3-30.5%). Among CDU, methamphetamine (43.4%) was most frequently used, followed by amphetamine (40.0%) and poppers (various alkyl nitrites) (39.5%). We identified significantly increasing amphetamine use (37.0-61.5%) and decreasing ecstasy (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) use (32.1-17.9%) in CDU across three periods. Besides, polydrug chemsex also significantly increased in CDU across three periods (23.5-43.6%), with amphetamine plus gamma-hydroxybutyrate being the most commonly used combination. CDU was associated with multiple sexual partners and a history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). DDIs between chemsex drugs and initial ART remained stable across three periods (10.6-7.8%), with cobicistat/elvitegravir and methamphetamine most common combination. In summary, the magnitude of CDU remained high across 2015-2020 in Taiwan, causing DDIs with initial ART agents. Strategies to reduce the frequency of high-risk sexual practices, STD transmission, and DDIs for newly diagnosed HIV-positive patients engaging in chemsex should be implemented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/apc.2020.0246DOI Listing
April 2021

Real-World Experience with Coformulated Ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir for HIV-Positive Patients with HCV Genotype 2 Infection: A Multicenter, Retrospective Study.

Infect Dis Ther 2021 Jun 18;10(2):827-838. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.

Introduction: While coformulated ledipasvir (90 mg)/sofosbuvir (400 mg) (LDV/SOF) is approved for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 (GT2) infection in Taiwan, Japan, and New Zealand, data regarding its use for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)-positive patients infected with HCV GT2 are sparse. We aimed to assess the effectiveness and tolerability of LDV/SOF for HIV-positive patients with HCV GT2 coinfection.

Methods: From January 2019 to July 2020, consecutive HIV-positive Taiwanese patients infected with HCV GT2 who received LDV/SOF were retrospectively included for analysis. The effectiveness was determined by sustained virologic response 12 weeks off-therapy (SVR12).

Results: Of the 114 patients (mean age, 38.6 years) initiating LDV/SOF during the study period, 0.9% had liver cirrhosis and 4.4% were HCV treatment-experienced. All patients had estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) > 30 ml/min/1.73 m and were receiving antiretroviral therapy with 98.2% having CD4 counts ≥ 200 cells/mm and 93.9% plasma HIV RNA load < 50 copies/ml. Antiretrovirals prescribed included tenofovir alafenamide/emtricitabine in 42.1%, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)/emtricitabine 18.4%, other nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) 39.5%, non-NRTIs 12.3%, protease inhibitors 13.2%, and integrase inhibitors 74.6%. All patients had undetectable plasma HCV RNA load at the end of treatment, and 96.5% achieved SVR12 in intention-to-treat analysis. The on-treatment eGFR decline was more pronounced in those receiving TDF-containing antiretroviral therapy (mean change, - 8.33 ml/min/1.73 m), which was reversible after discontinuation of LDV/SOF. None of the patients interrupted LDV/SOF during the 12-week treatment course.

Conclusion: Similar to the response observed among HIV-negative patients, LDV/SOF is effective for HIV-positive patients coinfected with HCV GT2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40121-021-00424-8DOI Listing
June 2021

Cascade Analysis of Anonymous Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing Among Patients with HIV Infection in Taiwan.

AIDS Patient Care STDS 2020 07;34(7):303-315

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

Despite successful implementation of anonymous voluntary human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing (aVCT) in Taiwan, the trend of late HIV presentation in sexually active populations has remained unchanged in Taiwan over the past decade. We evaluated the effect and acceptance of an aVCT cascade program among Taiwanese individuals by surveying 572 participants (mean age: 29.6 years; 99.3% men; and 79.5% same-sex sexual contact) diagnosed with HIV/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) from 2015 to 2019. We designed a five-stage continuum based on acceptance of the program before HIV diagnosis: at high risk of HIV infection (Stage 1), heard of aVCT (Stage 2), wants to receive aVCT (Stage 3), has received aVCT (Stage 4), and regularly receives aVCT (Stage 5). Four domains established from exploratory factor analysis described reasons for inability to reach the next aVCT stage: low perceived HIV risk, fear of testing positive because of discrimination/stigmatization, and structural barriers to aVCT. Regular aVCT (vs. never receiving aVCT) protected against AIDS on diagnosis ( < 0.001). There were no significant differences in program acceptance across 2015-2019. However, uptake reduced markedly across the program; the largest reduction (37.4.0-61.0%) occurred from Stage 4 to Stage 5. Fear of testing positive because of discrimination/stigmatization was the main reason for not proceeding to the next aVCT stage. Although the findings indicate the benefits of regular aVCT for early HIV diagnosis, additional strategies to reduce fear of negative social consequences of HIV infection are prioritized to optimize aVCT in Taiwan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/apc.2020.0044DOI Listing
July 2020

Ongoing transmission of Entamoeba histolytica among newly diagnosed people living with HIV in Taiwan, 2009-2018.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 06 12;14(6):e0008400. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.

Recent outbreaks of enterically transmitted infections, including acute hepatitis A and shigellosis, have raised the concerns of increasing Entamoeba histolytica infection (EHI) among people living with HIV (PLWH) in Taiwan. This study investigated the prevalence of EHI, its temporal trends, and associated factors among newly diagnosed PLWH in Taiwan. Medical records of newly diagnosed PLWH at six medical centers in Taiwan between 2009 and 2018 were reviewed. The annual prevalence of invasive amoebiasis and seroprevalence of E. histolytica were determined and examined by the Cochran-Armitage test. The clinical characteristics associated with invasive amoebiasis and seropositivity for E. histolytica were analyzed in multivariable regression models. Among 5362 patients seeking HIV care at six medical centers in Taiwan during the 10-year study period, 119 (2.2%) had invasive amoebiasis at the time or within six months of their HIV diagnosis. Among 3499 who had indirect hemagglutination antibody (IHA) determined, 284 (8.1%) had positive IHA (≥1:32) and 205 (5.9%) had high-titre IHA (≥1:128). The prevalence of invasive amoebiasis increased from 1.3% in 2012 to 3.3% in 2018 (p = 0.024). Invasive amoebiasis was independently associated with a greater age, men who have sex with men, rapid plasma reagin titre ≥1:4, and concurrent shigellosis and giardiasis. Increasing prevalence of invasive amoebiasis among newly diagnosed PLWH in Taiwan calls for strategies to prevent ongoing transmission in this population. Routine screening of EHI for early diagnosis and treatment is recommended, especially among men who have sex with men and those who present with other sexually or enterically transmitted infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7314233PMC
June 2020

Determining the clinical characteristics and prognostic factors for the outcomes of Japanese encephalitis in adults: A multicenter study from southern Taiwan.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2019 Dec 28;52(6):893-901. Epub 2019 Sep 28.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan; Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Background: In Southeast Asia, Japanese encephalitis (JE) is an important cause of viral encephalitis which may cause severe neurological sequelae. JE affects mostly children; therefore, clinical presentations and prognosis of adult JE patients are seldom addressed. This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and prognostic factors for the outcome of adult JE patients.

Methods: Medical records of adult JE patients with acute encephalitis syndrome during 2001-2018 from five medical centers in southern Taiwan were reviewed. Clinical characteristics, brain images, and prognostic factors for outcomes were analyzed. Patients were divided into the good outcome (GO) group and poor outcome (PO) group according to their Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores (GCS >8 vs. ≤ 8) at discharge.

Results: Sixty-eight patients (men, 61.8%; median age, 50 years) were included. Summer is the epidemic season, and the number of cases peaked in June. The most common symptoms at initial presentation were altered consciousness and fever (both 94.1%), followed by headache (51.4%). The most commonly involved brain regions were thalamus (55.7%) and basal ganglion (37.7%). The median GCS score at nadir was 8, and the median time from onset to nadir was five days. Fifty-two patients were included in the GO group, while 16 were included in the PO group. On multivariate analysis, flaccidity, rigidity, and elevated CSF protein level were identified as independent prognostic factors for PO.

Conclusion: Initial clinical presentations of abnormal muscle tone including flaccidity, rigidity and high CSF protein levels are independent prognostic factors for PO in adult JE patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2019.08.010DOI Listing
December 2019

Short- and Long-term Risks of Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment with Incident Opportunistic Infections among People Living with HIV/AIDS.

Sci Rep 2019 03 5;9(1):3476. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Center for Infectious Disease and Cancer Research, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) causes a rapid increase of CD4 + T cells counts during the first 3-6 months of treatment and may enhance the development of opportunistic infections (OIs). However, the short- and long-term effects of HAART exposure on the development of incident OIs has not been extensively studied. This nationwide longitudinal study followed up a total of 26,258 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) to ascertain the short- and long-term effects of HAART on incident OIs. During 150,196 person-years of follow-up, 6,413 (24.4%) PLWHA had new onset of OIs. After adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, and AIDS status, PLWHA who received HAART were more likely to develop OIs than those who did not receive HAART. Considering the short- and long-term effects of HAART on the development of OIs, HAART was found to be a risk factor for developing OIs during the first 90 days of treatment, but a protective factor against OIs after 180 days of HAART use. The risk for the development of active OIs significantly decreased as the duration of HAART increased (P < 0.001). Our study suggests that HAART is a risk factor for developing OIs in the short term, but is a protective factor in the long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39665-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6400900PMC
March 2019

Changing Spectrum of Opportunistic Illnesses among HIV-Infected Taiwanese Patients in Response to a 10-Year National Anti-TB Programme.

J Clin Med 2019 Feb 1;8(2). Epub 2019 Feb 1.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung 81362, Taiwan.

The current trends and spectrum of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related opportunistic illnesses (AOIs) among newly diagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients after the implementation of the 2006⁻2015 national anti-tuberculosis (TB) programmes in Taiwan remain unknown. We retrospectively reviewed 1757 patients at two centres in southern Taiwan between 2001 and 2015. Based on the anti-TB programme, patients were classified into periods 1 (2001⁻2005), 2 (2006⁻2010), and 3 (2011⁻2015). We further analysed factors associated with (MTB) at presentation and during follow-up. The overall AOI incidence rate (23.6%) remained unchanged across the periods, with 81.4% of AOIs occurring at presentation. pneumonia was the leading AOI across the periods. MTB declined significantly from period 1 to period 3 (39.3% vs. 9.3%). Age and CD4+ cell count <200 cells/µL (vs. ≥501) were the risk factors associated with MTB at presentation, whereas period 2/3 (vs. period 1) was the protective factor. Intravenous drug use (vs. homosexual contact) was the risk factor associated with MTB during follow-up, and period 3 (vs. period 1) was the protective factor. AOI statistics in Taiwan must be closely monitored for fluctuations. Although MTB decreased substantially after implementation of the anti-TB programmes, additional efforts to reduce MTB are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8020163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406803PMC
February 2019

Microbiology of peritoneal dialysis-related infection and factors of refractory peritoneal dialysis related peritonitis: A ten-year single-center study in Taiwan.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2019 Oct 8;52(5):752-759. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Taiwan; College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Department of Biological Science and Technology, College of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, Hsin Chu, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Background: Peritoneal dialysis (PD)-related infection is a serious complication of patients with PD. Refractory peritonitis may lead to failure of PD, shift to hemodialysis (HD) or death. Besides, microbiologic resistance increased worldwide that might impact the treatment choice for such infections. Investigating the causative pathogens and risk factors of PD-related infections in Taiwan was warranted.

Methods: This is a retrospective study involving patients with PD from 2007 to 2016 in a southern Taiwan hospital. Patient characteristics, microbiological data, outcomes, and factors associated with refractory peritonitis were analyzed.

Results: There were 190 episodes of PD-related peritonitis in 110 patients from this cohort. Gram-positive organisms were the leading cause of PD-related peritonitis, but gram-negative organisms, esp. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, were predominant for exit site infection and tunnel infection. The incidence of peritonitis was 0.25 episode per patient-year (1 episode per 47.69 months). The refractory rate was 14.2% (27/190). Methicillin resistance was noted in 2 (13.3%) of 15 Staphylococcus aureus isolates. Of 114 isolates, 72.8% (83) were susceptible to either cefazolin or gentamicin. Staphylococcus spp. and Escherichia coli infections were significantly associated with refractory peritonitis. Baseline hyponatremia (<130 mmol/L) was independently associated with refractory peritonitis.

Conclusion: Gram-positive organisms remained major cause of PD-related peritonitis. About three quarters of causative pathogens were susceptible to the recommended empirical treatment for PD-related peritonitis. Baseline hyponatremia (<130 mmol/L) was independently associated with refractory peritonitis. Staphylococcus spp. and E. coli infections had important roles for refractory peritonitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2018.10.013DOI Listing
October 2019

AIDS-related opportunistic illnesses and early initiation of HIV care remain critical in the contemporary HAART era: a retrospective cohort study in Taiwan.

BMC Infect Dis 2018 07 28;18(1):352. Epub 2018 Jul 28.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, 386 Ta-Chung 1st Rd., Kaohsiung, 813, Taiwan.

Background: No study has reported the epidemiology of AIDS-related opportunistic illnesses (AOIs) in patients with newly diagnosed HIV infection in Taiwan in the past decade. Understanding the current trends in AOI-related morbidity/mortality is essential in improving patient care and optimizing current public health strategies to further reduce AOIs in Taiwan in the era of contemporary highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

Methods: Eligible patients were evaluated at two referral centers between 2010 and 2015. The patients were stratified by date of diagnosis into three periods: 2010-2011, 2012-2013, and 2014-2015. The demographics, HIV stage at presentation according to the United States CDC 2014 case definition, laboratory variables, and the occurrence of AOIs and associated outcomes were compared among the patients. Logistic regression and Cox regression were respectively used to identify variables associated with the occurrence of AOIs within 90 days of HIV enrollment and all-cause mortality.

Results: Over a mean observation period of 469 days, 1264 patients with newly diagnosed HIV with a mean age of 29 years and mean CD4 count of 275 cells/μL experienced 394 AOI episodes in 290 events. At presentation, 37.7% of the patients had AIDS; the frequency did not significantly differ across groups. The overall proportion of AOIs within the study period was 21.0%, and no decline across groups was observed. The majority of AOIs (91.7%) developed within 90 days of enrollment. All-cause and AOI-related mortality did not significantly differ across groups. Throughout the three study periods, AOIs remained the main cause of death (47/56, 83.9%), especially within 180 days of enrollment (40/42, 95.2%). A CD4 cell count of < 200 cells/μL at presentation was associated with increased adjusted odds of an AOI within 90 days [adjusted odds ratio, 40.84; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 12.59-132.49] and an elevated adjusted hazard of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 11.03; 95% CI, 1.51-80.64).

Conclusions: Despite efforts toward HIV prevention and management, early HIV care in Taiwan continues to be critically affected by AOI-related morbidity and mortality in the era of contemporary HAART. Additional targeted interventions are required for the earlier diagnosis of patients with HIV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-018-3251-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6064097PMC
July 2018

Risk of Diffuse Infiltrative Lymphocytosis Syndrome in HIV-Infected Patients: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2018 10;79(2):158-163

Center for Infectious Disease and Cancer Research, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Objective: Diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome (DILS) is the term used for sicca syndrome in HIV patients and has similar clinical manifestations as Sjögren syndrome. In this nationwide population-based study, we aimed to determine the association between HIV infection and DILS in the Taiwanese population.

Methods: The National Health Insurance Research Database was searched for cases of DILS in HIV-infected individuals diagnosed between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2012. The incidence of DILS and the factors associated with DILS in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) were determined.

Results: A total of 20,364 PLWHA were followed, and 57 (0.28%) individuals had new-onset DILS. The incidence rate of DILS in PLWHA was 0.56/1000 person-years. One (0.11%) female HIV patient with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and 24 (2.99%) without HAART had incident DILS, whereas 22 (0.17%) male HIV patients with HAART and 10 (0.17%) without HAART had incident DILS. Hypertension increased the risk of incident DILS. HAART decreased the risk of DILS, but this relationship somewhat attenuated in an adjusted model. None of the patients taking emtricitabine, raltegravir, darunavir, enfuvirtide, or tipranavir developed DILS. Lopinavir was associated with a decreased risk of DILS (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.10, 95% confidence interval: 0.01 to 0.84), whereas zalcitabine was associated with an increased risk of DILS (adjusted hazard ratio = 13.7, 95% confidence interval: 2.18 to 85.9).

Conclusions: DILS is a rare disease found in PLWHA. Hypertension is a risk factor for incident DILS, and HAART could affect the pathogenesis of DILS. Zalcitabine was the only antiretroviral agent found to increase the risk of DILS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000001802DOI Listing
October 2018

AIDS incidence trends at presentation and during follow-up among HIV-at-risk populations: a 15-year nationwide cohort study in Taiwan.

BMC Public Health 2018 05 3;18(1):589. Epub 2018 May 3.

Center for Infectious Disease and Cancer Research (CICAR), Kaohsiung Medical University, No.100, Tzyou 1st Road, Kaohsiung, 807, Taiwan.

Background: Although Taiwan has implemented several important interventions for various HIV-at-risk populations to combat the HIV epidemic, little is known regarding AIDS incidence at presentation and during follow-up among the various HIV-at-risk populations in Taiwan. A better understanding of AIDS incidence trends would help improve patient care and optimize public health strategies aimed at further decreasing HIV-related morbidity and mortality.

Methods: Data from Taiwan Centers for Disease Control-operated Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System and Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (1998-2012) was divided into five cohort periods (consecutive 3-year groups). Logistic regression was employed to identify factors associated with AIDS incidence at presentation. Time-dependent Cox regression was used to identify factors associated with AIDS incidence during the follow-up period.

Results: Of 22,665 patients [mean age: 32 years; male (93.03%)], 6210 (27.4%) had AIDS incidence over 2 (1.16) [median (interquartile range)] years of follow-up. AIDS developed in ≤3 months of HIV diagnosis in 73.6% AIDS patients. AIDS incidence trends at presentation and during follow-up differed according to HIV transmission routes over the five periods: AIDS at presentation increased in the sexual contact groups (P < 0.001 for homosexuals/heterosexuals; 0.648 for bisexuals) but decreased to a nadir in period 3 and then increased slightly in period 5 (P < 0.001) in people who injected drugs (PWIDs). AIDS incidence during the follow-up period increased from period 1 to a peak in period 3 or 4, before declining slightly in period 5, in the sexual contact groups (P < 0.001 for homosexuals/heterosexuals; 0.549 for bisexuals). However, it increased throughout the five periods in PWIDs (P < 0.001). Older age, sexual contact group versus PWIDs, high versus low income level, cohort periods, and HIV diagnosis regions helped predict AIDS at presentation and during follow-up.

Conclusions: Disparities in AIDS incidence trends in various HIV-at-risk populations reflect different sociodemographic variables of HIV exposure and the adopted HIV prevention strategies. This study suggests the urgent need for tailored strategies aimed at specific populations at presentation and during follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5500-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5932870PMC
May 2018

Association of highly active antiretroviral treatment with incident tuberculosis in people living with HIV/AIDS.

Ann Epidemiol 2018 12 28;28(12):886-892.e3. Epub 2018 Mar 28.

Center for Infectious Disease and Cancer Research, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Department of Microbiology and Institute of Medical Research, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Purpose: To determine the short-term and long-term effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on incident tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

Methods: From 2000 to 2012, we identified adult PLWHA from Taiwan Centers for Disease Control HIV Surveillance System. All PLWHA were followed up until December 31, 2012, and observed for TB occurrence. Time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the short-term and long-term effects of HAART on incident TB.

Results: Of 20,072 PLWHA, 628 (3.13%) had incident TB, corresponding to an incident rate of 701/100,000 person-years. After adjusting for potential confounders, PLWHA receiving HAART were more likely to develop TB than those not receiving the drugs (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 1.56; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18-2.05). While the short-term and long-term effects of HAART on incident TB were considered, HAART was a risk factor for TB development within the first 90 days (AHR 6.06; 95% CI 4.58-8.01) and between 90 and 180 days of treatment (AHR 1.80; 95% CI 1.11-2.94) but was a protective factor after 180 days of HAART use (AHR 0.51; 95% CI 0.39-0.66).

Conclusions: HAART is a risk factor for the development of TB in the short term but a protective factor in the long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2018.03.011DOI Listing
December 2018

Management of infections caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae: current evidence and future prospects.

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2018 03 9;16(3):205-218. Epub 2018 Feb 9.

e Department of Laboratory Medicine , National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University , Taipei , Taiwan.

Introduction: The spread of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae has become a major public health threat worldwide. Area covered: A thorough systematic literature review describing the current evidence and future prospects of therapeutic options for infections caused by ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Expert commentary: The methods of detecting ESBLs have been evolving. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing lowered the MIC breakpoints of cephalosporins against ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in 2010. Phenotypic testing for ESBLs is no longer recommended. Instead, the selection of appropriate antimicrobial agents largely depends on the report of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). To date, therapeutic options for these multidrug-resistant organisms remain limited. The clinical efficacy of piperacillin/tazobactam and cefepime on in vitro-susceptible ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae remains a concern. Many studies found an in vitro-in vivo discordance based on current breakpoints. Carbapenems are the most reliable antibiotics for severe infections caused by ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae. However, their overuse has led to a serious problem of increasing drug resistance. Recently, ceftolozane/tazobactam and ceftazidime/avibactam have been approved for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections and complicated intra-abdominal infections. The introduction of these new β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations offers new carbapenem-sparing options for the treatment of ESBL infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14787210.2018.1436966DOI Listing
March 2018

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Increases the Risk of Incident Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: A Population-Based Cohort Study in Taiwan.

J Infect Dis 2017 11;216(8):1000-1007

Center for Infectious Disease and Cancer Research.

Background: Currently, the association between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and subsequent development of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) remains unclear. This nationwide population-based cohort study aimed to determine the association between incident AIHA and HIV infection in Taiwan.

Methods: During 2000-2012, we identified people aged ≧15 years living with HIV (PLWH) from the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control HIV Surveillance System. Individuals were considered to be infected with HIV on the basis of positive results of an HIV type 1 Western blot. Age- and sex-matched controls without HIV infection were selected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database for comparison. All patients were followed until 31 December 2012 and observed for occurrence of AIHA.

Results: Of 171468 subjects (19052 PLWH and 152416 controls), 30 (0.02%) had incident AIHA during a mean follow-up of 5.45 years, including 23 PLWH (0.12%) and 7 controls (0.01%). After adjustment for age, sex, and comorbidities, HIV infection was found to be an independent risk factor of incident AIHA (adjusted hazard ratio, 20.9; 95% confidence interval, 8.34-52.3). Moreover, PLWH who were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy were more likely to develop AIHA than those who were not receiving these drugs (adjusted hazard ratio, 16.2; 95% confidence interval, 3.52-74.2).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that HIV infection is an independent risk factor for incident AIHA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix384DOI Listing
November 2017

Role of rifampin for the treatment of bacterial infections other than mycobacteriosis.

J Infect 2017 11 1;75(5):395-408. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Objectives: Rifampin was initially approved for the treatment of tuberculosis. Because of its low toxicity, broad-spectrum activity, and good bioavailability, rifampin is now commonly administered as combination antimicrobial therapy for the treatment of various infections caused by organisms other than mycobacteria. This review summarizes the most recent clinical studies on the use of rifampin combinations for treating four common non-mycobacterial infections: acute bacterial meningitis, infective endocarditis and bacteraemia, pneumonia, and biofilm-related infections.

Methods: We performed a literature search of clinical studies published in English from January 2005 to June 2016 using the PubMed database with the search terms "rifampin" with "meningitis" or "infective endocarditis and bacteraemia" or "pneumonia" or "prosthetic joint infections.

Results: Current evidence to support a rifampin combination therapy as a treatment for non-mycobacterial infections was largely based on in vitro/in vivo studies and non-comparable retrospective case series. Additionally, controlled clinical trials that directly compared outcomes resulting from rifampin treatment versus treatment without rifampin were limited.

Conclusions: Rifampin combination therapy appears promising for the treatment of non-mycobacterial infections. However, further definitive clinical trials are necessary to validate its use because the risk of adverse drug-drug interactions and of the emergence of rifampin resistance during treatment may outweigh the potential benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2017.08.013DOI Listing
November 2017

HIV Infection Increases the Risk of Incident Psoriasis: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study in Taiwan.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2017 08;75(5):493-499

*Section of Infectious Diseases, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei City, Taiwan; †School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; ‡Center for Infectious Disease and Cancer Research, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; §Department and Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; ‖Department of Urology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; ¶Department of Cosmetic Applications and Management, Mackay Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Taipei, Taiwan; #Department of Health Risk Management, China Medical University, Taiwan; **Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; ††Center for Prevention and Treatment of Occupational Injury and Diseases, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; ‡‡Division of Clinical Toxicology and Occupational Medicine, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; and §§Department of Microbiology and Institute of Medical Research, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Background: HIV can cause an imbalance of T lymphocytes, which may contribute to the onset of psoriasis. However, the association of HIV with incident psoriasis has not been extensively studied.

Objectives: The aim of this nationwide population-based cohort study was to determine the association of HIV with incident psoriasis.

Methods: Since January 1, 2000, we identified adult people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. A control cohort without HIV infection, matched for age and sex, was selected for comparison. All patients were followed until December 31, 2012, and observed for the occurrence of psoriasis. The time-dependent Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine the association of HIV with incident psoriasis, while considering death as a competing risk event.

Results: Of the 102,070 patients (20,294 PLWHA and 81,776 matched controls), 248 (0.24%) had incident psoriasis during a mean follow-up period of 5.53 years, including 81 (0.40%) PLWHA and 171 (0.21%) controls. After adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidities, HIV infection was found to be an independent risk factor for incident psoriasis (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.80; 95% confidence interval: 1.38 to 2.36).

Conclusions: The population of PLWHA is living longer; clinicians need to be aware of their higher risk of psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000001431DOI Listing
August 2017

Efficacy and safety of switching from nevirapine immediate-release twice daily to nevirapine extended-release once daily in virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients: a retrospective cohort study in Taiwan.

BMC Infect Dis 2017 04 11;17(1):261. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Background: Whether the non-inferior efficacy and safety results of switching virologically suppressed HIV-1-infected patients from nevirapine immediate-release (NVP-IR) to NVP extended-release (NVP-XR) demonstrated in the TRANxITION study conducted in Europe and North America are also applicable to virologically suppressed HIV-infected Taiwanese patients remains unknown. We evaluated the comparative safety and efficacy of continuing NVP-IR versus switching to NVP-XR in virologically suppressed HIV-infected Taiwanese adults receiving combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) regimens.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital from April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2015. Eighty-four virologically suppressed HIV-infected adults receiving NVP-IR cART were split into two groups: those continuing with NVP-IR (n = 49) and those being switched to NVP-XR (n = 35). Demographic characteristics, clinical variables, and laboratory findings were compared. Therapeutic drug monitoring of steady-state plasma NVP concentrations and genotype analysis of CYP2B6 516 were also performed in 22 participants. The primary endpoint was continued virological suppression at the end of the study. Secondary endpoints were time to loss of virological response and adverse events.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 18.4 months, the NVP-XR group demonstrated similar success at maintaining virological response compared with the NVP-IR group (82.9% vs. 85.7%; P = 0.72). Cox regression analysis indicated that there were no significant differences between NVP regimens for time to loss of virological response (hazard ratio: 0.940; P = 0.754). Furthermore, there were no significant differences in adverse events between these two groups. In the 22 participants, there was a non-significantly lower level of steady-state plasma NVP concentrations in the NVP-XR group than in NVP-IR recipients (5145.0 ng/mL vs. 6775.0 ng/mL; P = 0.267). The prevalence of CYP2B6 516 GT was 86.6%, and there was no significant difference in the distribution of CYP2B6 516 between these two groups.

Conclusions: We found that switching from NVP-IR to NVP-XR appeared to have similar safety and efficacy compared with continuing NVP-IR among virologically suppressed, HIV-infected Taiwanese patients. Our finding of higher C levels in both groups compared with other studies conducted in Caucasian populations and the high prevalence of CYP2B6 516 GT requires further investigation in a larger Taiwanese cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-017-2371-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5387218PMC
April 2017

Reactivated cytomegalovirus proctitis in an immunocompetent patient presenting as nosocomial diarrhea: a case report and literature review.

BMC Infect Dis 2017 02 1;17(1):113. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Background: Reactivated cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been known to cause significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. However, CMV disease rarely develops in immunocompetent patients, and reported cases often present with a mild, self-limiting course, without severe life-threatening sequelae. While the colon is the most common gastrointestinal site affected by CMV disease in immunocompetent patients, rectal involvement is rarely reported. CMV proctitis can present in two distinct forms, primary and reactivated. However, reactivated CMV proctitis is rarely reported as a causative etiology of nosocomial diarrhea, except in transplant patients. Herein we present a case of reactivated CMV proctitis in an immunocompetent patient, presenting as nosocomial diarrhea. Previously reported cases of reactivated CMV proctitis in immunocompetent patients are also reviewed.

Case Presentation: A 79-year-old female was admitted because of metabolic encephalopathy caused by dehydration and hypernatremia. The patient's consciousness level returned rapidly after fluid supplementation. However, she subsequently presented with abdominal pain and diarrhea on day 8 of admission. Abdominal contrast-enhanced computed tomography on day 10 of admission demonstrated inflammation around the rectum, suggesting proctitis. Colonoscopy on day 16 of admission showed a giant ulcer at the rectum. Pathology of rectal biopsy confirmed CMV infection. The patient recovered without sequelae after 38 days of valganciclovir treatment. Follow-up colonoscopy revealed a healed ulcer over the rectum. Ten cases in the literature, plus our case, with reactivated CMV proctitis in immunocompetent patients were reviewed. We found that most patients were elderly (mean, 72 years) with a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus (54.5%). Cardinal manifestations are often non-specific (diarrhea, hematochezia, tenesmus), and eight (72.7%) developed CMV proctitis following a preceding acute, life-threatening disease, rather than as an initial presentation on admission. These manifestations frequently develop during hospitalization, and are thus often regarded as nosocomial diarrhea.

Conclusions: Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of nosocomial onset of reactivated CMV proctitis in patients hospitalized due to a preceding critical illness, although the benefits of antiviral therapy remain unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-017-2218-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5286859PMC
February 2017

Development of a prediction model for bacteremia in hospitalized adults with cellulitis to aid in the efficient use of blood cultures: a retrospective cohort study.

BMC Infect Dis 2016 10 19;16(1):581. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Background: Cellulitis is a common infectious disease. Although blood culture is frequently used in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of cellulitis, it is a contentious diagnostic test. To help clinicians determine which patients should undergo blood culture for the management of cellulitis, a diagnostic scoring system referred to as the Bacteremia Score of Cellulitis was developed.

Methods: Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed as part of a retrospective cohort study of all adults diagnosed with cellulitis in a tertiary teaching hospital in Taiwan in 2013. Patients who underwent blood culture were used to develop a diagnostic prediction model where the main outcome measures were true bacteremia in cellulitis cases. Area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) was used to demonstrate the predictive power of the model, and bootstrapping was then used to validate the performance.

Results: Three hundred fifty one cases with cellulitis who underwent blood culture were enrolled. The overall prevalence of true bacteremia was 33/351 cases (9.4 %). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed optimal diagnostic discrimination for the combination of age ≥65 years (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.5-10.1), involvement of non-lower extremities (OR = 4.0; 95 % CI, 1.5-10.6), liver cirrhosis (OR = 6.8; 95 % CI, 1.8-25.3), and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) (OR = 15.2; 95 % CI, 4.8-48.0). These four independent factors were included in the initial formula, and the AUC for this combination of factors was 0.867 (95 % CI, 0.806-0.928). The rounded formula was 1 × (age ≥65 years) + 1.5 × (involvement of non-lower extremities) + 2 × (liver cirrhosis) + 2.5 × (SIRS). The overall prevalence of true bacteremia (9.4 %) in this study could be lowered to 1.0 % (low risk group, score ≤1.5) or raised to 14.7 % (medium risk group, score 2-3.5) and 41.2 % (high risk group, score ≥4.0), depending on different clinical scores.

Conclusions: Determining the risk of bacteremia in patients with cellulitis will allow a more efficient use of blood cultures in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. External validation of this preliminary scoring system in future trials is needed to optimize the test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-016-1907-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5070006PMC
October 2016

Clinical and microbiological characteristics of purulent and non-purulent cellulitis in hospitalized Taiwanese adults in the era of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

BMC Infect Dis 2015 Aug 5;15:311. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Background: The risk factors, microbial etiology, differentiation, and clinical features of purulent and non-purulent cellulitis are not well defined in Taiwan.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of hospitalized adults with cellulitis in Taiwan in 2013. The demographic characteristics, underlying diseases, clinical manifestations, laboratory and microbiological findings, treatments, and outcomes were compared for patients with purulent and non-purulent cellulitis.

Results: Of the 465 patients, 369 had non-purulent cellulitis and 96 had purulent cellulitis. The non-purulent group was significantly older (p = 0.001) and was more likely to have lower limb involvement (p < 0.001), tinea pedis (p = 0.003), stasis dermatitis (p = 0.025), a higher Charlson comorbidity score (p = 0.03), and recurrence at 6 months post-infection (p = 0.001) than the purulent group. The purulent group was more likely to have a wound (p < 0.001) and a longer hospital stay (p = 0.001) and duration of antimicrobial therapy (p = 0.003) than the non-purulent group. The etiological agent was identified in 35.5 % of the non-purulent cases, with β-hemolytic streptococci the most frequent cause (70.2 %). The etiological agent was identified in 83.3 % of the purulent cases, with Staphylococcus aureus the predominant pathogen (60 %): 50 % of these were methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). In multivariable analysis, purulent group (odds ratio (OR), 5.188; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.995-13.493; p = 0.001) was a positive predictor of MRSA. The prescribed antimicrobial agents were significantly different between the purulent and non-purulent groups, with penicillin the most frequently used antimicrobial agent in the non-purulent group (35.2 %), and oxacillin the most frequent in the purulent group (39.6 %). The appropriate antimicrobial agent was more frequently prescribed in the non-purulent group than in the purulent group (83.2 % vs. 53.8 %, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The epidemiology, clinical features, and microbiology of purulent and non-purulent cellulitis were significantly different in hospitalized Taiwanese adults. Purulence was a positive predictor of MRSA as the causal agent of cellulitis. These findings provide added support for the adoption of the IDSA guidelines for empirical antimicrobial therapy of cellulitis in Taiwan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-015-1064-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4526200PMC
August 2015

Orbital apex syndrome: an unusual complication of herpes zoster ophthalmicus.

BMC Infect Dis 2015 Jan 31;15:33. Epub 2015 Jan 31.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Background: Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is defined as herpes zoster involvement of the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve. Ocular involvement occurs in 20-70% of patients with herpes zoster ophthalmicus and may include blepharitis, keratoconjunctivitis, iritis, scleritis, and acute retinal necrosis. Orbital apex syndrome is a rare but severe ocular complication of herpes zoster ophthalmicus. We present here the first reported case of herpes zoster ophthalmicus complicated by orbital apex syndrome in a patient from Taiwan.

Case Presentation: A 78-year-old man initially presented with patchy erythema and herpetiform vesicles on his left forehead and upper eyelid. He subsequently developed left-sided ocular complications including reduced visual acuity, anisocoria, ptosis, and complete ophthalmoplegia. Orbital magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed on day 6 of admission to search for signs of the common causes of orbital apex syndrome such as hemorrhage, neoplasm, and cavernous sinus thrombosis. The MRI showed only orbital myositis and enhancement of the retro-orbital optic nerve sheath. The patient was diagnosed with herpes zoster ophthalmicus complicated by orbital apex syndrome. Although the ocular complications partially resolved after systemic antiviral therapy for 15 days and steroid therapy tapered over 12 weeks, there was residual limitation of abduction and paralysis of the left upper eyelid at follow-up at 180 days after the onset of symptoms. The orbital MRI findings at 180 days showed no significant changes compared with the MRI findings on day 6 of admission.

Conclusions: Primary care physicians should be aware of this rare but potentially sight-threatening complication of herpes zoster ophthalmicus. The appropriate therapy for orbital apex syndrome due to herpes zoster ophthalmicus and the potential outcomes of this condition require further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-015-0760-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4314774PMC
January 2015

Concomitant emphysematous prostatic and periurethral abscesses due to Klebsiella pneumoniae: a case report and review of the literature.

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2014 Sep;45(5):1099-106

Although gas-forming infections of the urinary tract account for a very small percentage of all urinary tract infections, they can lead to mortality if an early diagnosis is not made and aggressive management initiated. Emphysematous urinary tract infections occur mainly in patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus or an obstructed urinary tract. Here we present a case of concomitant emphysematous prostatic and periurethral abscesses caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae in a 70-year-old male with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. Given the high prevalence of patients with diabetes mellitus and the high mortality rate associated with emphysematous prostatic abscesses, clinicians should be aware of this rare but potentially fatal condition.
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September 2014

Emergence of sporadic non-clustered cases of hospital-associated listeriosis among immunocompromised adults in southern Taiwan from 1992 to 2013: effect of precipitating immunosuppressive agents.

BMC Infect Dis 2014 Mar 19;14:145. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, 386 Ta-Chung 1st Rd,, Kaohsiung 813, Taiwan.

Background: Sporadic non-clustered hospital-associated listeriosis is an emerging infectious disease in immunocompromised hosts. The current study was designed to determine the impact of long-term and precipitating immunosuppressive agents and underlying diseases on triggering the expression of the disease, and to compare the clinical features and outcome of hospital-associated and community-associated listeriosis.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all patients with Listeria monocytogenes isolated from sterile body sites at a large medical center in southern Taiwan during 1992-2013. Non-clustered cases were defined as those unrelated to any other in time or place. Multivariable regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with prognosis.

Results: Thirty-five non-clustered cases of listeriosis were identified. Twelve (34.2%) were hospital-associated, and 23 (65.7%) were community-associated. The 60-day mortality was significantly greater in hospital-associated than in community-associated cases (66.7% vs. 17.4%, p = 0.007). Significantly more hospital-associated than community-associated cases were treated with a precipitating immunosuppressive agent within 4 weeks prior to onset of listeriosis (91.7% vs. 4.3%, respectively p < 0.001). The median period from the start of precipitating immunosuppressive treatment to the onset of listeriosis-related symptoms was 12 days (range, 4-27 days) in 11 of the 12 hospital-associated cases. In the multivariable analysis, APACHE II score >21 (p = 0.04) and receipt of precipitating immunosuppressive therapy (p = 0.02) were independent risk factors for 60-day mortality.

Conclusions: Sporadic non-clustered hospital-associated listeriosis needs to be considered in the differential diagnosis of sepsis in immunocompromised patients, particularly in those treated with new or increased doses of immunosuppressive agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-14-145DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003814PMC
March 2014

Disseminated tuberculosis presenting as tuberculous peritonitis and sepsis tuberculosa gravissima in a patient with cirrhosis of the liver: A diagnosis of challenge.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2016 Aug 13;49(4):608-12. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:

We report the case of an 81-year-old man diagnosed with liver cirrhosis complicated by spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and septic shock. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex was isolated from the ascites, sputum, and blood culture 1 month after the patient died. Clinicians should be aware of the unusual diagnosis of sepsis tuberculosa gravissima presenting with tuberculous peritonitis, which is easily misdiagnosed as spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and Gram-negative bacillus sepsis in patients with cirrhosis. Clinicians should cautiously evaluate the patient's sputum, gastric contents, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and bone marrow for early diagnosis of disseminated tuberculosis in patients with a high degree of suspicion of this diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2013.12.008DOI Listing
August 2016

Higher rate of hepatitis events in patients with human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, and hepatitis D genotype II infection: a cohort study in a medical center in southern Taiwan.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2015 Feb 21;48(1):20-7. Epub 2013 Sep 21.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; Graduate Institute of Science Education and Environmental Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Background: The epidemiology and impact of hepatitis δ virus (HDV) on hepatic outcomes and virological and immunological responses to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients coinfected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) in northern Taiwan have been reported. However, the epidemiology and impact of HDV infection in HIV-HBV coinfection patients in southern Taiwan remains uncertain.

Methods: In this cohort study, a total of 64 HIV patients coinfected with HBV were identified between January 1, 2009 and May 30, 2012. The seroprevalence of anti-HDV antibodies, HDV genotyping, clinical manifestations and hepatic outcomes were compared between the patients with and without HDV coinfection, and laboratory examinations and hepatic outcomes were recorded.

Results: Among the 64 HIV patients coinfected with HBV, seven were seropositive for HDV (10.9%). There were no statistically significant differences in risk factors for acquiring HIV infection. During a median observation period of 27.8 months, the adjusted hazard ratio of HDV and HBV genotype (type B vs. non-type B) on hepatitis flare-ups were 62.132 (p = 0.04) and 0.028 (p = 0.01), respectively. All seven patients had genotype II and were HDV viremic. The phylogenetic tree analysis and clinical history evaluation did not identify any clusters of HDV infection.

Conclusion: HDV infection resulted in higher rate of hepatitis flare-ups, but it did not have a statistical significance on HIV progression and immunological response to HAART. Whether higher rate of HDV viremia has worse impact on the hepatic outcomes requires further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2013.08.001DOI Listing
February 2015

Dengue hemorrhagic fever presenting with hemorrhagic pancreatitis and an intramural hematoma of the duodenal wall: a case report and review of the literature.

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2013 May;44(3):400-8

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Dengue fever may present with atypical manifestations. Here we report a 47 year-old male presenting with fever and sore throat for 2 days, followed by epigastric pain and tarry stool for 4 days. The esophagogastroduodenoscopy revealed multiple ulcers with a nodular margin in the duodenal bulb and second portion of the duodenum. A MRI of the abdomen revealed hemorrhagic pancreatitis, with a large intramural hematoma in the second portion of duodenum. The final diagnosis was dengue hemorrhagic fever, grade II, complicated with hemorrhagic pancreatitis and an intramural hematoma of the duodenal wall. Physicians should be aware of the atypical abdominal presentations of dengue fever.
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May 2013