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ABSTRACT: Group B streptococcus is the leading cause of early-onset neonatal sepsis in the United States. Universal screening is recommended for pregnant women at 35 to 37 weeks’ gestation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guideline for the prevention of early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease. The new guideline contains six important changes. First, there is a recommendation to consider using sensitive nucleic acid amplification tests, rather than just routine cultures, for detection of group B streptococcus in rectal and vaginal specimens. Second, the colony count required to consider a urine specimen positive is at least 104 colony-forming units per mL. Third, the new guideline presents separate algorithms for management of preterm labor and preterm premature rupture of membranes, rather than a single algorithm for both conditions. Fourth, there are minor changes in the recommended dose of penicillin G for intrapartum chemoprophylaxis. Fifth, the guideline provides new recommendations about antibiotic regimens for women with penicillin allergy. Cefazolin is recommended for women with minor allergies. For those at serious risk of anaphylaxis, clindamycin is recommended if the organism is susceptible or if susceptibility is unknown, and vancomycin is recommended if there is clindamycin resistance. Finally, the new algorithm for secondary prevention of early-onset group B streptococcal disease in newborns should be applied to all infants, not only those at high risk of infection. The algorithm clarifies the extent of evaluation and duration of observation required for infants in different risk categories.
Atopic Dermatitis: An Overview - Article
ABSTRACT: Atopic dermatitis, also known as atopic eczema, is a chronic pruritic skin condition affecting approximately 17.8 million persons in the United States. It can lead to significant morbidity. A simplified version of the U.K. Working Party’s Diagnostic Criteria can help make the diagnosis. Asking about the presence and frequency of symptoms can allow physicians to grade the severity of the disease and response to treatment. Management consists of relieving symptoms and lengthening time between flare-ups. Regular, liberal use of emollients is recommended. The primary pharmacologic treatment is topical corticosteroids. Twice-daily or more frequent application has not been shown to be more effective than once-daily application. A maintenance regimen of topical corticosteroids may reduce relapse rates in patients who have recurrent moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. Pimecrolimus and tacrolimus are calcineurin inhibitors that are recommended as second-line treatment for persons with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis and who are at risk of atrophy from topical corticosteroids. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a boxed warning about a possible link between these medications and skin malignancies and lymphoma, studies have not demonstrated a clear link. Topical and oral antibiotics may be used to treat secondary bacterial infections, but are not effective in preventing atopic dermatitis flare-ups. The effectiveness of alternative therapies, such as Chinese herbal preparations, homeopathy, hypnotherapy/biofeedback, and massage therapy, has not been established.
Syphilis: A Reemerging Infection - Article
ABSTRACT: Rates of primary and secondary syphilis have increased in the past decade, warranting renewed attention to the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Men who have sex with men are particularly affected; however, increases in infection rates have also been noted in women, as well as in all age groups and ethnicities. Physicians need to vigilantly screen high-risk patients. The concurrent rise in congenital syphilis also requires special attention and reemphasizes the need for continued early prenatal care and syphilis screening for all pregnant women. Syphilis infection in patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus has also become more common. New experimental diagnostic approaches, including using the B cell chemoattractant chemokine (CXC motif) ligand 13 as a cerebrospinal fluid marker, may help identify suspected neurosyphilis cases. Additionally, point-of-care immunochromatographic strip testing has been suggested for screening high-risk populations in developing countries. Nontreponemal screening tests followed by treponemal confirmatory tests continue to be standard diagnostics; however, interpreting false-negative and false-positive test results, and identifying serofast reactions, can be challenging. Although doxycycline, tetracycline, ceftriaxone, and azithromycin have been used to successfully treat syphilis, penicillin remains the drug of choice in all stages of infection and is the therapy recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Close follow-up is necessary to ensure treatment success.
ABSTRACT: Febrile illness in children younger than 36 months is common and has potentially serious consequences. With the widespread use of immunizations against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b, the epidemiology of bacterial infections causing fever has changed. Although an extensive diagnostic evaluation is still recommended for neonates, lumbar puncture and chest radiography are no longer recommended for older children with fever but no other indications. With an increase in the incidence of urinary tract infections in children, urine testing is important in those with unexplained fever. Signs of a serious bacterial infection include cyanosis, poor peripheral circulation, petechial rash, and inconsolability. Parental and physician concern have also been validated as indications of serious illness. Rapid testing for influenza and other viruses may help reduce the need for more invasive studies. Hospitalization and antibiotics are encouraged for infants and young children who are thought to have a serious bacterial infection. Suggested empiric antibiotics include ampicillin and gentamicin for neonates; ceftriaxone and cefotaxime for young infants; and cefixime, amoxicillin, or azithromycin for older infants.
ABSTRACT: Uncomplicated diverticulitis is localized diverticular inflammation, whereas complicated diverticulitis is diverticular inflammation associated with an abscess, phlegmon, fistula, obstruction, bleeding, or perforation. Patients with acute diverticulitis may present with left lower quadrant pain, tenderness, abdominal distention, and fever. Other symptoms may include anorexia, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and dysuria. Initial laboratory studies include a complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, urinalysis, and measurement of C-reactive protein. Computed tomography, the most commonly performed imaging test, is useful to establish the diagnosis and the extent and severity of disease, and to exclude complications in selected patients. Colonoscopy is recommended four to six weeks after resolution of symptoms for patients with complicated disease or for another indication, such as age-appropriate screening. In mild, uncomplicated diverticulitis, antibiotics do not accelerate recovery, or prevent complications or recurrences. Hospitalization should be considered if patients have signs of peritonitis or there is suspicion of complicated diverticulitis. Inpatient management includes intravenous fluid resuscitation and intravenous antibiotics. Patients with a localized abscess may be candidates for computed tomography–guided percutaneous drainage. Fifteen to 30 percent of patients admitted with acute diverticulitis require surgical intervention during that admission. Laparoscopic surgery results in a shorter length of stay, fewer complications, and lower in-hospital mortality compared with open colectomy. The decision to proceed to surgery in patients with recurrent diverticulitis should be individualized and based on patient preference, comorbidities, and lifestyle. Interventions to prevent recurrences of diverticulitis include increased intake of dietary fiber, exercise, cessation of smoking, and, in persons with a body mass index of 30 kg per m2 or higher, weight loss.
ABSTRACT: Chlamydia trachomatis is a gram-negative bacterium that infects the columnar epithelium of the cervix, urethra, and rectum, as well as nongenital sites such as the lungs and eyes. The bacterium is the cause of the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States, which is responsible for more than 1 million infections annually. Most persons with this infection are asymptomatic. Untreated infection can result in serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy in women, and epididymitis and orchitis in men. Men and women can experience chlamydia-induced reactive arthritis. Treatment of uncomplicated cases should include azithromycin or doxycycline. Screening is recommended in all women younger than 25 years, in all pregnant women, and in women who are at increased risk of infection. Screening is not currently recommended in men. In neonates and infants, the bacterium can cause conjunctivitis and pneumonia. Adults may also experience conjunctivitis caused by chlamydia. Trachoma is a recurrent ocular infection caused by chlamydia and is endemic in the developing world.
ABSTRACT: Sepsis is a complication of severe infection characterized by a systemic inflammatory response. Mortality rates from sepsis range between 25% to 30% for severe sepsis and 40% to 70% for septic shock. The clinical presentation of sepsis is highly variable depending on the etiology. The most common sites of infection are the respiratory, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as the skin and soft tissue. Fever is often the first manifestation of sepsis, with pneumonia being the most common presentation leading to sepsis. Early goal-directed therapy completed within the first six hours of sepsis recognition significantly decreases in-hospital mortality. Initial management includes respiratory stabilization followed by aggressive fluid resuscitation. Vasopressor therapy is indicated when fluid resuscitation fails to restore adequate mean arterial pressure and organ perfusion. Early antibiotic therapy can improve clinical outcomes, and should be given within one hour of suspected sepsis. Blood product therapy may be required in some cases to correct coagulopathy and anemia, and to improve the central venous oxygen saturation. Insulin therapy may be required to maintain serum glucose levels less than 180 mg per dL. Initiation of low-dose corticosteroids may further improve survival in patients with septic shock that does not respond to vasopressor therapy. Timely initiation of evidence-based protocols should improve sepsis outcomes.
ABSTRACT: Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) is effective in preventing illness after potential or documented exposure to a variety of microbial pathogens and in reducing the risk of secondary spread of infection. Guidelines have been published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for proper use of PEP for bloodborne pathogens, for microorganisms transmitted by either airborne or droplet spread or through direct contact, and for infections acquired after traumatic injuries. Depending on the type of exposure, different forms of PEP are available, including vaccines, immune globulins, antibiotics, and antiviral medications. Physicians should assess a patient’s potential need for PEP based on several factors, including the type of exposure, the timing and severity of illness in the source patient, the exposed person’s susceptibility to infectious diseases of concern, and the relative risks and benefits of the PEP regimen in an individual situation. Immunity to certain infectious diseases can be ensured with prior infection or vaccination, and by serologic testing in patients with a negative or uncertain history. PEP should be given to persons exposed to index cases of pertussis and invasive meningococcal infection regardless of immunization history, and should be given following rabies and tetanus exposure regardless of the length of delay. In general, PEP should be given as soon as possible following a high-risk exposure. Persons exposed to bloodborne pathogens should have baseline testing for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus antibodies, and follow-up testing at six weeks, three months, and six months postexposure.
IDSA Updates Guideline for Managing Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis - Practice Guidelines