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Int J Infect Dis. 2002 Mar;6(1):17-22.

Changes in bloodstream infections in HIV-positive patients in a university hospital in Spain (1995-1997).

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Unit Hospital Universitario Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Catalonia, Spain.



The Hospital Universitario Germans Trias i Pujol is a 600-bed center serving 700,000 inhabitants including 1800 patients with HIV infection in Catalonia (Spain). Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) became available at the end of 1996. Thus, the period 1995 1997 was considered appropriate for evaluating possible epidemiological changes in bloodstream infections (BSI) in HIV-infected patients.


All significant bloodstream infections, including mycobacteremia and fungemia, observed in HIV-positive patients from January, 1995 to December, 1997 have been included in the study.


One hundred and eighty six cases were evaluated, in whom a decrease in BSI was observed (68 in 1995, 86 in 1996, 32 in 1997). Over time, we observed an improvement in the immunologic situation of the patients (1995: CD4 <50/mm3 73.8% vs 1997: CD4 <50/mm3 45.5% (P=0.05)). The source of BSI was known in 80.7% of the episodes. BSI secondary to catheter and respiratory infections prevailed in 1995, whereas an increase in bacteremias related to intravenous drug use, with or without endocarditis, was seen in 1997. The most frequent isolates were Mycobacterium avium intracellulare (23) (MAI), M. tuberculosis (20), Staphylococcus aureus (20), coagulase-negative staphylococci (16), Salmonella spp. (16) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (15). In 1997, a decrease was observed in the isolation of Gram-negatives and Mycobacterium spp. with S. aureus and enterococci prevailing.


The prevalence of bloodstream infections in HIV-positive patients has decreased since the introduction of HAART and the immunologic state has improved. Furthermore there is a trend to a decrease or disappearance of microorganisms, such as Pseudomonas spp., Mycobacterium tuberculosis, MAI or fungi related to severe immunosuppression. Lastly, bacteremia caused by the active use of intravenous drugs remains stable with the highest percentage in Spain.

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