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עמוד בית
Tue, 05.12.23

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March 2023
Nimrod Sachs MD, Lotem Goldberg MD, Yoel Levinsky MD, Yotam Dizitzer MD, Yoav Vardi MD, Irit Krause MD, Oded Scheuerman MD, Gilat Livni MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Havatzelet Bilavsky-Yarden MD

Background: During coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, less isolation of common winter viruses was reported in the southern hemisphere.

Objectives: To evaluate annual trends in respiratory disease-related admissions in a large Israeli hospital during and before the pandemic.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records from November 2020 to January 2021 (winter season) was conducted and compared to the same period in two previous years. Data included number of admissions, epidemiological and clinical presentation, and isolation of respiratory pathogens.

Results: There were 1488 respiratory hospitalizations (58% males): 632 in 2018–2019, 701 in 2019–2020, and 155 in 2020–2021. Daily admissions decreased significantly from a median value of 6 (interquartile range [IQR] 4–9) and 7 per day (IQR 6–10) for 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, respectively, to only 1 per day (IQR 1–3) in 2020–2021 (P-value < 0.001). The incidence of all respiratory viruses decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no hospitalizations due to influenza and only one with respiratory syncytial virus. There was also a significant decline in respiratory viral and bacterial co-infections during the pandemic (P-value < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was a significant decline in pediatric respiratory admission rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible etiologies include epidemiological factors such as mask wearing and social distancing, in addition to biological factors such as viral interference. A herd protection effect of adults and older children wearing masks may also have had an impact.

July 2021
Miri Dotan MD, Elena Zion MD, Haim Ben-Zvi PhD, Havatzelet Yarden-Bilavsky MD, and Efraim Bilavsky MD

Background: Adenovirus infections are prevalent in children. They usually cause a mild self-limited disease. However, this infection can be associated with considerable morbidity and mortality in specific populations, especially among immunocompromised children. Children with Down syndrome are susceptible to a higher frequency and increased severity of viral infections. Little is known about the severity and clinical course of adenovirus infections in children with Down syndrome.

Objectives: To characterize hospitalized children diagnosed with Down syndrome and presenting with adenovirus infection.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of children admitted with adenovirus from January 2005 to August 2014 from a single tertiary pediatric medical center in Israel. Data were compared between patients with and without Down syndrome.

Results: Among the 486 hospitalized children with adenoviral infection, 11 (2.28%) were diagnosed with Down syndrome. We found that children with Down syndrome were more likely to experience a higher incidence of complications (18.2% vs. 2.4%, P = 0.008), a higher rate of admissions to the intensive care unit (36.4% vs. 2.4%, P < 0.001), and more prolonged hospitalizations (17 ± 15.9 days compared to 4.46 ± 3.16, P = 0.025).

Conclusions: Children with Down syndrome who were hospitalized with adenovirus infection represent a high-risk group and warrant close monitoring. If a vaccine for adenovirus becomes available, children with Down syndrome should be considered as candidates

November 2013
M. Dotan, L. Ashkenazi-Hoffnung, Z. Samra, G. Livni, H. Yarden-Bilavsky, J.b Amir and E. Bilavsky
 Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of lower respiratory tract disease and hospitalization in infants and young children. Infants of multiple births, which are often premature, might be more susceptible to developing a more severe RSV infection than singletons.

Objective: To assess the impact of multiple births on the severity of RSV infection and define risk factors for acquiring RSV infection in infants of multiple birth.

Methods: Clinical data on infants hospitalized with RSV infection between 2008 and 2010 were retrospectively collected.

Results: Twins comprised 7.6% (66/875) of hospitalized infants with RSV bronchiolitis during the study period. Infants in the twin group were younger (122.4 ± 131.7 vs. 204.5 ± 278.8 days, P = 0.014), had a lower mean gestational age (35.3 ± 2.6 vs. 38.6 ± 2.5 weeks, P < 0.001), and were more likely to have been born prematurely compared with singleton infants (65.6% vs. 13%, P < 0.001). On a multivariable logistic regression analysis, young age, early gestational age and male gender were the only variables identified as risk factors for pediatric intensive care unit admission (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). In contrast, the mere fact of a child being a twin was not found to be a significant risk factor for disease severity. In addition, if one twin is hospitalized due to RSV infection, the other has a 34% chance of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis. Young age was a significant risk factor for hospitalization of the second twin (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that twins hospitalized with RSV bronchiolitis do not have an increased risk for severe infection as compared to singletons. However, a twin of an infant hospitalized with RSV infection has a considerable risk of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis, thus close monitoring is recommended. 

April 2011
April 2010
O. Waisbourd-Zinman, E. Bilavsky, N. Tirosh, Z. Samra and J. Amir

Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae is now the predominant pathogen causing meningitis. The resistance of S. pneumoniae to penicillin and third-generation cephalosporins has grown steadily.

Objectives: To assess the antibiotic susceptibility of S. pneumoniae isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of children with meningitis, and determine the antibiotic regimen appropriate for suspected bacterial meningitis in Israel.

Methods:  The study group included 31 children with 35 episodes of meningitis hospitalized from 1998 to 2006. S. pneumoniae isolates from the cerebrospinal fluid were tested for susceptibility to penicillin and ceftriaxone.

Results: Of the 35 isolates, 17 (48.6%) showed resistance to penicillin (minimum inhibitory concentration ≥ 0.12 µg/ml). Only 3 isolates (8.6%) showed intermediate resistance to ceftriaxone (≥ 0.5 and < 2 μg/ml), and none showed complete resistance (MIC[1] ≥ 2 μg/ml). The rates of antibiotic resistance were higher in children who were treated with antibiotics prior to admission (penicillin 88.9% vs. 34.6%, P = 0.007; ceftriaxone 22.2% vs. 3.8%, P = 0.156).

Conclusions:  The rate of penicillin resistance is high in children with S. pneumoniae meningitis in Israel, especially in those treated with oral antibiotics prior to admission. Resistance to ceftriaxone is infrequent though not negligible. On the basis of these findings, current recommendations to empirically treat all children with suspected bacterial meningitis with ceftriaxone in addition to vancomycin until the bacterial susceptibility results become available are justified also in Israel.

[1] MIC = minimum inhibitory concentration

January 2010
E. Bilavsky, H. Yarden-Bilavsky D.S. Shouval, N. Fisch, B-Z. Garty, S. Ashkenazi and J. Amir

Background: Secondary thrombocytosis is associated with a variety of clinical conditions, one of which is lower respiratory tract infection. However, reports on thrombocytosis induced by viral infections are scarce.

Objectives: To assess the rate of thrombocytosis (platelet count > 500 x 109/L) in hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis and to investigate its potential role as an early marker of respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Methods: Clinical data on 469 infants aged ≤ 4 months who were hospitalized for bronchiolitis were collected prospectively and compared between RSV[1]-positive and RSV-negative infants.

Results: The rate of thrombocytosis was significantly higher in RSV-positive than RSV-negative infants (41.3% vs. 29.2%, P = 0.031). The odds ratio of an infant with bronchiolitis and thrombocytosis to have a positive RSV infection compared to an infant with bronchiolitis and a normal platelet count was 1.7 (P = 0.023, 95% confidence interval 1.07–2.72). There was no significant difference in mean platelet count between the two groups.

Conclusions: RSV-positive bronchiolitis in hospitalized young infants is associated with thrombocytosis.

[1] RSV = respiratory syncytial virus

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