[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bordetella pertussis circulates even in highly vaccinated countries affecting all age groups. Insight into the scale of concealed reinfections is important as they may contribute to transmission. We therefore investigated whether current single-point serodiagnostic methods are suitable to estimate the prevalence of pertussis reinfection. Two methods based on IgG-Ptx plasma levels alone were used to evaluate the proportion of renewed seroconversions in the past year in a cohort of retrospective pertussis cases ≥ 24 months after a proven earlier symptomatic infection. A Dutch population database was used as a baseline. Applying a classical 62.5 IU/ml IgG-Ptx cut-off, we calculated a seroprevalence of 15% in retrospective cases, higher than the 10% observed in the population baseline. However, this method could not discriminate between renewed seroconversion and waning of previously infection-enhanced IgG-Ptx levels. Two-component cluster analysis of the IgG-Ptx datasets of both pertussis cases and the general population revealed a continuum of intermediate IgG-Ptx levels, preventing the establishment of a positive population and the comparison of prevalence by this alternative method. Next, we investigated the complementary serodiagnostic value of IgA-Ptx levels. When modelling datasets including both convalescent and retrospective cases we obtained new cut-offs for both IgG-Ptx and IgA-Ptx that were optimized to evaluate renewed seroconversions in the ex-cases target population. Combining these cut-offs two-dimensionally, we calculated 8.0% reinfections in retrospective cases, being below the baseline seroprevalence. Our study for the first time revealed the shortcomings of using only IgG-Ptx data in conventional serodiagnostic methods to determine pertussis reinfections. Improved results can be obtained with two-dimensional serodiagnostic profiling. The proportion of reinfections thus established suggests a relatively increased period of protection to renewed infection after clinical pertussis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Despite the high use of over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines, little is known about Australia's cough and cold medicines information needs. The aim of this study was to identify gaps in consumers' perceived knowledge and concerns, to better target consumer medicines information and improve quality use of medicines.
We analysed cough-and-cold related enquiries from consumers who contacted an Australian national medicine call centre between September 2002 and June 2010.
Of 5503 cough and cold calls, female callers made up 86% of the calls and 33% were related to children. Questions most frequently related to drug-drug interactions (29%). An analysis of narratives over an 18-month period (248 calls) revealed 20% of the calls concerned potentially clinically relevant interactions, particularly those involving psychotropic agents.
The potential for interactions with cough and cold medicines purchased OTC is recognised by consumers. Patient information should address their concerns. Doctors should be aware of the common cough and cold interactions and communicate likely clinical symptoms to patients when prescribing medication to prevent potential harm.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Australian family physician
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Antibiotic overprescribing is a significant problem. Multifaceted interventions improved antibiotic prescribing quality; their implementation and sustainability, however, have proved difficult. We analysed the effectiveness of an intervention embedded in the quality cycle of primary care practice accreditation on quantity and quality of antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract and ear infections (RTIs).
This was a pragmatic, cluster-randomized intervention trial in 88 Dutch primary care practices. The intervention (physician education and audit/feedback on antibiotic prescribing quantity and quality) was integrated in practice accreditation by defining an improvement plan with respect to antibiotic prescribing for RTIs. Numbers and types of dispensed antibiotics were analysed from 1 year prior to the intervention to 2 years after the intervention (pharmacy data). Overprescribing, underprescribing and non-first-choice prescribing for RTIs were analysed at baseline and 1 year later (self-registration).
There were significant differences between intervention and control practices in the changes in dispensed antibiotics/1000 registered patients (first year: -7.6% versus -0.4%, P = 0.002; second year: -4.3% versus +2%, P = 0.015), which was more pronounced for macrolides and amoxicillin/clavulanate (first year: -12.7% versus +2.9%, P = 0.001; second year: -7.8% versus +6.7%, P = 0.005). Overprescribing for RTIs decreased from 44% of prescriptions to 28% (P < 0.001). Most general practitioners (GPs) envisaged practice accreditation as a tool for guideline implementation.
GP education and an audited improvement plan around antibiotics for RTIs as part of primary care practice accreditation sustainably improved antibiotic prescribing. Tools should be sought to further integrate and facilitate education and audit/feedback in practice accreditation.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In een redactioneel commentaar (juli 2015) wordt gesteld dat de resultaten van de CAPiTA trial niet voldoende realistisch zijn gepresenteerd, dat er geen statistische effecten op sterfte zijn en dat de betrokkenheid van Pfizer een genuanceerde weergave van de resultaten in de weg heeft gestaan.1
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Huisarts en wetenschap
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccines prevent pneumococcal disease in infants, but their efficacy against pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia in adults 65 years of age or older is unknown.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 84,496 adults 65 years of age or older, we evaluated the efficacy of 13-valent polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in preventing first episodes of vaccine-type strains of pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia, nonbacteremic and noninvasive pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia, and invasive pneumococcal disease. Standard laboratory methods and a serotype-specific urinary antigen detection assay were used to identify community-acquired pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease.
In the per-protocol analysis of first episodes of infections due to vaccine-type strains, community-acquired pneumonia occurred in 49 persons in the PCV13 group and 90 persons in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 45.6%; 95.2% confidence interval [CI], 21.8 to 62.5), nonbacteremic and noninvasive community-acquired pneumonia occurred in 33 persons in the PCV13 group and 60 persons in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 45.0%; 95.2% CI, 14.2 to 65.3), and invasive pneumococcal disease occurred in 7 persons in the PCV13 group and 28 persons in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 75.0%; 95% CI, 41.4 to 90.8). Efficacy persisted throughout the trial (mean follow-up, 3.97 years). In the modified intention-to-treat analysis, similar efficacy was observed (vaccine efficacy, 37.7%, 41.1%, and 75.8%, respectively), and community-acquired pneumonia occurred in 747 persons in the PCV13 group and 787 persons in placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 5.1%; 95% CI, -5.1 to 14.2). Numbers of serious adverse events and deaths were similar in the two groups, but there were more local reactions in the PCV13 group.
Among older adults, PCV13 was effective in preventing vaccine-type pneumococcal, bacteremic, and nonbacteremic community-acquired pneumonia and vaccine-type invasive pneumococcal disease but not in preventing community-acquired pneumonia from any cause. (Funded by Pfizer; CAPITA ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00744263.).
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · New England Journal of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Estimate the efficacy of amoxicillin for acute uncomplicated lower-respiratory-tract infection (LRTI) in primary care and demonstrate the use of randomisationbased efficacy estimators. Design: Secondary analysis of a two-arm individuallyrandomised placebo-controlled trial. Setting: Primary care practices in 12 European countries. Participants: Patients aged 18 or older consulting with an acute LRTI in whom pneumonia was not suspected by the clinician. Interventions: Amoxicillin (two 500 mg tablets three times a day for 7 days) or matched placebo. Main outcome measures: Clinician-rated symptom severity between days 2-4; new/worsening symptoms and presence of side effects at 4-weeks. Adherence was captured using self-report and tablet counts. Results: 2061 participants were randomised to the amoxicillin or placebo group. On average, 88% of the prescribed amoxicillin was taken. The original analysis demonstrated small increases in both benefits and harms from amoxicillin. Minor improvements in the benefits of amoxicillin were observed when an adjustments for adherence were made (mean difference in symptom severity -0.08, 95% CI -0.17 to 0.01, OR for new/ worsening symptoms 0.81, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.98) as well as minor increases in harms (OR for side effects 1.32, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.57). Conclusions: Adherence to amoxicillin was high, and the findings from the original analysis were robust to non-adherence. Participants consulting to primary care with an acute uncomplicated LRTI can on average expect minor improvements in outcome from taking amoxicillin. However, they are also at an increased risk of experiencing side effects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The results obtained from various point-of-care (POC) test devices for estimating C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in a laboratory setting differ when compared to a laboratory reference test. We aimed to determine whether such differences meaningfully affect the accuracy and added diagnostic value in predicting radiographic pneumonia in adults presenting with acute cough in primary care.
A nested case control study of adult patients presenting with acute cough in 12 different European countries (the Genomics to combat Resistance against Antibiotics in Community-acquired LRTI in Europe [GRACE] Network). Venous blood samples from 100 patients with and 100 patients without pneumonia were tested with five different POC CRP tests and a laboratory analyzer. Single test accuracy values and the added value of CRP to symptoms and signs were calculated.
Single test accuracy values showed similar results for all five POC CRP tests and the laboratory analyzer. The area under the curve of the different POC CRP tests and the laboratory analyzer (range 0.79-0.80) were all comparable and higher than the clinical model without CRP (0.70). Multivariable odds ratios were the same (1.2) for all CRP tests.
Five POC CRP test devices and the laboratory analyzer performed with similar accuracy in detecting pneumonia both as single test, and when used in addition to clinical findings. Variability in results obtained from standard CRP laboratory and POC test devices do not translate into clinically relevant differences when used for prediction of pneumonia in patients with acute cough in primary care.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are the most frequent bacterial infection affecting women and account for about 15% of antibiotics prescribed in primary care. However, some women with a UTI are not prescribed antibiotics or are prescribed the wrong antibiotics, while many women who do not have a microbiologically confirmed UTI are prescribed antibiotics. Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing unnecessarily increases the risk of side effects and the development of antibiotic resistance, and wastes resources.
614 adult female patients will be recruited from four primary care research networks (Wales, England, Spain, the Netherlands) and individually randomised to either POCT guided care or the guideline-informed 'standard care' arm. Urine and stool samples (where possible) will be obtained at presentation (day 1) and two weeks later for microbiological analysis. All participants will be followed up on the course of their illness and their quality of life, using a 2 week self-completed symptom diary. At 3 months, a primary care notes review will be conducted for evidence of further evidence of treatment failures, recurrence, complications, hospitalisations and health service costs.
Although the Flexicult™ POCT is used in some countries in routine primary care, it's clinical and cost effectiveness has never been evaluated in a randomised clinical trial. If shown to be effective, the use of this POCT could benefit individual sufferers and provide evidence for health care authorities to develop evidence based policies to combat the spread and impact of the unprecedented rise of infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria in Europe.
Trial registration number:
ISRCTN65200697 (Registered 10 September 2013).
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · BMC Family Practice
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence shows a high rate of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in primary care in Europe and the United States. Given the costs of widespread use and associated antibiotic resistance, reducing inappropriate use is a public health priority.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of General Internal Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial use in farm animals might contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals, and there is an urgent need to reduce antimicrobial use in farm animals. Veterinarians are typically responsible for prescribing and overseeing antimicrobial use in animals. A thorough understanding of veterinarians' current prescribing practices and their reasons to prescribe antimicrobials might offer leads for interventions to reduce antimicrobial use in farm animals. This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of factors that influence prescribing behaviour of farm animal veterinarians. Semi-structured interviews with eleven farm animal veterinarians were conducted, which were taped, transcribed and iteratively analysed. This preliminary analysis was further discussed and refined in an expert meeting. A final conceptual model was derived from the analysis and sent to all the respondents for validation. Many conflicting interests are identifiable when it comes to antimicrobial prescribing by farm animal veterinarians. Belief in the professional obligation to alleviate animal suffering, financial dependency on clients, risk avoidance, shortcomings in advisory skills, financial barriers for structural veterinary herd health advisory services, lack of farmers' compliance to veterinary recommendations, public health interests, personal beliefs regarding the veterinary contribution to antimicrobial resistance and major economic powers are all influential determinants in antimicrobial prescribing behaviour of farm animal veterinarians. Interventions to change prescribing behaviour of farm animal veterinarians could address attitudes and advisory skills of veterinarians, as well as provide tools to deal with (perceived) pressure from farmers and advisors to prescribe antimicrobials. Additional (policy) measures could probably support farm animal veterinarians in acting as a more independent animal health consultant.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Zoonoses and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
General public views and expectations around the use of antibiotics can influence general practitioners' antibiotic prescribing decisions. We set out to describe the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about the use of antibiotics for respiratory tract infections in adults in Poland, and explore differences according to where people live in an urban-rural continuum.
Material and Methods
Face to face survey among a stratified random sample of adults from the general population.
1,210 adults completed the questionnaire (87% response rate); 44.3% were rural; 57.9% were women. 49.4% of rural respondents and 44.4% of urban respondents had used an antibiotic in the last 2 years. Rural participants were less likely to agree with the statement “usually I know when I need an antibiotic,” (53.5% vs. 61.3% respectively; p = 0.015) and reported that they would consult with a physician for a cough with yellow/green phlegm (69.2% vs. 74.9% respectively; p = 0.004), and were more likely to state that they would leave the decision about antibiotic prescribing to their doctor (87.5% vs. 85.6% respectively; p = 0.026). However, rural participants were more likely to believe that antibiotics accelerate recovery from sore throat (45.7% vs. 37.1% respectively; p = 0.017). Use of antibiotic in the last 2 years, level of education, number of children and awareness of the problem of developing antimicrobial resistance predicted accurate knowledge about antibiotic effectiveness.
There were no major differences in beliefs about antibiotics between urban and rural responders, although rural responders were slightly less confident in their knowledge about antibiotics and self-reported greater use of antibiotics. Despite differences in the level of education between rural and urban responders, there were no significant differences in their knowledge about antibiotic effectiveness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:In acute cough patients, impaired lung function as present in chronic lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are often thought to negatively influence course of disease, but clear evidence is lacking.Aims:To investigate the influence of lung function abnormalities on course of disease and response to antibiotic therapy in primary care patients with acute cough.Methods:A total of 3,104 patients with acute cough (⩽28 days) were included in a prospective observational study with a within-nested trial, of which 2,427 underwent spirometry 28-35 days after inclusion. Influence of the lung function abnormalities fixed obstruction (forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio <0.7) and bronchodilator responsiveness (FEV1 increase of ⩾12% or 200 ml after 400 μg salbutamol) on symptom severity, duration and worsening were evaluated using uni- and multivariable regression models. Antibiotic use was defined as the reported use of antibiotics ⩾5 days in the first week. Interaction terms were calculated to investigate modifying effects of lung function on antibiotic effect.Results:The only significant association was the effect of severe airway obstruction on symptom severity on days 2-4 (difference=0.31, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.03-0.60, P=0.03). No evidence of a differential effect of lung function on the effect of antibiotics was found. Prior use of inhaled steroids was associated with a 30% slower resolution of symptoms rated 'moderately bad' or worse (hazard ratio=0.75, 95% CI=0.63-0.90, P=0.00).Conclusions:In adult patients with acute cough, lung function abnormalities were neither significantly associated with course of disease nor did they modify the effect of antibiotics.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Patient safety culture, described as shared values, attitudes and behavior of staff in a health-care organization, gained attention as a subject of study as it is believed to be related to the impact of patient safety improvements. However, in primary care, it is yet unknown, which effect interventions have on the safety culture. Objectives: To review literature on the use of interventions that effect patient safety culture in primary care. Methods: Searches were performed in PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsychINFO on March 4, 2013. Terms defining safety culture were combined with terms identifying intervention and terms indicating primary care. Inclusion followed if the intervention effected patient safety culture, and effect measures were reported. Results: The search yielded 214 articles from which two were eligible for inclusion. Both studies were heterogeneous in their interventions and outcome; we present a qualitative summary. One study described the implementation of an electronic medical record system in general practices as part of patient safety improvements. The other study facilitated 2 workshops for general practices, one on risk management and another on significant event audit. Results showed signs of improvement, but the level of evidence was low because of the design and methodological problems. Conclusions: These studies in general practice provide a first understanding of improvement strategies and their effect in primary care. As the level of evidence was low, no clear preference can be determined. Further research is needed to help practices make an informed choice for an intervention.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Patient Safety