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עמוד בית
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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.

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.


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 2007
M. Paul, A. Gafter-Gvili, L. Leibovici, J. Bishara, I. Levy, I. Yaniv, I. Shalit Z, Samra, S. Pitlik, H. Konigsberger and M. Weinberger

Background: The epidemiology of bacteremic febrile neutropenia differs between locations and constitutes the basis for selection of empiric antibiotic therapy for febrile neutropenia.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of bacteremia among patients with neutropenia in a single center in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a prospective data collection on all patients with neutropenia (< 500/mm3) and clinically significant bacteremia or fungemia during the period 1988–2004.

Results: Among adults (462 episodes) the most common bloodstream isolate was Esherichia coli. Gram-negative bacteria predominated throughout the study period and the ratio between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteremia increased from 1.7 to 2.3 throughout the study period. Among children (752 episodes), the ratio between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteremia reversed from 1.2 to 0.7, due to increasing prevalence of coagulase-negative staphylcoccal bacteremia. Both among adults and children, the length of hospital stay prior to bacteremia had a major impact on the pathogens causing bacteremia and their antibiotic susceptibilities. The prevalence of E. coli decreased with time in hospital, while the rates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter spp., Acinetobacter spp., Enterococcus spp. and Candida spp. increased. Resistance to broad-spectrum empiric monotherapy in our center was observed in > 40% of Gram-negative bacteria when bacteremia was acquired after 14 days in hospital.
Conclusions: Improved infection-control measures for neutropenic cancer patients in our center are needed. Empiric antibiotic treatment should be tailored to patients’ risk for multidrug-resistant organisms. Individual hospitals should monitor infection epidemiology among cancer patients to guide empiric antibiotic treatment

May 2005
J. Bishara, G. Livne, S. Ashkenazi, I. Levy, S. Pitlik, O. Ofir, B. Lev and Z. Samra

Background: The prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing organisms and their antimicrobial resistance patterns may vary between geographic areas.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and susceptibility of ESBL[1]-producing organisms among Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli isolated from adult and pediatric patients in two Israeli hospitals.

Methods: ESBL production was tested according to recommendations of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, using ceftazidime (30 μg) and a combination of ceftazidime/clavulanate (30/10 μg) disks with a ≥5 mm difference indicating positivity. Antibiotic susceptibilities were determined by the disk diffusion method according to CLSI[2] standards. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined by the E-test.

Results: The prevalence of ESBL-producing organisms was significantly higher among K. pneumoniae than E. coli isolates – 32% (241/765) vs. 10% (57/547) respectively (P < 0.001), and more frequently isolated from adults than children (odds ratio 2.27 for K. pneumoniae and 12.94 for E. coli). Resistance rates for amoxicillin/clavulanate, piperacillin-tazobactam, amikacin, and ciprofloxacin among the ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and E. coli isolates were 95%, 82%, 49% and 77% for K. pneumoniae, and 77%, 35%, 25% and 100% for E. coli. Two (0.8%) ESBL-producing and 4 (0.7%) ESBL-negative K. pneumoniae isolates showed intermediate susceptibility (MIC[3] 6 μg/ml) to meropenem. All isolates were sensitive to ertapenem and colistin.  

Conclusion: ESBL production among K. pneumoniae and E. coli is more prevalent in the adult population than the pediatric population and is associated with multidrug resistance.

[1] ESBL = extended spectrum β-lactamase

[2] CLSI = Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (formerly the NCCLS)

[3] MIC = minimum inhibitory concentration


October 2001
Jihad Bishara, MD, Avivit Golan-Cohen, MD, Eyal Robenshtok, MD, Leonard Leibovici, MD and Silvio Pitlik, MD

Background: Erysipelas is a skin infection generally caused by group A streptococci. Although penicillin is the drug of choice, some physicians tend to treat erysipelas with antibiotics other than penicillin.

Objectives: To define the pattern of antibiotic use, factors affecting antibiotic selection, and outcome of patients treated with penicillin versus those treated with other antimicrobial agents.

Methods: A retrospective review of charts of adult patients with discharge diagnosis of erysipelas was conducted for the years 1993-1996.

Results: The study group comprised 365 patients (median age 67 years). In 76% of the cases infection involved the leg/s. Predisposing condition/s were present in 82% of cases. Microorganisms were isolated from blood cultures in only 6 of 176 cases (3%), and Streptococcus spp. was recovered in four of these six patients. Cultures from skin specimens were positive in 3 of 23 cases. Penicillin alone was given to 164 patients (45%). Other antibiotics were more commonly used in the second half of the study period (P < 0.0001) in patients with underlying conditions (P = 0.06) and in those hospitalized in the dermatology ward (P< 0.0001). Hospitalization was significantly shorter in the penicillin group (P= 0.004). There were no in-hospital deaths.

Conclusions: We found no advantage in using antibiotics other than penicillin for treating erysipelas. The low yield of skin and blood cultures and their marginal impact on manage­ment, as well as the excellent outcome suggest that this infection can probably be treated empirically on an outpatient basis.

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