HIV-associated bacteremia: how it has changed in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era

Mario Tumbarello, Teresa Spanu, Roberto Cauda, Evelina Tacconelli, Kg Donati, R Citton, F Leone

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58 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the changing characteristics of HIV-associated bacteremia in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era, we conducted a prospective case control study, comparing two periods of time, before (period A) and after (period B) the introduction of HAART. In total, 174 patients with bacteremia and 348 controls were studied. By comparing incidence in periods A and B, a statistically significant reduction of bacteremia, from 11.8 to 6.3/100 person-years (PY), was observed (p = .0001). Incidence of hospital-acquired bacteremia decreased from 5.8 episodes/100 PY in period A to 2.4/100 PY in period B (p = .0005). A similar trend was also observed for community-acquired episodes of bacteremia, with a value close to statistical significance. Logistic regression analysis indicated that intravenous drug abuse, central venous catheter (CVC) use, high value on APACHE III score, and neutropenia were independent risk factors for bacteremia in both the study periods. Interestingly, comparing the prevalence of bacteremia risk factors in the two study periods, we observed a significant reduction in the use of CVC (p = .04, period A versus period B) and in neutropenia (p = .04). The crude mortality rate was 31% in period A and 23% in period B (p = not significant [ns]). Logistic regression analysis indicated that an high value of Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III (APACHE III) score (p < .001) predicted an increased risk of death. Analysis of prognostic factors of bacteremia did not significantly differ in both the study periods. We conclude that HAART has determined a significant reduction of the incidence and a modification of the characteristics of bacteremia. This reduced incidence may produce a substantial impact on future morbidity and health care costs of patients with HIV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • HIV
  • bacteremia


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