Rainer Weber

University of Zurich, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

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Publications (238)1799.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Principles: Therapeutic target serum concentrations of first-line antituberculosis drugs have not been well defined in clinical studies in tuberculosis (TB) patients. Methods: We retrospectively investigated the estimated maximum serum concentrations (eCmax) of antituberculosis drugs and clinical outcome of TB patients with therapeutic drug monitoring performed between 2010-2012 at our institution, and follow-up until March 2014. The eCmax was defined as the highest serum concentration during a sampling period (2, 4 and 6 hours after drug ingestion). We compared the results with published eCmax values, and categorised them as either "within reference range", "low eCmax", or "very low eCmax".Low/very low eCmax-levels were defined as follows: isoniazid 2-3/<2 mg/l, rifampicin 4-8/<4 mg/l, rifabutin 0.2-0.3/<0.2 mg/l, ethambutol 1-2/<0.1 mg/l and pyrazinamide <20 mg/l. Results: Concentrations of antituberculosis drugs in 175 serum samples of 17 patients with TB were analysed. In 12 (71%) patients, multiple therapeutic drug monitoring samples were collected over time, in 5 (29%) patients only one sample was available for therapeutic drug monitoring. Overall, 94% of all patients had at least one low antituberculosis drug concentration. Overall, 64% of all eCmax levels were classified as "low" or "very low". The eCmax was below the relelvant reference range in 80% of isoniazid, 95% of rifampicin, 30% of pyrazinamide, and 30% of ethambutol measurements. All but one patient were cured of tuberculosis. Conclusions: Although many antituberculosis drug serum concentrations were below the widely used reference ranges, 16 of 17 patients were cured of tuberculosis. These results challenge the use of the published reference ranges for therapeutic drug monitoring.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Late presentation to HIV care leads to increased morbidity and mortality. We explored risk factors and reasons for late HIV testing and presentation to care in the nationally representative Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS). Methods: Adult patients enrolled in the SHCS between July 2009 and June 2012 were included. An initial CD4 count <350 cells/µl or an AIDS-defining illness defined late presentation. Demographic and behavioural characteristics of late presenters (LPs) were compared with those of non-late presenters (NLPs). Information on self-reported, individual barriers to HIV testing and care were obtained during face-to-face interviews. Results: Of 1366 patients included, 680 (49.8%) were LPs. Seventy-two percent of eligible patients took part in the survey. LPs were more likely to be female (p<0.001) or from sub-Saharan Africa (p<0.001) and less likely to be highly educated (p=0.002) or men who have sex with men (p<0.001). LPs were more likely to have their first HIV test following a doctor's suggestion (p=0.01), and NLPs in the context of a regular check-up (p=0.02) or after a specific risk situation (p<0.001). The main reasons for late HIV testing were "did not feel at risk" (72%), "did not feel ill" (65%) and "did not know the symptoms of HIV" (51%). Seventy-one percent of the participants were symptomatic during the year preceding HIV diagnosis and the majority consulted a physician for these symptoms. Conclusions: In Switzerland, late presentation to care is driven by late HIV testing due to low risk perception and lack of awareness about HIV. Tailored HIV testing strategies and enhanced provider-initiated testing are urgently needed.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of the International AIDS Society
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: We studied the incidence and prevalence of, and co-factors for depression in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Methods: Depression-specific items were introduced in 2010 and prospectively collected at semiannual cohort visits. Clinical, laboratory and behavioral co-factors of incident depression among participants free of depression at the first two visits in 2010 or thereafter were analyzed with Poisson regression. Cumulative prevalence of depression at the last visit was analyzed with logistic regression. Results: Among 4,422 participants without a history of psychiatric disorders or depression at baseline, 360 developed depression during 9,348 person-years (PY) of follow-up, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.9 per 100 PY (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.5-4.3). Cumulative prevalence of depression during follow-up was recorded for 1,937/6,756 (28.7%) participants. Incidence and cumulative prevalence were higher in injection drug users (IDU) and women. Older age, preserved work ability and higher physical activity were associated with less depression episodes. Mortality (0.96 per 100 PY, 95% CI 0.83-1.11) based upon 193 deaths over 20,102 PY was higher among male IDU (2.34, 1.78-3.09), female IDU (2.33, 1.59-3.39) and white heterosexual men (1.32, 0.94-1.84) compared to white heterosexual women and homosexual men (0.53, 0.29-0.95; and 0.71, 0.55-0.92). Compared to participants free of depression, mortality was slightly elevated among participants with a history of depression (1.17, 0.94-1.45 vs. 0.86, 0.71-1.03, P = 0.033). Suicides (n = 18) did not differ between HIV transmission groups (P = 0.50), but were more frequent among participants with a prior diagnosis of depression (0.18 per 100 PY, 95%CI 0.10-0.31; vs. 0.04, 0.02-0.10; P = 0.003). Conclusions: Depression is a frequent co-morbidity among HIV-infected persons, and thus an important focus of care.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To evaluate the diagnostic performance of seven non-invasive tests (NITs) of liver fibrosis and to assess fibrosis progression over time in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. Methods Transient elastography (TE) and six blood tests were compared to histopathological fibrosis stage (METAVIR). Participants were followed over three years with NITs at yearly intervals. Results Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) for significant fibrosis (> = F2) in 105 participants was highest for TE (0.85), followed by FIB-4 (0.77), ELF-Test (0.77), APRI (0.76), Fibrotest (0.75), hyaluronic acid (0.70), and Hepascore (0.68). AUROC for cirrhosis (F4) was 0.97 for TE followed by FIB-4 (0.91), APRI (0.89), Fibrotest (0.84), Hepascore (0.82), ELF-Test (0.82), and hyaluronic acid (0.79). A three year follow-up was completed by 87 participants, all on antiretroviral therapy and in 20 patients who completed HCV treatment (9 with sustained virologic response). TE, APRI and Fibrotest did not significantly change during follow-up. There was weak evidence for an increase of FIB-4 (mean increase: 0.22, p = 0.07). 42 participants had a second liver biopsy: Among 38 participants with F0-F3 at baseline, 10 were progessors (1-stage increase in fibrosis, 8 participants; 2-stage, 1; 3-stage, 1). Among progressors, mean increase in TE was 3.35 kPa, in APRI 0.36, and in FIB-4 0.75. Fibrotest results did not change over 3 years. Conclusion TE was the best NIT for liver fibrosis staging in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. APRI-Score, FIB-4 Index, Fibrotest, and ELF-Test were less reliable. Routinely available APRI and FIB-4 performed as good as more expensive tests. NITs did not change significantly during a follow-up of three years, suggesting slow liver disease progression in a majority of HIV/HCV co-infected persons on antiretroviral therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Children travelling are potentially exposed to a wide spectrum of illness, which includes mild self-limiting disease, but also severe illness requiring hospitalization. Risk factors for hospitalization need to be analysed to inform prevention- and treatment strategies for travel-related disease, to make travelling for children - from a medical perspective - more secure. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis on children with travel-related disease presenting at the Emergency Room of University of Zurich Children's Hospital between July 2007 and December 2012. The profile of children being hospitalized was compared to that of children treated as outpatients. Results: 801 children (57.4% male) were included in the study. 83 children (10.4%) were treated as inpatients. Compared to outpatients, inpatients were significantly more likely to be male, to have travelled to Southern Asia, to have a diagnosis of Salmonella typhi or paratyphi(3.6 % vs. 0.1%, p < 0.0001), pyogenic abscess (3.6% vs. 0.1 %, p < 0.0001) or malaria (1.4 % vs. 0.2%, p = 0.0384). Neurologic diagnoses (such as seizure disorder: 3.6% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.0001) were diagnosed more often among inpatients. Furthermore, inpatients presented more often with non-specific findings such as dehydration (8.5% vs. 0.6%, p < 0.0001): No correlation with inpatient care was seen for VFR/immigrant travel. Conclusions: Children acquire a wide spectrum of travel-related illness. A careful, detailed travel history is important in children presenting in the Emergency Room with symptoms suggesting infectious disease.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Paper-based interventions have been shown to stimulate switching from intravenous (i.v.) to oral (p.o.) antibiotic therapies. Shorter i.v. durations are associated with a lower risk of iatrogenic infections as well as reduced workload and costs. The purpose of this study was to determine whether automated electronic reminders are able to promote earlier switching. In this controlled before-and-after study, an algorithm identified patients who were eligible for i.v.-to-p.o. switch 60h after starting i.v. antimicrobials. Reminders offering guidance on the re-assessment of initial i.v. therapy were displayed within the electronic health records in 12 units during the intervention period (year 2012). In contrast, no reminders were visible during the baseline period (2011) and in the control group (17 units). A total of 22863 i.v. antibiotic therapies were analysed; 6082 (26.6%) were switched to p.o. In the intervention group, 757 courses of i.v. antibiotics were administered for a mean±standard deviation duration of 5.4±8.1 days before switching to p.o. antibiotics in the baseline period, and 794 courses for 4.5±5.5 days in the intervention period (P=0.004), corresponding to a 17.5% reduction of i.v. administration time. In contrast, in the control group the duration increased; 2240 i.v. antibiotics were administered for a mean duration of 4.0±5.9 days in the baseline period, and 2291 for 4.3±5.8 days in the intervention period (P=0.03). Electronic reminders fostered earlier i.v.-to-p.o. switches, thereby reducing the duration of initial i.v. therapies by nearly a day. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · International journal of antimicrobial agents
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    ABSTRACT: We identified 10 patients with disseminated Mycobacterium chimaera infections subsequent to open-heart surgery at three European Hospitals. Infections originated from the heater-cooler unit of the heart-lung machine. Here we describe clinical aspects and treatment course of this novel clinical entity. Interdisciplinary care and follow-up of all patients was documented by the study team. Patients' characteristics, clinical manifestations, microbiological findings, and therapeutic measures including surgical reinterventions were reviewed and treatment outcomes are described. The 10 patients comprise a 1-year-old child and nine adults with a median age of 61 years (range 36-76 years). The median duration from cardiac surgery to diagnosis was 21 (range 5-40) months. All patients had prosthetic material-associated infections with either prosthetic valve endocarditis, aortic graft infection, myocarditis, or infection of the prosthetic material following banding of the pulmonary artery. Extracardiac manifestations preceded cardiovascular disease in some cases. Despite targeted antimicrobial therapy, M. chimaera infection required cardiosurgical reinterventions in eight patients. Six out of 10 patients experienced breakthrough infections, of which four were fatal. Three patients are in a post-treatment monitoring period. Healthcare-associated infections due to M. chimaera occurred in patients subsequent to cardiac surgery with extracorporeal circulation and implantation of prosthetic material. Infections became clinically apparent after a time lag of months to years. Mycobacterium chimaera infections are easily missed by routine bacterial diagnostics and outcome is poor despite long-term antimycobacterial therapy, probably because biofilm formation hinders eradication of pathogens. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2015. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · European Heart Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of first-generation protease inhibitor based triple-therapy against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is limited in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with advanced liver fibrosis and non-response to previous peginterferon-ribavirin. These patients have a low chance of achieving a sustained virologic response (SVR) using first generation triple-therapy, with a success rate of only 20%. We investigated the efficacy and safety of lead-in therapy with intravenous silibinin followed by triple-therapy in this difficult-to-treat patient group.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Although acquired immune deficiency syndrome-associated morbidity has diminished due to excellent viral control, multimorbidity may be increasing among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons compared with the general population. Methods. We assessed the prevalence of comorbidities and multimorbidity in participants of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) compared with the population-based CoLaus study and the primary care-based FIRE (Family Medicine ICPC-Research using Electronic Medical Records) records. The incidence of the respective endpoints were assessed among SHCS and CoLaus participants. Poisson regression models were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, and smoking. Results. Overall, 74 291 participants contributed data to prevalence analyses (3230 HIV-infected; 71 061 controls). In CoLaus, FIRE, and SHCS, multimorbidity was present among 26%, 13%, and 27% of participants. Compared with nonsmoking individuals from CoLaus, the incidence of cardiovascular disease was elevated among smoking individuals but independent of HIV status (HIV-negative smoking: incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2–2.5; HIV-positive smoking: IRR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.1–2.6; HIV-positive nonsmoking: IRR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.44–1.4). Compared with nonsmoking HIV-negative persons, multivariable Poisson regression identified associations of HIV infection with hypertension (nonsmoking: IRR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.5–2.4; smoking: IRR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.6–2.4), kidney (nonsmoking: IRR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.9–3.8; smoking: IRR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.9–3.6), and liver disease (nonsmoking: IRR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.4–2.4; smoking: IRR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.4–2.2). No evidence was found for an association of HIV-infection or smoking with diabetes mellitus. Conclusions. Multimorbidity is more prevalent and incident in HIV-positive compared with HIV-negative individuals. Smoking, but not HIV status, has a strong impact on cardiovascular risk and multimorbidity.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Open Forum Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes can influence treatment outcome in HBV-monoinfected and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HBV-coinfected patients. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) plays a pivotal role in antiretroviral therapy (ART) of HIV/HBV-coinfected patients. The influence of HBV genotypes on the response to antiviral drugs, particularly TDF, is poorly understood. HIV/HBV-co-infected participants with detectable HBV DNA prior to TDF therapy were selected from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. HBV genotypes were identified and resistance testing was performed prior to antiviral therapy, and in patients with delayed treatment response (>6 months). The efficacy of TDF to suppress HBV (HBV DNA <20 IU/mL) and the influence of HBV genotypes were determined. 143 HIV/HBV-coinfected participants with detectable HBV DNA were identified. The predominant HBV genotypes were A (82 patients, 57 %); and D (35 patients, 24 %); 20 patients (14 %) were infected with multiple genotypes (3 % A + D and 11 % A + G); and genotypes B, C and E were each present in two patients (1 %). TDF completely suppressed HBV DNA in 131 patients (92 %) within 6 months; and in 12 patients (8 %), HBV DNA suppression was delayed. No HBV resistance mutations to TDF were found in patients with delayed response, but all were infected with HBV genotype A (among these, 5 patients with genotype A + G), and all had previously been exposed to lamivudine. In HIV/HBV-coinfected patients, infection with multiple HBV genotypes was more frequent than previously reported. The large majority of patients had an undetectable HBV viral load at six months of TDF-containing ART. In patients without viral suppression, no TDF-related resistance mutations were found. The role of specific genotypes and prior lamivudine treatment in the delayed response to TDF warrant further investigation.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · BMC Gastroenterology

  • No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Condomless sex is a key driver of sexually transmitted diseases. In this study, we assess the long-term changes (2000–2013) of the occurrence of condomless sex among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort study. The frequencies with which HIV-infected individuals reported condomless sex were either stable or only weakly increasing for 2000–2008. For 2008–2013, these rates increased significantly for stable relationships among heterosexuals and men who have sex with men (MSM) and for occasional relationships among MSM. Our results highlight the increasing public health challenge posed by condomless sex and show that condomless sex has been increasing even in the most recent years.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Open Forum Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Prospectively and systematically collected data on frequency and spectrum of unexpected clinical manifestations during primary human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (PHI) have not been published. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 290 patients with documented PHI in the Zurich Primary HIV Infection Study. Typical acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) was defined as fever plus at least 1 symptom or sign typically considered to be associated with ARS; in absence of fever, presence of 2 or more ARS symptoms or signs. Atypical ARS was defined as lack of symptoms or signs, a single symptom or sign only and absence of fever, presence of symptoms or signs that are not considered typically associated with ARS, or occurrence of an opportunistic disease. Time to diagnosis was calculated based on estimated date of infection and first positive HIV test. Results: We analyzed 290 patients (271 males). PHI manifested with typical ARS in 202 (70%) and with atypical ARS in 88 (30%) patients. Patients with atypical ARS were hospitalized 4 times more often compared with typical ARS (43% vs 11%; P < .001). The gastrointestinal tract was the most frequent organ system affected in patients with atypical manifestations. Only in 112 (38%) patients was HIV infection suspected during the first medical attendance. Patients with typical ARS were diagnosed slightly earlier compared with atypical ARS, but this difference was not significant (P = .3). Conclusions: Unexpected clinical presentations occurred in a large fraction of patients with PHI and were associated with substantial morbidity. Universal HIV testing may be mandatory in high-risk groups.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical value of positron emission tomography/computed tomography with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG-PET/CT) for therapy control in patients with prosthetic vascular graft infections (PVGI). In this single-centre, observational, prospective cohort study, 25 patients with a median age of 66 years (range: 48-81) were included who had a proven PVGI. Follow-up FDG-PET/CT was performed at a median time interval of 170 days (range: 89-249) after baseline examination. Two independent and blinded readers measured maximum standardized uptake values (SUV max.) to quantify metabolic activity and analysed whole body datasets for secondary diagnosis (i.e., infectious foci not within graft vicinity). The metabolic activity of the graft was correlated with clinical information and two laboratory markers (C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cell count (WBC)). FDG-PET/CT had an impact on management in all patients. In 19 of 25 patients (76%) antibiotic treatment was continued due to the results of follow-up FDG-PET/CT. Antibiotic treatment was stopped or changed in 8% and 16% of patients, respectively. In eight patients (32%) additional incidental findings were detected on follow-up FDG-PET/CT which had further impact on patient management. Only in a subgroup of patients with PVGI and no other sites of infection, a significant correlation between the difference in CRP at the time of baseline and follow-up FDG-PET/CT and the difference in SUV max. was found (n = 11; r = 0.84; P = 0.001). FDG-PET/CT represents a useful tool in therapy monitoring of PVGI and impacts on patient management. By providing quantitative data on the course of the graft infection and whole body imaging data, PET/CT differentiates between response of therapy to PVGI and other infectious foci. Copyright © 2015 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The landscape of HCV treatments is changing dramatically. At the beginning of this new era, we highlight the challenges for HCV-therapy by assessing the long-term epidemiological trends in treatment uptake, efficacy and mortality among HIV/HCV-coinfected people since the availability of HCV therapy. We included all SHCS participants with detectable HCV RNA between 2001 and 2013. To identify predictors for treatment uptake uni- and multivariable Poisson regression models were applied. We further used survival analyses with Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression with drop-out as competing risk. Of 12,401 participants 2107 (17%) were HCV RNA positive. Of those, 636 (30%) started treatment with an incidence of 5.8/100 person years (PY) (95% CI 5.3-6.2). Sustained virological response (SVR) with pegylated interferon/ribavirin was achieved in 50% of treated patients, representing 15% of all participants with replicating HCV infection. 344 of 2107 (16%) HCV RNA positive persons died, 59% from extrahepatic causes. Mortality/100 PY was 2.9 (95% CI 2.6-3.2) in untreated patients, 1.3 (1.0-1.8) in those treated with failure, and 0.6 (0.4-1.0) in patients with SVR. In 2013, 869/2107 (41%) participants remained HCV RNA positive. Over the last 13 years HCV treatment uptake was low and by the end of 2013, a large number of persons remain to be treated. Mortality was high, particularly in untreated patients, and mainly due to non-liver related causes. Accordingly, in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients, integrative care including the diagnosis and therapy of somatic and psychiatric disorders is important to achieve mortality rates similar to HIV-monoinfected patients. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Hepatology
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with HIV exposed to the antiretroviral drug abacavir may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is concern that this association arises because of a channelling bias. Even if exposure is a risk, it is not clear how that risk changes as exposure cumulates. We assess the effect of exposure to abacavir on the risk of CVD events in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. We use a new marginal structural Cox model to estimate the effect of abacavir as a flexible function of past exposures while accounting for risk factors that potentially lie on a causal pathway between exposure to abacavir and CVD. 11,856 patients were followed for a median of 6.6 years; 365 patients had a CVD event (4.6 events per 1000 patient years). In a conventional Cox model, recent - but not cumulative - exposure to abacavir increased the risk of a CVD event. In the new marginal structural Cox model, continued exposure to abacavir during the past four years increased the risk of a CVD event (hazard ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.43-2.98). The estimated function for the effect of past exposures suggests that exposure during the past 6 to 36 months caused the greatest increase in risk. Abacavir increases the risk of a CVD event: the effect of exposure is not immediate, rather the risk increases as exposure cumulates over the past few years. This gradual increase in risk is not consistent with a rapidly acting mechanism, such as acute inflammation.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
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    ABSTRACT: With the aging of the population living with HIV, the absolute risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasing. There is a need to further facilitate the identification of persons at elevated risk in routine practice. Prospective information was collected on 32,663 HIV-positive persons from 20 countries in Europe and Australia, who were free of CVD at entry into the Data-collection on Adverse Effects of Anti-HIV Drugs (D:A:D) study. Cox regression models (full and reduced) were developed that predict the risk of a global CVD endpoint. The predictive performance of the D:A:D models were compared with a recent CVD prediction model from the Framingham study, which was assessed recalibrated to the D:A:D dataset. A total of 1010 CVD events occurred during 186,364.5 person-years. The full D:A:D CVD prediction model included age, gender, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, family history of CVD, diabetes, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, CD4 lymphocyte count, cumulative exposure to protease- and nucleoside reverse transcriptase-inhibitors, and current use of abacavir. A reduced model omitted antiretroviral therapies. The D:A:D models statistically significantly predicted risk more accurately than the recalibrated Framingham model (Harrell's c-statistic of 0.791, 0.783 and 0.766 for the D:A:D full, D:A:D reduced, and Framingham models respectively; p < 0.001). The D:A:D models also more accurately predicted five-year CVD-risk for key prognostic subgroups. An updated, easily recalibrated, global CVD-risk equation tailored to HIV-positive persons was developed using routinely collected CVD risk parameters and incorporating markers on immune function (CD4 lymphocyte count), and exposure to antiretroviral therapies. The estimated CVD risk can be used to quantify risk and to guide preventive care. © The European Society of Cardiology 2015 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Invasive Mycobacterium chimaera infections were diagnosed in 2012 in 2 heart surgery patients on extracorporeal circulation. We launched an outbreak investigation to identify the source and extent of the potential outbreak and to implement preventive measures. Methods: We collected water samples from operating theaters, intensive care units, and wards, including air samples from operating theaters. Mycobacterium chimaera strains were characterized by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). Case detection was performed based on archived histopathology samples and M. chimaera isolates since 2006, and the patient population at risk was prospectively surveyed. Results: We identified 6 male patients aged between 49 and 64 years with prosthetic valve endocarditis or vascular graft infection due to M. chimaera, which became clinically manifest with a latency of between 1.5 and 3.6 years after surgery. Mycobacterium chimaera was isolated from cardiac tissue specimens, blood cultures, or other biopsy specimens. We were able also to culture M. chimaera from water circuits of heater-cooler units connected to the cardiopulmonary bypass, and air samples collected when the units were in use. RAPD-PCR demonstrated identical patterns among M. chimaera strains from heater-cooler unit water circuits and air samples, and strains in 2 patient clusters. Conclusions: The epidemiological and microbiological features of this prolonged outbreak provided evidence for the airborne transmission of M. chimaera from contaminated heater-cooler unit water tanks to patients during open-heart surgery.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Travel is important in the acquisition and dissemination of infection. We aimed to assess European surveillance data for travel-related illness to profile imported infections, track trends, identify risk groups, and assess the usefulness of pre-travel advice. METHODS: We analysed travel-associated morbidity in ill travellers presenting at EuroTravNet sites during the 5-year period of 2008-12. We calculated proportionate morbidity per 1000 ill travellers and made comparisons over time and between subgroups. We did 5-year trend analyses (2008-12) by testing differences in proportions between subgroups using Pearson's χ(2) test. We assessed the effect of the pre-travel consultation on infection acquisition and outcome by use of proportionate morbidity ratios. FINDINGS: The top diagnoses in 32 136 patients, ranked by proportionate morbidity, were malaria and acute diarrhoea, both with high proportionate morbidity (>60). Dengue, giardiasis, and insect bites had high proportionate morbidity (>30) as well. 5-year analyses showed increases in vector borne infections with significant peaks in 2010; examples were increased Plasmodium falciparum malaria (χ(2)=37·57, p<0·001); increased dengue fever (χ(2)=135·9, p<0·001); and a widening geographic range of acquisition of chikungunya fever. The proportionate morbidity of dengue increased from 22 in 2008 to 36 in 2012. Five dengue cases acquired in Europe contributed to this increase. Dermatological diagnoses increased from 851 in 2008 to 1102 in 2012, especially insect bites and animal-related injuries. Respiratory infection trends were dominated by the influenza H1N1 pandemic in 2009. Illness acquired in Europe accounted for 1794 (6%) of all 32 136 cases-mainly, gastrointestinal (634) and respiratory (357) infections. Migration within Europe was associated with more serious infection such as hepatitis C, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS. Pre-travel consultation was associated with significantly lower proportionate morbidity ratios for P falciparum malaria and also for acute hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. INTERPRETATION: The pattern of travel-related infections presenting in Europe is complex. Trend analyses can inform on emerging infection threats. Pre-travel consultation is associated with reduced malaria proportionate morbidity ratios and less severe illness. These findings support the importance and effectiveness of pre-travel advice on malaria prevention, but cast doubt on the effectiveness of current strategies to prevent travel-related diarrhoea. FUNDING: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, University Hospital Institute Méditerranée Infection, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the International Society of Travel Medicine.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Lancet Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction A recent meta-analysis of 4 RCTs showed an increased rate of suicidality events (suicidal ideation or attempted/completed suicide) associated with efavirenz (EFV) compared to other regimens, but only a trend towards a higher rate of completed/attempted suicides, as only 17 events occurred. We investigated the association between EFV use and completed suicide. Materials and Methods All D:A:D participants were followed from study entry to the first of death, last study visit or 1 February 2013. Deaths are centrally validated using cause of death methodology, which assigns underlying, immediate and up to four contributing causes of death. Two endpoints were considered: 1) suicide or psychiatric disease as the underlying cause, and 2) suicide or psychiatric disease mentioned as an underlying, immediate or contributing cause of death (anywhere). Adjusted rate ratios were calculated using Poisson regression. Results A total of 4420 deaths occurred in 49,717 people over 371,333 person-years (PY) (rate 11.9 per 1000 PY; 95% CI 11.6–12.3). A total of 193 deaths (rate 0.52; 0.45–0.59) had an underlying cause of suicide or psychiatric disease, and 482 deaths (1.30; 1.18–1.41) had suicide or psychiatric disease mentioned anywhere. A strong association with current CD4 count was seen: for suicide or psychiatric disease mentioned anywhere, rates were: 3.18 (2.55–3.80) for <200 cells/uL, 1.60 (1.29–1.90) for 201–350 cells/uL, 1.07 (0.86–1.29) for 351–500 cells/uL, 0.95 (0.80–1.09) for >500 cells/uL and 1.30 (1.18–1.41) for unknown. Highest rate of suicide or psychiatric deaths were seen in ART-experienced people currently off ART, but no differences were seen according to current ART regimen, which remained after adjustment (Table 1). Consistent results were obtained when considering additional endpoints of suicide alone as the underlying cause and death from suicide or any possibly related cause (psychiatric disease, drug overdose, alcohol related, accidental or violent), as well as considering recent EFV use in the previous 3 and 6 months. Conclusions The finding of no higher death rates from suicide amongst those receiving EFV is reassuring. However, there is likely confounding by indication in our observational study. In light of conflicting results from RCTs, this potentially could suggest that in clinical practice EFV may be less frequently prescribed in those with underlying psychiatric conditions.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of the International AIDS Society

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13k Citations
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Institutions

  • 1991-2015
    • University of Zurich
      • • Division of Infectuous Dieseases
      • • Internal Medicine Unit
      • • Institute of Parasitology
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1996-2011
    • University Hospital Zürich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2007
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      Maryland, United States
  • 1999-2007
    • University of Lausanne
      • Institute of Microbiology
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
    • University of Bristol
      • School of Social and Community Medicine
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom
  • 2002-2004
    • University Hospital of Lausanne
      • Institute of Microbiology (IMUL)
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 2003
    • Universitätsspital Basel
      • Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CEB)
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2000
    • University of New South Wales
      • Faculty of Medicine
      Kensington, New South Wales, Australia