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Usefulness of gram-stained sputum obtained just after administration of antimicrobial agents as the earliest therapeutic indicator for evaluating the effectiveness of empiric therapy in community-acquired pneumonia caused by pneumococcus or Moraxella catarrhalis.

Fujisaki R, et al. J Infect Chemother. 2013.

Abstract

We present here three cases in which morphological changes and/or a decreased number of Streptococcus pneumoniae or Moraxella catarrhalis could be observed in gram-stained sputum obtained just after the first administration of an antimicrobial agent. Case 1 was a 53-year-old man with pneumonia caused by gram-positive diplococcus, identified as S. pneumoniae, who was administered 2 g of ampicillin over a period of 1 h. Gram-stained sputum showed smaller or gram-negative pneumococci at the completion of administration of the agent, a decreased number of cocci at 1 h after administration, and almost no cocci at 12 h after the completion of administration. Case 2 was a 72-year-old woman with pneumonia caused by diplococcus, identified as S. pneumoniae, who was administered 2 g of ampicillin over a period of 1 h. Gram-stained sputum showed weakly stained, small cocci at the completion of administration of the agent and few cocci at 1 h after the completion of administration. Case 3 was a 58-year-old woman with pneumonia caused by a gram-negative diplococcus, identified as Moraxella catarrhalis, who was administered 1 g of cefotaxime over a period of 30 min. Gram-stained sputum showed few extracellular cocci and some intracellular cocci inside neutrophils 1 h after administration and no cocci 2 h after the completion of administration. These three cases showed that gram-stained sputum obtained just after and/or 1 h after administration of the first antimicrobial agent were suitable as the quickest therapeutic indicator of the effectiveness of empiric therapy, with the effectiveness of the agent being shown much earlier than with markers such as the white blood cell count and C-reactive protein level.

PMID

23073648 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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