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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

Search results

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.

February 2023
Tal Tobias MD, Dani Kruchevsky MD, Yehuda Ullmann MD, Joseph Berger MD, Maher Arraf MD, Liron Eldor MD

Background: Implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR) is the most common method of reconstruction for breast cancer. Bacterial infection is a well-known risk with reported rates ranging from 1% to 43%. The most common pathogens of breast implant infection described in the literature are Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. However, the prevalence of other pathogens and their antibiotic sensitivity profile differs profoundly in different parts of the world.

Objectives: To review the current literature and protocols with respect to our region and to determine a more accurate antibiotic protocol aimed at our specific local pathogens.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all cases of clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction in our institution from June 2013 to June 2019, as well as review of microbiologic data from around the world based on current literature.

Results: A total of 28 patients representing 28 clinically infected implant-based breast reconstruction were identified during the studied period. Thirteen patients (46.4%) had a positive bacterial culture growth, with P. aeruginosa being the most common microorganism identified (46.1%). Review of international microbiological data demonstrated significant variation at different places and time periods.

Conclusions: Microbiological data in cases of infected breast reconstructions should be collected and analyzed in every medical center and updated every few years due to the variations observed. These data will help to adjust the optimal empirical antibiotic regimens given to patients presenting with infections after breast reconstruction.

June 2022
Ravit Bassal PhD, Rita Dichtiar MPH, and Lital Keinan-Boker MD

Background: Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter are highly prevalent among children. Reports on risk factors of patients infected with all three pathogens, not simultaneously, are scarce.

Objectives: To identify risk factors for multiple infection with Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter in the same child.

Methods: Using the Israel Sentinel Laboratory-Based Surveillance Network, we conducted a retrospective observational case-case–control study among children aged 0–9 years. A case was defined as a child infected with Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter at different occasions between January 1999 and December 2020. A control was defined as a child infected with a single pathogen once, during the same period. Logistic regression models were applied to determine the association between multiple infections and demographic characteristics.

Results: We identified 109 cases (0.1%) infected with Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter, and 86,511 controls (99.9%) infected with only one bacteria type. In a multivariable analysis, we showed that being Jewish (odds ratio [OR] 2.4, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.3–4.4), having residency in Jerusalem (OR 3.2, 95%CI 1.3–7.7), or in the southern district (OR 3.7, 95%CI 1.5–8.8) were independent risk factors for multiple infection.

Conclusions: Although very rare, non-simultaneous infection with multiple bacteria does occur in Israel. National and local authorities should promote programs to encourage proper hygiene practices, which are culture-adjusted.

April 2022
Yonit Wiener-Well MD, Daniel Tordgman MD, Alon Bnaya MD, Orit Wolfovitz-Barchad MD, Marc V. Assous MD PhD, Amos M. Yinnon MD, and Eli Ben-Chetrit MD

Background: Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) is an important cause of nosocomial infections. Active surveillance for CRAB carriage to identify and isolate colonized patients is used to reduce transmission.

Objectives: To assess the rate and risks of clinical infection among CRAB-carrier and non-carrier patients.

Methods: Hospitalized patients from whom CRAB screening-cultures were obtained between January and June 2018 were identified retrospectively. All CRAB-carriers were compared to a convenient sample of non-carriers and were followed to detect development of CRAB clinical infection during admission.

Results: We compared 115 CRAB carriers to 166 non-carriers. The median age in the study group was 76 years (IQR 71–87) vs. 65 years (55–79) in the non-carriers group (P < 0.001). Residence in a nursing facility, debilitated state, and admission to medical wards vs. intensive care units were more frequent among CRAB-carriers (P < 0.001). Mechanically ventilated patients included 51 CRAB carriers (44%) and 102 non-carriers (61%). Clinical infection developed in 49 patients (17%), primarily CRAB pneumonia. Of the CRAB-carriers and non-carriers, 26/115 (23%) and 23/166 (14%), respectively, developed a clinical infection (P = 0.05). One-third of the ventilated patients were infected. Debilitated state and antibiotic treatment during hospitalization were linked to higher infection rates (P = 0.01). Adjusted analysis showed that mechanical ventilation and CRAB colonization were strongly associated with clinical infection (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The rate of CRAB infection among carriers was high. Mechanical ventilation and CRAB colonization were associated with CRAB clinical infection, primarily pneumonia

November 2021
Dana Zelnik Yovel MD, Galina Goltsman MD, Itamar Y love MD, Noam Darnell MD, and Micha J. Rapoport MD

Background: The recent increase in enterococcal urinary tract infections (EUTI) and the potential morbidity and mortality associated with inappropriate antimicrobial treatment underscores the need for early risk assessment and institution of appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy.

Objectives: To identify high-risk features associated with hospitalized patients with EUTI.

Methods: Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and bacteriological data of 285 patients hospitalized with UTI during 2016 were retrieved from the computerized database of Shamir Medical Center. Patients were divided into two groups: EUTI and non-EUTI (NEUTI), according to the presence or absence of enterococcus in the urine culture. The features of the two groups were compared.

Results: We obtained 300 urine cultures from 285 patients. Of the total, 80 patients (26.6%) had EUTI and 220 patients (73.3%) had NEUTI. A higher prevalence of urinary multi-bacterial cultures was found in EUTI compared to NEUTI patients (P < 0.01). Higher prevalence of permanent indwelling urinary catheter and dementia were found in hospitalized patients with community-acquired EUTI and nosocomial EUTI respectively (P = 0.02, P = 0.016) compared to patients with NEUTI.

Conclusions: Indwelling urinary catheter and dementia are risk factors for EUTI in patients with community and hospital acquired infection, respectively

May 2020
Michal Natan PhD, Gila Jacobi, Ehud Banin PhD and Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc

Background: Although indwelling catheters are increasingly used in modern medicine, they can be a source of microbial contamination and hard-to-treat biofilms, which jeopardize patient lives. At times 70% ethanol is used as a catheter-lock solution due to its bactericidal properties. However, high concentrations of ethanol can result in adverse effects and in malfunction of the catheters.

Objective: To determine whether low concentrations of ethanol can prevent and treat biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Methods: Ethanol was tested at a concentration range of 0.625–80% against laboratory and clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa for various time periods (2–48 hours). The following parameters were evaluated following ethanol exposure: prevention of biofilm formation, reduction of biofilm metabolic activity, and inhibition of biofilm regrowth.

Results: Exposing P. aeruginosa to twofold ethanol gradients demonstrated a significant biofilm inhibition at concentrations as low as 2.5%. Treating pre-formed biofilms of P. aeruginosa with 20% ethanol for 4 hours caused a sharp decay in the metabolic activity of both the laboratory and clinical P. aeruginosa isolates. In addition, treating mature biofilms with 20% ethanol prevented the regrowth of bacteria encased within it.

Conclusions: Low ethanol concentrations (2.5%) can prevent in vitro biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa. Treatment of previously formed biofilms can be achieved using 20% ethanol, thereby keeping the catheters intact and avoiding complications that can result from high ethanol concentrations.

February 2020
Hussein Zaitoon MD, Ellen Bamberger MD, Liat Yaniv MD, Bracha Mendelson MD, Isaac Srugo MD and Irina Chistyakov MD

Background: The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-13 (PCV-13) has reduced the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease.

Objective: To characterize true positive blood cultures of children who presented to our hospital following implementation of the PCV-13 vaccine.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on positive blood cultures of children presenting with fever from 2010–2017. Subjects were divided into two age groups: a younger group 3–36 months and an older group 3–18 years. Patients were classified as either having or not having a focus of infection at the time of their bacteremia. Pneumococcal isolates were typed at Israel's Streptococcal Reference Laboratory.

Results: The samples included 94 true positive blood cultures. Focal infection with concomitant bacteremia was more common than bacteremia without a focus both overall: 67/94 (71%) vs. 27/94 (28.7%), P <0.001 as well as in the two groups: 32/48 (66%) vs. 16/48 (33%), P = 0.02 in the younger group and 35/46 (76%) vs. 11/46 (24%), P = 0.001 in the older group. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common pathogen overall, 27/94 (29%), and in the younger group, 21/48 (44%), but rare in the older group, 6/46 (13%). In the latter, Brucella species predominated, 12/46 (26%), along with Staphylococcus aureus 12/46 (26%).

Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with other studies reporting decreased pneumococcal bacteremia, bacteremia primarily accompanying focal infection, and changing etiological agents among PCV-13-vaccinated children. Brucella species was prominent in older children with osteoarticular infections. Ongoing surveillance is warranted to better understand the implications of PCV-13.

December 2019
Michael Pesis DMD, Eitan Bar-Droma MD/DMD, Anatoliy Ilgiyaev DMD and Navot Givol DMD

Background: Untreated dental caries or even dental manipulations, such as a tooth extraction, might cause direct spread of an odontogenic infection and consequently the development of life-threatening conditions such as deep neck infections (DNI). The most common source of DNI is of odontogenic origin (38.8–49%). Abscess formation or cellulitis can lead to life-threatening complications, despite new diagnostic imaging technology and widespread availability of antibiotics. 

Objectives: To demonstrate the dangers of DNI, which can create life-threatening situations.

Methods: Five cases of DNI of odontogenic origin, which were referred to the oral and maxillofacial surgery unit, are presented. 

Results: Clinical manifestations included trismus, dysphagia, dysphonia, dyspnea, and infection symptoms. In all cases, computed tomography confirmed diagnosis and extent of abscess. Complications included mediastinitis, respiratory distress, osteomyelitis of the jaws, and in rare cases the mandibular condyle. Treatment included securing the airway, immediate surgical drainage, removal of the infection source, and antibiotic therapy. All patients were discharged in stable and improved condition.

Conclusions: DNI treatment on an emergency basis requires proper diagnosis and effective management. To confirm diagnosis and prevent serious complications, it is essential for physicians to recognize the spaces of the head and neck that are likely to be affected by DNI. 


August 2019
Tal Frenkel Rutenberg MD, Yuval Baruch MD, Nissim Ohana MD, Hanna Bernstine MD, Amir Amitai MD, Nir Cohen MD, Liran Domachevsky MD and Shai Shemesh MD

Background: Implant-related spinal infections are a surgical complication associated with high morbidity. Due to infection, hardware removal may be necessary, which could lead to pseudarthrosis and the loss of stability and alignment.

Objectives: To evaluate the accuracy and diagnostic value of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) in the workup of patients with suspected implant-related infections of the spine and to assess the clinical impact of PET/CT results on the management of these infections.

Methods: The study included nine consecutive patients with a history of spinal surgery who underwent PET/CT for evaluation of suspected spinal implant related infection. All imaging studies were performed between January 2011 and December 2013. All 18F-FDG PET/CT scans were performed on an 8 slice PET/CT following an 18F-FDG injection. Images were scored both visually and semi-quantitatively by a radiology expert. Results were compared to additional imaging studies when available, which were correlated to clinical and bacteriological findings allowing calculation of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.

Results: Among the patients, five experienced hardware-related spinal infection. 18F-FDG PET/CT sensitivity was 80%, specificity 100%, and accuracy 88.9%. One scan produced a false negative; however, a second PET/CT scan revealed an infection.

Conclusions: PET/CT was found to be valuable for the diagnosis of postoperative hardware-related spinal infection, especially when other imaging modalities were uninformative or inconclusive. As such, PET/CT could be useful for management of infection treatment.

Mitchell J. Schwaber MD MSc, Azza Vaturi RN MHA, Bina Rubinovitch MD, Debby Ben-David MD, Ester Solter RN MHA and Yehuda Carmeli MD MPH
July 2019
Jakub Moll MD, Natasa Isailovic MsC, Maria De Santis MD PhD and Carlo Selmi MD PhD

Serum rheumatoid factors are autoantibodies of different isotypes directed against the Fc fraction of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and represent paradigmatic autoantibodies that have been largely used in clinical practice for decades. Traditionally IgG has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis and more recently included also in the classification criteria for Sjӧgren’s syndrome. Researchers have established that rheumatoid factors are positive in a variety of infectious, autoimmune, and neoplastic disorders, thus requiring a comprehensive evaluation of seropositive patients. Of note, hepatitis B and C viruses represent a crossroad that includes the high rheumatoid factor seroprevalence and chronic inflammatory disease, as well as progression to non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Chronic antigen stimulation is the likely common ground of these processes and rheumatoid factors may represent mere bystanders or drivers of pathology. Mixed cryoglobulinemia and lymphoproliferative disease are prime examples of the deleterious effects of rheumatoid factor-B cell activity, possibly associated with hepatitis B and C. More importantly, they show a clear association in a physiological host response to infection, chronic inflammation, and the slide toward autoimmunity and malignancy. The association between hepatitis B and C infections and the appearance of serum rheumatoid factors is further supported by prevalence data, which support a coexistence of these markers in a significant proportion of cases, with viral infections being frequent causes of rheumatoid factors in patients without a rheumatic condition. We provide a comprehensive overview of the known connections between hepatitis B and C infections and rheumatoid factors.

February 2019
Lital Oz-Alcalay MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc, Aharona Glatman-Freedman MD MPH, Sarit Weisman-Demri MD, Alexander Lowenthal MD and Gilat Livni MD MHA

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-related bronchiolitis is a common cause of morbidity in young infants. The recommendations for its passive prevention by palivizumab are currently under intensive debate.

Objectives: To elucidate the optimal prevention strategy by studying the morbidity of RSV disease under the current recommendations for palivizumab prophylaxis in Israel.

Methods: We collected demographic and clinical data of all children hospitalized with microbiologically confirmed RSV bronchiolitis during 2015–2016 at Schneider Children's Medical Center. The seasonality of RSV disease was also studied for the period 2010–2017 in sentinel clinics scattered throughout Israel.

Results: Of the 426 hospitalized children, 106 (25%) had underlying diseases but were not eligible for palivizumab prophylaxis according to the current criteria in Israel. Their course was severe, with a mean hospital stay of 6.7 days and a 12% admission rate to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Palivizumab-eligible children who did not receive the prophylaxis before hospitalization had the most severe course, with 22% admitted to the PICU. More children were diagnosed with RSV disease in October than in March among both hospitalized and ambulatory children; 44% of the palivizumab-eligible hospitalized children were admitted in the last 2 weeks of October, before 1 November which is the recommended date for starting palivizumab administration in Israel.

Conclusions: According to the results of the present study we suggest advancing RSV prophylaxis in Israel from 1 November to mid-October. The precise palivizumab-eligible categories should be reconsidered.

January 2019
Chen Ben David MD , Zeev Weiner MD and Ido Solt MD

The use of ultrasound endovaginal probes is common practice in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics. The vagina serves as a host environment for many microorganisms, contributing greatly to its defensive mechanisms. It is not known whether the introduction of other microorganisms into the vaginal region are detrimental or require intensive preventative measures. Several national ultrasonography societies, as well as the Israel Ministry of Health, have addressed the proper and adequate handling of sonographic endovaginal probes, including the use of high-level disinfecting agents following cleansing and prior to using probe covers between patients. However, many obstetrics and gynecology ultrasound units in Israel find it difficult to adhere to these strict disinfecting requirements. While most of the guidelines are based on the theoretical risk of contaminations when ultrasound endovaginal probes are used, the rate of nosocomial infections linked to the use of these probes has yet to be verified. Based on the information available, there is an urgent need to find a solution that enables gynecological ultrasound users to properly disinfect endovaginal probes between patients. Currently, it is almost impossible to pragmatically adhere to the Israel Ministry of Health guidelines. 

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