Infectious Diseases - Research Publications

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    Infection with Scedosporium apiospermum and S-prolificans, Australia
    Cooley, L ; Spelman, D ; Thursky, K ; Slavin, M (CENTERS DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION, 2007-08-01)
    Scedosporium apiospermum and S. prolificans are fungi of increasing clinical importance, particularly in persons with underlying diseases. We reviewed the records of 59 patients in Australia from whom Scedosporium spp. were isolated from June 30, 1997, through December 31, 2003. S. apiospermum was isolated predominantly from the respiratory tracts of 28 of 31 patients with underlying lung diseases and resulted in 2 infections and 1 death. The annual number of S. apiospermum isolates remained constant. S. prolificans was isolated from 28 patients only after November 1999. Eight patients with acute myeloid leukemia or hematopoietic stem cell transplants had invasive infection; 4 had fungemia and 6 died from infection. S. prolificans caused locally invasive infection in 2 immunocompetent patients and was found in the respiratory tract of 18 patients with underlying respiratory disease but did not cause fungemia or deaths in these patients. Scedosporium spp. showed distinct clinical and epidemiologic features.
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    An analysis of the utilisation of chemoprophylaxis against Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in patients with malignancy receiving corticosteroid therapy at a cancer hospital
    Worth, LJ ; Dooley, MJ ; Seymour, JF ; Mileshkin, L ; Slavin, MA ; Thursky, KA (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2005-03-14)
    Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is associated with high mortality in immunocompromised patients without human immunodeficiency virus infection. However, chemoprophylaxis is highly effective. In patients with solid tumours or haematologic malignancy, several risk factors for developing PCP have been identified, predominantly corticosteroid therapy. The aims of this study were to identify the potentially preventable cases of PCP in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy at a tertiary care cancer centre and to estimate the frequency of utilisation of chemoprophylaxis in these patients. Two retrospective reviews were performed. Over a 10-year period, 14 cases of PCP were identified: no cases were attributable to failed chemoprophylaxis, drug allergy or intolerance. During a 6-month period, 73 patients received high-dose corticosteroid therapy (> or =25 mg prednisolone or > or =4 mg dexamethasone daily) for > or =4 weeks. Of these, 22 (30%) had haematologic malignancy, and 51 (70%) had solid tumours. Fewer patients with solid tumours received prophylaxis compared to patients with haematologic malignancy (3.9 vs 63.6%, P<0.0001). Guidelines for PCP chemoprophylaxis in patients with haematologic malignancy or solid tumours who receive corticosteroid therapy are proposed. Successful primary prevention of PCP in this population will require a multifaceted approach targeting the suboptimal prescribing patterns for chemoprophylaxis.
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    Improving antibiotic prescribing for adults with community acquired pneumonia: Does a computerised decision support system achieve more than academic detailing alone? a time series analysis
    Buising, KL ; Thursky, KA ; Black, JF ; MacGregor, L ; Street, AC ; Kennedy, MP ; Brown, GV (BMC, 2008-07-31)
    BACKGROUND: The ideal method to encourage uptake of clinical guidelines in hospitals is not known. Several strategies have been suggested. This study evaluates the impact of academic detailing and a computerised decision support system (CDSS) on clinicians' prescribing behaviour for patients with community acquired pneumonia (CAP). METHODS: The management of all patients presenting to the emergency department over three successive time periods was evaluated; the baseline, academic detailing and CDSS periods. The rate of empiric antibiotic prescribing that was concordant with recommendations was studied over time comparing pre and post periods and using an interrupted time series analysis. RESULTS: The odds ratio for concordant therapy in the academic detailing period, after adjustment for age, illness severity and suspicion of aspiration, compared with the baseline period was OR = 2.79 [1.88, 4.14], p < 0.01, and for the computerised decision support period compared to the academic detailing period was OR = 1.99 [1.07, 3.69], p = 0.02. During the first months of the computerised decision support period an improvement in the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing was demonstrated, which was greater than that expected to have occurred with time and academic detailing alone, based on predictions from a binary logistic model. CONCLUSION: Deployment of a computerised decision support system was associated with an early improvement in antibiotic prescribing practices which was greater than the changes seen with academic detailing. The sustainability of this intervention requires further evaluation.