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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.04.24

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September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

November 2022
Muhammad Awwad MD, Yury Peysakhovich MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Ilya Kagan MD, Assaf Issachar MD, Noa Eliakim Raz MD

Candida species inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. Isolation of Candida from the respiratory tract has been found and reflects colonization, particularly among mechanically ventilated patients [1]. However, the existence of candida as a respiratory pathogen was previously doubted. Candida pneumonia is a rare and challenging-to-diagnose entity. We present a histopathologically confirmed case of necrotizing Candida pneumonia and lung abscess in a solid organ transplant recipient.

October 2021
Shay Brikman MD, Guy Dori MD PhD, Carmel Kasher MD, Anna Yanovskay MD, Merav Strauss PhD, Raul Colodner PhD, Naiel Bisharat MD, and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Patients with severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) are susceptible to superimposed infections.

Objectives: To describe COVID-19 patients who presented with complications due to Candida bloodstream co-infection (candidemia) and their outcome in a single center in northern Israel (Emek Medical Center) during the second outbreak of COVID-19 in Israel (15 June 2020 to 20 September 2020).

Methods: A retrospective study of COVID-19 patients presenting with candidemia was conducted, including clinical and laboratory data. The incidence of candidemia among hospitalized COVID-19 patients was compared to a historical cohort of non-COVID-19 controls.

Results: Three COVID-19 patients complicated with candidemia were documented. All three patients died shortly after the detection of candidemia. Three different Candida sp. were isolated from the blood cultures: C. albicans, C. parapsilosis, and C. glabrata. The incidence of candidemia among COVID-19 patients was 0.679 episodes per 1000 hospital days.

Conclusions: Our small sample suggests a much higher incidence of candidemia among COVID-19 patients compared to a historical cohort of non-COVID-19 controls. All clinicians treating COVID-19 patients in GICU should be aware of this complication

April 2020
Eliyakim Hershkop BA and Bishara Bisharat MD MPH
December 2017
Jad Khatib MD, Naama Schwartz PhD and Naiel Bisharat MD PhD

Background: In 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Health distributed guidelines for improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge among hospital staff. The impact of these guidelines on survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is unclear.

Objectives: To compare rates of incidence and survival to discharge after IHCA, preceding and subsequent to issuance of the guidelines: 1995–2005 and 2006–2015.

Methods: Data were retrieved from the computerized records of patients who had an IHCA and underwent CPR. In addition, we retrieved data available from the hospital's resuscitation committee that included number, type, methods of training in CPR refresher courses, type and number of audits carried out during the past 10 years, and type of CPR quality assessments.

Results: From 1995 to 2015, IHCA incidence increased from 0.7 to 1.7 per 1000 admissions (P < 0.001), while survival rate did not increase (P = 0.37). Survival for shockable rhythms increased from 15.4 to 30.2% (P = 0.05) between the two time periods. The ratio of non-shockable to shockable rhythms increased from 2.4 to 4.6 (P = 0.01) between the two time periods.

Conclusions: Overall IHCA survival did not improve following the issuance of guidelines requiring CPR refresher courses, although survival improved for patients with initial shockable dysrhythmia. A decrease of events with initial shockable dysrhythmia, an increase with acute renal failure, and a decrease occurring in intensive care units contributed to understanding the findings. We found that CPR refresher courses were helpful, although an objective measure of their effectiveness is lacking.

 

February 2017
Irit Duek MD, Taiser Bishara MD, Ziv Gil MD PHD and Jacob T. Cohen MD
June 2015
Hashem Bishara MD MPH, Noam Goldstein MD, Marwan Hakim MD, Olga Vinitsky MD MPH, Danit Shechter-Amram RN and Daniel Weiler-Ravell MD

Background: Atypical presentation of tuberculosis (TB) during pregnancy may cause diagnostic delay and adversely influence pregnancy outcome. 

Objectives: To examine the incidence and clinical and epidemiological features of TB during pregnancy and investigate infection control measures at delivery and during the postpartum period.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all reported cases of TB diagnosed during pregnancy to 6 months postpartum in Israel’s Northern Health District (2002–2012). 

Results: Active TB was detected in six patients; all were negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Two patients were diagnosed in the postpartum period, and four had pulmonary involvement. The average incidence during this period (3.9 per 100,000 pregnancies) was similar to that in the general population. Five patients were at high risk of contracting TB due to either recent immigration from a high-burden country or being in contact with another individual with active TB. Patients with pleuropulmonary involvement had prolonged cough and abnormal chest X-rays, without fever. Diagnosis was delayed for 3 to 7 months from symptom onset. Investigation of the newborn to rule out intrauterine infection was conducted in only one of four relevant cases. All patients were infected with organisms susceptible to all first-line drugs, and all were cured with standard therapy.

Conclusions: There was a considerable delay in the diagnosis of TB among pregnant women, and investigation of the newborn upon delivery to rule out TB infection was routinely omitted. Effective management of TB during pregnancy and the postpartum period requires a multidisciplinary approach including an obstetrician, pediatrician, TB specialist, and public health physician.

 

March 2015
Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD, Mordechai Yigla MD, Ludmila Guralnik MD, Emilia Hardak MD, Anna Solomonov MD, Alexander P. Rozin MD, Kohava Toledano MD, Amir Dagan MD, Rema Bishara MD, Doron Markovits MD PhD, Menahem A. Nahir MD and Yolanda Braun-Moscovici MD

Abstract

Background: Scleroderma lung disease (ILD-SSc) is treated mainly with cyclophosphamide (CYC). The effectiveness of CYC was judged after 12–24 months in most reports.

Objectives: To analyze the effect of monthly intravenous CYC on pulmonary function tests including forced vital capacity (FVC) and diffusing lung capacity (DLCO), as well as Rodnan skin score (mRSS), during long-term follow-up.

Methods: We retrospectively collected the data on 26 ILD-SSc patients who began CYC treatments before 2007. Changes in FVC, DLCO and mRSS before treatment, and at 1, 4 and 7 years after completion of at least six monthly intravenous CYC treatments for ILD-SSc were analyzed.

Results: Mean cumulative CYC dose was 8.91 ± 3.25 G. More than 30% reduction in FVC (0%, 8%, and 31% of patients), DLCO (15%, 23%, 31%), and mRSS (31%, 54%, 62%) at years 1, 4 and 7 was registered. During the years 0–4 and 4–7, annual changes in FVC, DLCO and mRSS were 3.2 vs. 0.42% (P < 0.040), 4.6 vs. 0.89% (P < 0.001), and 1.8 vs. 0.2 (P = 0.002). The greatest annual FVC and DLCO reduction over the first 4 years correlated with mortality (P = 0.022). There were no differences in the main variables regarding doses of CYC (< 6 G and > 6 G).

Conclusions: In patients with ILD-SSc, CYC stabilized the reduction of FVC during treatment, but this effect was not persistent. The vascular characteristic of ILD-SSc (DLCO) was not affected by CYC treatment. CYC rapidly improved the mRSS. This effect could be achieved with at least 6 G of CYC. Higher rates of annual reduction in FVC and DLCO in the first 4 years indicate the narrow window of opportunity and raise the question regarding ongoing immunosuppression following CYC infusions.

 

July 2013
Z. Samra, L. Madar-Shapiro, M. Aziz and J. Bishara
 Background: Clostridium difficile infection is considered the most common cause of nosocomial infectious diarrhea among adults in the developed world. It is responsible for virtually all cases of pseudomembranous colitis. The Tox A/B enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is the most widely used test for the detection of C. difficile toxins A and B. However, it is associated with poor sensitivity and an unacceptable high rate of false-negative results.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE® assay, designed to simultaneously detect C. difficile-produced glutamate dehydrogenase (GHD) and toxins A and B.

Methods: Using the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE assay, the Tox A/B EIA, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we tested 223 stool specimens from hospitalized patients with antibiotics-associated diarrhea. Sensitivity and specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) were calculated for the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test and the Tox A/B EIA against PCR

Results: The C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test had a sensitivity of 83.5% and specificity of 94.3% compared to PCR for Tox A/B, with 93.7% correlation (PPV 98.5%, NPV 91.7%). The Tox A/B EIA yielded corresponding values of 72.1% and 93.1%, with 85.6% correlation (PPV 85.1%, NPV 85.8%).

Conclusions: Given the importance of an early and appropriate diagnosis of Clostridium difficile-associated infection, the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test may be of huge benefit to practitioners.

 

December 2011
M. Zoabi, Y. Keness, N. Titler and N. Bisharat

Background: The compliance of hospital staff with guidelines for the active surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Israel has not been determined.

Objectives: To evaluate the compliance of hospital staff with guidelines for the active surveillance of MRSA and assess its impact on the incidence of nosocomial MRSA bacteremia.

Methods: We assessed compliance with MRSA surveillance guidelines by assessing adherence to the screening protocol and reviewing medical and nursing charts of patients colonized with MRSA, and observed hand hygiene opportunities among health care workers and colonized patients. Rates of nosocomial MRSA bacteremia and of adherence with hand hygiene among overall hospital staff were obtained from archived data for the period 2001–2010.

Results: Only 32.4% of eligible patients were screened for MRSA carriage on admission, and 69.9% of MRSA carriers did not receive any eradication treatment. The mean rate of adherence to glove use among nurses and doctors was 69% and 31% respectively (P < 0.01) and to hand hygiene 59% and 41% respectively (P < 0.01). The hospital overall rate of adherence to hand hygiene increased from 42.3% in 2005 to 68.1% in 2010. Rates of nosocomial MRSA bacteremia decreased by 79.2%, from 0.48 (in 2001) to 0.1 (in 2010) per 1000 admissions (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The compliance of medical and nursing staff with guidelines for active MRSA surveillance was poor. The encouraging increase in adherence to hand hygiene and concomitant decrease in nosocomial MRSA bacteremia is gratifying. The deficiencies in compliance with MRSA infection control policy warrant an adjusted strategy based on the hospital resources.

June 2011
J. Bishara, E. Goldberg, L. Madar-Shapiro, J. Behor and Z. Samra

Background: The rate of infection with Clostridium difficile colitis and its associated mortality have been increasing in the last decade. The molecular epidemiology of C. difficile in Israel has as yet not been studied.

Objectives: To screen for the existence of the 027 and 078 ribotypes and determine the longitudinal molecular epidemiology of the circulating clinical C. difficile isolates in a large hospital in central Israel.

Methods: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) ribotyping was performed on C. difficile isolates obtained from hospitalized patients from November 2003 to May 2004 (first study period) and September 2009 (second study period). Isolates with PCR[1] ribotype patterns, unlike those of the available reference strains (078 and 027), were labeled with letters. Forty-six isolates from the first study period and 20 from the second were analyzed.

Results: PCR strain typing of C. difficile isolates yielded approximately 26 unique ribotypes. During the first study period, ribotype A and B accounted for 30% and 28%, respectively, whereas ribotype E and K accounted for 6.5% for each. During the second study period, ribotypes A, E and K disappeared, and the incidence of ribotype B decreased from 28% to 15%. One isolate (1/20, 5%) emerged during the second period and was identified as ribotype 027. Moxifloxacin resistance was found in 93% of ribotype A isolates, 81% of the ribotype B group, and in 44% of other ribotypes.

Conclusions: The predominant ribotypes circulating in our institution were diverse and changing. This is the first report on the emergence of the 027 ribotype in Israel.






[1] PCR = polymerase chain reaction


June 2010
J. Dubnov, W. Kassabri, B. Bisharat and S. Rishpon

Background: Health care workers bear the risk of both contracting influenza from patients and transmitting it to them. Although influenza vaccine is the most effective and safest public health measure against influenza and its complications, and despite recommendations that HCWs[1] should be vaccinated, influenza vaccination coverage among them remains low.

Objectives: To characterize influenza vaccination coverage and its determinants among employees in an Arab hospital in Israel.

Methods: An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was distributed among employees involved in patient care in the winter of 2004–2005 at Nazareth Hospital in Israel. The questionnaire included items related to health demographic characteristics, health behaviors and attitudes, knowledge and attitude concerning influenza vaccination, and whether the respondent had received the influenza vaccine during the previous winter or any other winter.

Results: The overall rate of questionnaire return was 66%; 256 employees participated in the study. The immunization coverage rate was 16.4%, similar to that reported for other hospitals in Israel. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated a significant association only between influenza vaccination coverage and the presence of chronic illness and influenza vaccination in the past.

Conclusions: Influenza vaccination coverage among Nazareth Hospital health care workers was low. They did not view themselves as different to the general population with regard to vaccination. An intervention program was launched after the study period, aimed at increasing the knowledge on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, stressing the importance of vaccinating HCWs, and administering the vaccine at the workplace. The program raised the vaccination coverage to 50%.






[1] HCWs = health care workers


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