Publications by authors named "Shirin Afhami"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Sofosbuvir and daclatasvir compared with standard of care in the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with moderate or severe coronavirus infection (COVID-19): a randomized controlled trial.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2020 11;75(11):3379-3385

Liver and Pancreatobiliary Diseases Research Center, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Currently no effective antiviral therapy has been found to treat COVID-19. The aim of this trial was to assess if the addition of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir improved clinical outcomes in patients with moderate or severe COVID-19.

Methods: This was an open-label, multicentre, randomized controlled clinical trial in adults with moderate or severe COVID-19 admitted to four university hospitals in Iran. Patients were randomized into a treatment arm receiving sofosbuvir and daclatasvir plus standard care, or a control arm receiving standard care alone. The primary endpoint was clinical recovery within 14 days of treatment. The study is registered with under registration number IRCT20200128046294N2.

Results: Between 26 March and 26 April 2020, 66 patients were recruited and allocated to either the treatment arm (n = 33) or the control arm (n = 33). Clinical recovery within 14 days was achieved by 29/33 (88%) in the treatment arm and 22/33 (67%) in the control arm (P = 0.076). The treatment arm had a significantly shorter median duration of hospitalization [6 days (IQR 4-8)] than the control group [8 days (IQR 5-13)]; P = 0.029. Cumulative incidence of hospital discharge was significantly higher in the treatment arm versus the control (Gray's P = 0.041). Three patients died in the treatment arm and five in the control arm. No serious adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: The addition of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir to standard care significantly reduced the duration of hospital stay compared with standard care alone. Although fewer deaths were observed in the treatment arm, this was not statistically significant. Conducting larger scale trials seems prudent.
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November 2020

Relationship Between Preoperative 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D and Surgical Site Infection.

J Surg Res 2020 01 16;245:338-343. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Department of Surgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Surgical site infection (SSI) is one of the most important and costly complications of surgical operations. Vitamin D antimicrobial and wound healing effects have been recently shown in animal models and in laboratory settings. Furthermore, potential effects of vitamin D in mitigating nosocomial infections and SSIs have been examined at a limited scale. To our knowledge, no comprehensive study has been performed to show the relationship between preoperative level of vitamin D and incidence of SSI. The present study was designed and implemented to investigate this relationship.

Materials And Methods: We performed a prospective cross-sectional study involving 300 adult patients who were admitted to undergo surgery in our tertiary care unit from January 2016 to January 2018. Cutoff point was considered at a level of 30 (ng/mL) in defining vitamin D deficiency. The presence of any SSI was investigated and recorded at the time of discharge and at postoperative visits up to 30 d after the surgery. Cross-tabulation and bivariate and multivariate logistic regression with unadjusted and adjusted odd ratio were used to determine the association between dependent and independent variables and to identify factors associated with SSIs.

Results: Overall, of 300 patients who were investigated, 39% had preoperative vitamin D deficiency and 11% developed SSI. In univariate logistic regressions, 20 predictors were selected to be included in the multivariate analysis. Finally preoperative level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D, history of recent infection, preoperative and postoperative hospital length of stay, and postoperative blood transfusions were confirmed as statistically significant independent predictors of SSI.

Conclusions: Preoperative 25-hydroxy vitamin D level has a strong effect on postoperative SSI. Prospective double-blinded randomized clinical trials are required to confirm such strong relationship and to settle preoperative vitamin D measurement as a standard approach to reduce postoperative complications including SSI. Preoperative patient optimization, limiting hospital length of stay, and blood transfusion are other strategies to reduce SSI.
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January 2020

Characterization of Clostridioides difficile isolates recovered from hospitalized patients and the hospitals environment and air: A multicenter study.

Anaerobe 2019 Oct 25;59:154-158. Epub 2019 Jun 25.

Division of Microbiology, Department of Pathobiology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Food Microbiology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

In healthcare settings, contamination of environment with toxigenic and hypervirulent Clostridioides difficile strains is a serious concern. Here, we assessed whether patients with C. difficile have a role to play in the dissemination of C. difficile in our settings or other sources are implicated in its circulation. A total of 700 fecal specimens and 1435 environmental samples from surfaces, equipment and air of rooms occupied by patients suspected of C. difficile infection were taken from 4 tertiary hospitals in Tehran, Iran between April 2016 and August 2017. Antibiotic susceptibility testing and detection of resistance genes were performed for the environmental isolates. The clinical and environmental isolates of C. difficile were subjected to Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. Forty three (6.14%) and 2 (0.13%) isolates of C. difficile were recovered from the clinical and environmental samples, respectively. In the clinical settings, 2 patients were suspected of recurrent C. difficile infection. Thirty distinct pulsotypes were found among the C. difficile isolates including 28 singletons and 2 common types. One of the two environmental isolates was isolated from floor in the Medical ward, of pulsotype/ribotype/toxinotype PT10/New ribotype/toxinotype V, harbored cdtA/B and tcdC-A, and resistant to ciprofloxacin. The other one was isolated from air of a room in ICU, assigned to PT11/RT001/toxinotype 0, belonged to tcdC-sc3 genotypes and resistant to metronidazole. The environmental isolates did not generate amplicons in PCR assays targeting vanA and nim genes. This study provided evidence for dissemination of genetically diverse strains of C. difficile in hospitalized patients, presence of C. difficile in hospital air, existence of binary toxin positive/antibiotic-resistant isolate on the floor and intra-hospital dissemination of this pathogen.
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October 2019

Assessment of device-associated infection rates in teaching hospitals in Islamic Republic of Iran.

East Mediterr Health J 2019 Mar 19;25(2):90-97. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Department of Nursing, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

Background: Surveillance of health care-associated infections (HCAIs) is an integral part of infection control programmes, especially in intensive care units (ICUs). Device-associated infections (DAIs) are a major threat to patient safety.

Aim: To measure DAI rates in ICUs.

Methods: Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and catheter- associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) were assessed in the ICUs of 4 tertiary-care teaching hospitals in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

Results: The incidence rate of CLABSI, VAP and CAUTI was 10.20, 21.08 and 7.42 per 1000 device-days, respectively. The utilization ratio for central lines, ventilators and urinary catheters was 0.62, 0.47, and 0.84, respectively. The most common organisms were Acinetobacter (33.5 %) and Klebsiella (19.0 %). Sixty to eighty percent of Enterobacteriaceae were extended- spectrum beta-lactamase producing. About half of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates were resistant to piperacillin/ tazobactam and carbapenem. Acinetobacter resistance rate to ampicillin/sulbactam and carbapenem was 70-80 %. The prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus was 84.6 % and 83.3 %, respectively.

Conclusions: This study showed high incidence rates of DAIs and resistant organisms, and appropriate interventions are necessary to reduce these rates.
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March 2019

Health care-associated infections in Iran: A national update for the year 2015.

Am J Infect Control 2018 06 9;46(6):663-667. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Background: A national surveillance system for health care-associated infections (HAIs) in Iran is relatively new, and an update on incidence and mortality rates can aid clinicians and stakeholders in development of new guidelines and imperative modifications to be made.

Methods: Data were extracted from the national HAIs surveillance software for more than 7 million hospitalizations during 2015. Data regarding age, gender, deaths, ward of admission, and microbiologic findings were collected and analyzed.

Results: From 491 hospitals, 7,018,393 hospitalizations were reported during 2015; 82,950 patients had been diagnosed with at least 1 HAI, 6,355 of whom died (crude fatality rate, 7.7). Men comprised 51.4% of the patients. The incidence rate was calculated to be 1.18. Urinary tract infections and pneumonia were the most commonly reported infections (27.9% and 23.8%) and 33% of patients were older than age 65 years. Intensive care units had the highest incidence rates, followed by burn units with incidence rates close to 9. Highest percentages of deaths were reported among patients with an HAI in the intensive care unit (20.6%) and those with pneumonia (39.6%).

Conclusion: Although the underreporting of HAIs hinders accurate calculation of incidence, the present study provides a general update. The results can help in modification of national guidelines and appropriate choice of antimicrobial agents in the management of HAIs.
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June 2018

Jolt accentuation of headache: can this maneuver rule out acute meningitis?

BMC Res Notes 2017 Oct 30;10(1):540. Epub 2017 Oct 30.

Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Objective: Acute meningitis is a medical emergency and its accurate diagnosis could help physicians to accelerate treatment and reduce the mortality and morbidity of patients. Jolt accentuation of headache (Jolt) is an easy clinical maneuver that can be used to diagnose meningitis, but its diagnostic accuracy is controversial. We aimed to assess the "Jolt maneuver" in diagnosis of suspected acute meningitis patients admitted to the emergency ward of Imam-Khomeini Hospital Complex in Tehran, Iran.

Results: Out of 250 patients, 227 were included and 64 (28.2%) had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) changes compatible with meningitis. Jolt was positive in 40 of 64 (62.5%) meningitis patients. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratio (+ LR and - LR) of Jolt were 62.5, 88.3%, 5.36 and 0.42, respectively. These indices were also compared to nuchal rigidity, Kernig's and Brudzinski's signs. The highest + LR was for Kernig's sign (6.79) and the lowest - LR was for nuchal rigidity (0.39). CSF culture was positive in two patients (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Aspergillus sp.). We found that in adult patients with fever and acute headache, a positive Jolt maneuver has a good diagnostic accuracy for diagnosis of meningitis and indicates a need for CSF assessment, but negative results cannot exclude it.
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October 2017

Genotyping of clinical and environmental Aspergillus flavus isolates from Iran using microsatellites.

Mycoses 2016 Apr 12;59(4):220-225. Epub 2016 Jan 12.

Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Aspergillus flavus is the second most important Aspergillus species causing human infections in tropical countries. Despite an increasing number of infections of A. flavus in Iran, the molecular epidemiology of clinical and environmental strains has not been well studied. We used a panel of nine microsatellite markers to analyse the genetic relatedness of A. flavus. Microsatellite typing of 143 (n = 119 clinical and n = 24 environmental) isolates demonstrated 118 different genotypes. A possible outbreak at a pulmonary ward was discovered. The discriminatory power for the individual markers ranged from 0.4812 to 0.9457 and the panel of all nine markers combined yielded a diversity index of 0.9948. This high-resolution typing method assists in better understanding of the molecular epidemiology of A. flavus.
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April 2016

Disseminated cryptococcosis and active pulmonary tuberculosis co-infection in an otherwise healthy adult.

Iran J Neurol 2015 Jul;14(3):174-6

Department of Infectious Disease, School of Medicine, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

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July 2015

Fungal air quality in hospital rooms: a case study in Tehran, Iran.

J Environ Health Sci Eng 2013 Dec 19;11(1):30. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Fungi are usually presented in indoor environments and cause of many diseases. The aim of this descriptive study was to investigate the level of fungal contamination in hospital rooms. Sampling was conducted with an Andersen one-stage viable impactor (Quick Take-30) and counting plates containing a fungus-selective medium. A total of 120 air samples from ten hospital environments were performed. Airborne fungi concentrations were determined 72-120 hours after sampling. Total mean concentration of detected fungi in the hospital rooms was 55 ± 56 (mean ± SD) cfu/m3. The findings of the fungal concentration in the various hospital rooms revealed different levels of contamination: the lowest mean counts (37 ± 17 cfu/m3) were observed in NS 1 (Nursing Stations 1), and the highest (97 ± 217 cfu/m3) were reported in Orthopedics Operating Room (OOR). The most common fungal genus isolated were Penicillium (70%), Aspergillus (14%), Cladosporium (12%), Alternaria (2%) and others (2%). The obtained results showed that fungal concentrations in the present study were nearly high and these conditions should be considered as a risk factor for patients and other persons in the hospital.
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December 2013

Renal disorders in HIV-infected patients.

Arch Iran Med 2007 Jul;10(3):335-8

Department of Infectious Disease, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.

Background: HIV infection affects all body organs including kidney. Since the frequency of HIV-related renal disorders is unknown in Iran and the number of HIV-infected patients is increasing, this study was conducted for the first time in Iran to assess the frequency of electrolyte imbalance, renal failure, and proteinuria among HIV-infected patients.

Methods: Between April and December 2005, 65 HIV-infected patients who were receiving care at an outpatient counseling center in Tehran, participated in this study. Blood samples were collected to measure serum levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine. Urine samples were analyzed to detect protein, red blood cells, white blood cells, and cast.

Results: Of the 65 HIV-infected patients, 86.2% were males. The mean age of the patients was 37+/-8.7 years, and 58.5% of the patients had a history of injecting illicit drugs. Urinalysis was normal in all patients, and serum levels of electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine were all in normal range.

Conclusion: We found no electrolyte imbalance, proteinuria, or renal failure in HIV-infected patients. It seems that renal disorder is infrequent in Iranian HIV-infected patients.
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July 2007