Rima Abdel-Massih

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (7)35.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We report a cystic fibrosis patient infected with influenza 2009H1N1 who had persistent viral shedding and clinical deterioration despite prolonged treatment with oseltamivir and zanamivir. The patient was diagnosed with H275Y neuraminidase inhibitor resistant influenza during treatment, thus was treated for 10 days with DAS181, an investigational host directed inhaled sialidase fusion protein. Viral clearance occurred after 5 days of therapy and the patient became eligible for lung transplantation. Although the patient succumbed prior to receiving a transplant, this case exemplifies the potential utility of a host directed approach against influenza which has potential to become resistant to neuraminidase inhibitors.
    Antiviral therapy 07/2015; DOI:10.3851/IMP2977 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ganciclovir-resistant cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections are reported infrequently among lung transplant recipients receiving extended valganciclovir prophylaxis. We performed a single-center, retrospective review of ganciclovir-resistant CMV infections in a program that employed valganciclovir prophylaxis for ≥6 months post-lung transplant. CMV infections were diagnosed in 28% (170/607) of patients. UL97 mutations were detected in 9.4% (16/170) of CMV-infected patients, at median 8.5 months post-transplant (range: 5-21) and despite prophylaxis for median 7 months (range: 4-21). UL97 mutations were canonical; 25% (4/16) of strains carried concurrent UL54 mutations. Ganciclovir-resistant CMV was more likely with breakthrough infections (75% (12/16) vs. 19% (30/154); p=0.00001) and D+/R- serostatus (75% vs. 45% (69/154); p=0.03). Median whole-blood CMV load was 4.13-log10 copies/cm(3) (range: 2.54-5.53), and 93% (14/15) of patients had low-moderate immune responses (Cylex Immunoknow). Antiviral therapy was successful, failed, or eradicated viremia followed by relapse in 12% (2/16), 31% (5/16) and 56% (9/16) of patients, respectively. Eighty-seven percent (14/16) of patients were treated with foscarnet-containing regimens; toxicity developed in 78% (11/14). Median viral load half-life and time to viremia eradication among foscarnet-treated patients were 2.6 and 23 days, respectively, and did not correlate with protection from relapse. Sixty-nine percent (11/16) and 25% (4/16) of patients developed and died due to CMV pneumonitis, respectively. Serum viral load was independently associated with death among foscarnet-treated patients (p=0.04). In conclusion, ganciclovir-resistant CMV infections remained a major cause of morbidity and mortality following lung transplantation. Foscarnet-based regimens often eradicated viremia rapidly, but were ineffective in the long-term and limited by toxicity.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2013; 58(1). DOI:10.1128/AAC.00561-13 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a retrospective study of 17 transplant recipients with carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteremia, and described epidemiology, clinical characteristics and strain genotypes. Eighty-eight percent (15/17) of patients were liver or intestinal transplant recipients. Outcomes were death due to septic shock (18%), cure (24%) and persistent (>7 days) or recurrent bacteremia (29% each). Thirty- and 90-day mortality was 18% and 47%, respectively. Patients who were cured received at least one active antimicrobial agent and underwent source control interventions. Forty-one percent (7/17) of patients had intra-abdominal infections; all except one developed persistent/recurrent bacteremia despite drainage. Two patients tolerated persistent bacteremia for >300 days. All patients except one were infected with sequence type 258 (ST258), K. pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-2-producing strains harboring a mutant ompK35 porin gene; the exception was infected with an ST37, KPC-3-producing strain. Seventy-one percent (12/17) of patients were infected with ST258 ompK36 mutant strains. In two patients, persistent bacteremia was caused by two strains with different ompK36 genotypes. Three ompK36 mutations were associated with significantly higher carbapenem minimum inhibitory concentrations than wild-type ompK36. Pulse-field gel electrophoresis identified a single ST258 lineage; serial strains from individual patients were indistinguishable. In conclusion, KPC-K. pneumoniae bacteremia exhibited highly diverse clinical courses following transplantation, and was caused by clonal ST258 strains with different ompK36 genotypes.
    American Journal of Transplantation 09/2013; 13(10). DOI:10.1111/ajt.12424 · 5.68 Impact Factor
  • The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 04/2012; 31(4):S99-S100. DOI:10.1016/j.healun.2012.01.282 · 6.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections after lung transplantation have not been identified. SNPs associated with varying levels of interferon (IFN)-γ (+874T/A), tumor necrosis factor-α (-308G/A), interleukin-10 (-1082G/A, -819C/T, -592C/A) and interleukin-6 (-174G/C) were characterized for 170 Caucasian lung transplant recipients who received alemtuzumab induction and valganciclovir prophylaxis against CMV. Patients were followed for a median of 34 months post-transplant, and 66% (113 of 170), 24% (40 of 170) and 10% (17 of 170) had no CMV infection, CMV viremia and CMV disease, respectively. Median times to CMV viremia and disease were 7 and 10 months, respectively. For each gene, there was no significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Independent risk factors for the development of CMV disease were IFN-γ +874 T/T genotype (associated with high levels of IFN-γ production), CMV donor-positive/recipient-negative (D(+)/R(-)) serostatus and acute cellular rejection requiring augmented immunosuppression (p = 0.001, 0.003 and 0.049, respectively). The association between IFN-γ +874 T/T genotype and CMV disease was most striking among R(+) patients (p = 0.02). D(+)/R(-) serostatus was also a significant risk factor for CMV viremia (p = 0.0005). IFN-γ +874 T/T genotype was associated with significantly lower peak CMV viral loads (p = 0.03). There were no associations between tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10 or interleukin-6 SNPs and CMV infections. A genetic predisposition to elevated IFN-γ levels may play a dual role in controlling active CMV infection among lung transplant recipients receiving alemtuzumab induction and valganciclovir prophylaxis, limiting the extent of viral replication in serum but increasing the risk of CMV disease.
    The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation 05/2011; 30(5):523-9. DOI:10.1016/j.healun.2010.11.008 · 6.65 Impact Factor
  • The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 04/2011; 30(4). DOI:10.1016/j.healun.2011.01.616 · 6.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: L.R. Minces, J.K. Bhama, R. Abdel-Massih, E.J. Kwak, S.S. Haider, M.H. Nguyen, Y. Toyoda, F.P. Silveira. Successful double lung transplantation in a patient with bilateral pulmonary and sinus aspergillomas. Transpl Infect Dis 2011: 13: 485–488. All rights reserved Abstract: The outcome of patients with aspergilloma undergoing lung transplantation is not completely known, but anecdotal reports of poor outcome after transplant have discouraged this practice. We present a 45-year-old female with pulmonary sarcoidosis complicated by bilateral pulmonary and sinus aspergillomas who underwent successful double lung transplantation. Patients with aspergillomas can receive lung transplantation, provided that there is sufficient technical expertise to explant the infected lungs with minimal chance of chest wall contamination, and aggressive antifungal therapy is used post transplantation.
    Transplant Infectious Disease 02/2011; 13(5):485-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1399-3062.2011.00615.x · 2.06 Impact Factor