[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AIM: To describe the dynamics in the incidence of childhood invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in Israel during a 22-year period (1989-2010). METHODS: A longitudinal prospective surveillance in all 27 medical centers with pediatric services in Israel. All cases of children <15 years old with positive blood/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture for Neisseria meningitidis were reported. Demographic, clinical, and bacteriological data were recorded. Meningococcal vaccine was not routinely given to Israeli children during the study period. RESULTS: The mean age ± standard deviation (SD) among the 743 cases was 40.7 ± 40.2 months. The mean yearly incidence/100,000 was 2.0 ± 0.8. Age-specific incidences were 8.7 ± 2.8, 2.9 ± 1.5, and 0.8 ± 0.5 for children <1, 1-4, and >4 years old, respectively. The overall incidence decreased significantly from 3.7 in 1989 to 1.5 in 2010. Meningitis constituted 69.2 % of all cases. The most common serogroups were: B (76.9 %), C (10.9 %), Y (8.0 %), and W135 (2.9 %). 78.6 % of all serogroup B isolates were from children <5 years old (p < 0.01). Serogroup C was found mainly in children ≥5 years old (63.4 %). The case fatality rates (CFRs) for children <1, 1-4, >4 years old, and the total study population were 9.2, 12.3, 7.7, and 9.9 %, respectively. CFRs were higher for children without meningitis (14.9 %) compared to children with meningitis (7.9 %) (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, and for serogroups B and W135, childhood IMD rates decreased significantly in Israel during the study period, without routine vaccine usage. The most common serogroup in all age groups was B, which was most prevalent in children <5 years old. No change in the trend of the overall CFR was noted during the study period.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two detailed checklists were developed, based on published infection control guidelines, for daily use by infection control practitioners in departments and operating rooms.
To assess the impact of the checklists on nosocomial infection rates in three hospitals over the course of one year.
The checklists included 20 subheadings (± 150 items). Project nurses conducted rounds in the study (but not control) departments; during each round, the nurses selected 15-20 items for observation, marked the checklists according to appropriateness of observed behaviour and provided on-the-spot corrective education. Rates of adherence to the checklist, antibiotic use, number of obtained and positive cultures, and positive staff hand and patient environment cultures were reported monthly as a report card to relevant personnel and administrators. The rate of nosocomial infections was determined in the first and last months.
The baseline nosocomial infection rate was similar in the study and control departments: 37/345 (11%) and 26/270 (10%) respectively. In the last month, the rate in the study department decreased to 16/383 (4%) (P<0.01); in the control it decreased insignificantly to 21/248 (8%) (not significant). No significant trends were detected in the number of obtained cultures, positive cultures, or antibiotic use. Adherence to guidelines ranged from 75% to 94% between the hospitals (P<0.001): the overall rate increased from 80% to 91% (P<0.01).
The use of checklists during the conduct of infection control rounds, combined with monthly reports, was associated with a significant decrease in nosocomial infections in study departments.
The Journal of hospital infection 05/2012; 81(3):169-76. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A substantial epidemic of Mycoplasma pneumonia infection was reported in late 2011 in some European countries. We report here an epidemic of M. pneumonia infection that began in Jerusalem during 2010 and is still ongoing. This report complements current information on what might be a worldwide epidemic of M. pneumoniae infection that might require substantial coordinated international public health intervention.
Euro surveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 01/2012; 17(8). · 5.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to assess the recent trends in the epidemiology of non-typhoid Salmonella in Israel using a sentinel laboratory-based surveillance network. Between 1999 and 2009, 8758 Salmonella stool isolates were reported by five sentinel laboratories. There was a significant decrease in the incidence rate of Salmonella isolates from 70·5/100,000 in 1999 to 21·6/100,000 in 2005 followed by a slight increase to 30·3/100,000 in 2009. Of all Salmonella, 64·3% were isolated from children in the 0-4 years age group. Up to 2008, S. Enteritidis was the most prevalent serotype and in 2009 S. Infantis emerged as the most common Salmonella serotype. The decrease in the incidence of S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium and increase in S. Infantis among humans were associated with a similar trend among breeding flocks, which followed significant preventive interventions conducted against S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium infections in poultry. Tight surveillance and education of food handlers and consumers should be enhanced to reduce the foodborne transmission of Salmonella in Israel.
Epidemiology and Infection 11/2011; 140(8):1446-53. · 2.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A policy of weekly faecal cultures for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) was instituted following the investigation of an outbreak of VRE in our neonatal intensive care unit in 2005. We found that 11 of 18 patients were infected or colonised during the outbreak, including three cases of bloodstream infection and one case of meningitis. This report describes the utility of the surveillance policy in maintaining a VRE-free environment. The outbreak investigation showed that all VRE isolated were Enterococcus faecium of the vanA type. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis suggested that the outbreak was caused by a single strain. Control of the outbreak was achieved by enhanced contact isolation precautions, cohorting of patients and staff, improved environmental decontamination and closure of the unit to new admissions. The patients with bloodstream infections and meningitis were treated successfully with linezolid. Approximately one year after the outbreak, weekly surveillance detected two patients with faecal carriage of VRE whose periods of admission overlapped. Early intensive intervention was associated with disappearance of the organism from the neonatal intensive care unit. No further cases of colonisation or disease have occurred in the unit in the two and a half years since then.
The Journal of hospital infection 11/2009; 74(4):370-6. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) in promoting venous drainage in tissues whose vitality is threatened by venous congestion and obstruction, especially in plastic and reconstructive surgery, has been complicated by infections caused by Aeromonas spp. These are leech endosymbionts for which patients undergoing hirudotherapy frequently receive systemic chemoprophylaxis. In order to evaluate the possibility of rendering leeches safe for use on patients, H. medicinalis were fed artificially with a 2 g/L arginine solution (used as a phagostimulant) supplemented with ciprofloxacin (100 mg/L). Aeromonads were detected in 57 out of 80 control leeches (71.3%), but in none of the 56 leeches treated with ciprofloxacin (p <0.001). Treated leeches survived for up to 4 months. Tested weekly, 61% of these leeches took human blood for at least 4 weeks after treatment and all remained negative for aeromonads. All water samples in which leeches were kept before treatment were contaminated with Aeromonas spp.; none were detected in any of the NaCl/arginine solutions with which treated animals were fed. Molecular characterization of two phenotypically distinct isolates using gyrB sequencing showed that one clustered tightly with A. veronii and the other was closely related to A. media. Other environmental bacteria and fungi were isolated from 26.5% of treated leeches that had taken a blood meal 1-4 weeks after treatment. Ciprofloxacin reduced the number of leech-associated aeromonads to undetectable levels for extended periods. Most treated leeches were ready to take a blood meal after treatment, suggesting the possibility of using ciprofloxacin-treated leeches instead of chemoprophylaxis in patients undergoing hirudotherapy.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 07/2009; 16(6):563-7. · 4.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis is an important cause of childhood meningitis and septicaemia. Between 1999 and 2005, 133 invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) cases occurred in Jerusalem, 112 (84.2%) of them in children aged 0-14 years. The annual incidence rate in Jerusalem was higher than the national average (2.45+/-0.6 vs. 1.13+/-0.16/100 000 population, P=0.002). Most of the children (82.1%) were from low socio-economic Arab and Jewish ultra-orthodox communities; mortality was higher among Arab than Jewish children (1.3 vs. 0.22/100 000 person-years, P=0.004). A cluster of 10 children with severe meningococcal sepsis (three fatalities) emerged in the winter of 2003-2004. Compared to the other 102 cases in 1999-2005 both meningococcaemia (100% vs. 51%, P=0.003) and mortality (30% vs. 6.9%, P=0.014) rates were higher. Serogroup B comprised 77.6% of the bacterial isolates. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed considerable variability among cluster isolates, but significant resemblance in Arab cases throughout 1999-2005. The increased susceptibility of specific sub-populations to IMD necessitates further evaluation.
Epidemiology and Infection 07/2008; 136(6):782-9. · 2.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed to compare BD group B Streptococcus differential agar (GBSDA) with inoculation into LIM broth and subculture onto blood agar plates (LIM-BA) as a method for GBS screening in pregnant women. First, we compared the detection threshold and the ease of use of GBSDA with LIM-BA by inoculating known numbers of GBS mixed with approximately 10(5) cfu of other bacteria. Second, we tested the production of carotenoid pigment in 155 GBS blood culture isolates. Finally, we compared GBSDA, LIM broth with direct GBS antigen detection (LIM-AG) and LIM-BA as methods for GBS screening in pregnant women. GBS colonies were easily detected on GBSDA at a threshold of 20 cfu. In contrast, GBS was not detected in a mixed culture from LIM broth with initial inocula of up to 100 cfu. Orange pigment was produced in 146/155 GBS blood culture isolates. Pigment was not produced in eight non-hemolytic and two hemolytic strains. GBS was detected by GBSDA in 58 out of 297 parturient women (19.5%) but in only 50 (16.8%, P > 0.05) and 46 (15.4%, P = 0.079) women by LIM-BA and LIM-AG, respectively. GBSDA is a satisfactory medium for the rapid detection of most GBS isolates, but other methods may be needed if detection of all non-pigmented strains is required.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 03/2008; 27(3):241-3. · 3.02 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To partially characterise maggot-secreted antibacterial substances and determine their range of activity against different bacteria.
Sterile and non-sterile maggots maintained in the laboratory and taken from chronic wounds of treated patients were used. Whole body extracts and haemolymph were fractionated and their range of activity against bacteria was tested using the zone of inhibition assay. The mode of action of bacterial destruction was examined by viable counts, influx of K+ and changes in the membrane potential by scanning electron microscope (SEM).
Extracts of sterile and non-sterile maggots showed an activity of 200 arbitrary units (AU)/ml and 400AU/ml respectively. Maggots removed from chronic wounds had an activity of 1200AU/ml. Injuring sterile maggots with a sterile needle doubled the antibacterial activity within 24 hours, while the antibacterial activity of haemolymph increased fourfold after injury with a sterile needle and sixteenfold with an infected needle. The fractions with a molecular weight of < 1kDa and 3-10kDa showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from wounds. The fraction with a molecular weight of < 1kDa lysed over 90% of the bacteria within 15 minutes by causing an influx of K+ and changing the membrane potential of bacteria.
The nature of the antibacterial materials extracted from maggots not only indicates their ability to ingest the necrotic tissue on the wound, but also their potential significance in wound healing,
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eight commercially available tests for Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Serodia-Myco II, Labsystems IgM and IgG EIA, IgM and IgG LISA tests, ImmunoWell IgG test and SeroMP IgM and IgG) were compared using 204 single sera from healthy individuals. IgM peaked in late childhood and then declined, while IgG rose progressively into adulthood. Inter-assay agreement was poor. Positivity in Serodia-Myco II and LISA IgG was associated with blood group or Coombs positivity, suggesting non-specific reactions. The study confirmed that single serum serology is unsuitable for the diagnosis of M. pneumoniae infection, and that commercially available tests need further improvement.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 08/2006; 12(7):685-8. · 4.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the recent isolation of Cryptococcus laurentii from the blood of a patient given the diagnosis of ganglioneuroblastoma. The organism was identified using physiological and molecular characteristics, including morphology, carbohydrate and nitrate assimilation, urease activity, inability to form melanin on appropriate media, positive staining with diazonium blue B and sequence analysis of the D1/D2 domain of 26S ribosomal DNA. The isolate was resistant to fluconazole and 5-fluorocytosine using both the Etest and a broth microdilution assay. Repeated recovery of the organism from different blood cultures, and the patient's good response to treatment with amphotericin B support its etiological role. C. laurentii has rarely been implicated as a cause of clinically significant infections. The identity of reported isolates has not always been adequately documented, and some appear to have been isolated from lesions caused by Cryptococcus neoformans, emphasizing the true rarity of disease due to this fungus.
Medical Mycology 11/2002; 40(5):479-84. · 1.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reported here is a cluster of infections due to a nitrate-negative variant of Enterobacter sakazakii, which occurred among premature neonates at the Hadassah Hospital, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, in December 1999-January 2000. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed cluster isolates to be identical but unrelated to previous systemic isolates recovered in 1993 and 1998. The organism was not isolated from infant formula powder, but it was recovered from prepared formula and from a kitchen blender. Elimination of the environmental focus, a change to factory-prepared infant formula, and isolation of affected infants terminated the event. Faecal carriage of Enterobacter sakazakii was observed for up to 18 weeks, emphasising the potential for cross-infection.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 09/2002; 21(8):613-6. · 3.02 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterobacter sakazakii, a Gram-negative bacillus, previously known as "yellow pigmented Enterobacter cloacae", is a rare cause of neonatal infection. We describe the detailed clinical presentation of two cases in whom E. sakazakii was isolated in our neonatal service during the course of 1 mo. These include one case of sepsis and meningitis complicated by cerebral infarction, and one case of sepsis. In addition, three cases of intestinal colonization were identified. The source of the organism was thoroughly sought and was found to be a blender in the milk kitchen that was used for preparation of the reconstituted powdered milk formula. CONCLUSION: Our paper adds clinical and laboratory information about the disease spectrum caused by this relatively rare organism and emphasizes the importance of a thorough search for the source of the infection.