How do you stay current as a specialist in infectious diseases?
We have the most dynamic field in medicine. Sure, every specialty gets its own new monoclonal antibody every couple of years, but our drugs stop working as we use them, and new diseases we’re supposed to be the experts in are cropping up all the time.
I’m Nicolás Cortés-Penfield, an infectious disease fellow in Houston, Texas. During the last academic year, I followed thirty major ID and internal medicine journals and regularly summarized their output for my co-fellows. More than 8000 reviewed abstracts and 200 summarized papers later, I’ve decided to share my efforts with everyone who wants to listen.
Each month, I’m going to summarize the most interesting and impactful new research in our field, then share those summaries with you here. Expect a series of blog posts broken up by area of interest (e.g.; HIV, transplant ID, antimicrobial stewardship), and a monthly header blog post like this one, where we'll discuss an ID topic and I'll link to the month's other posts with previews of the research topics covered.
June 2018 was an auspicious month to start this blog – I really feel like this was one of the best months for ID research all year. Here’s what I have for you:
Antimicrobial agents research this month included topics such as fluconazole dosing in C. glabrata fungemia, the relative safety of vancomycin and daptomycin for OPAT, combination therapy with vancomycin for MRSA, and anaerobic coverage in biliary infections.
General ID research covered the importance of antibodies in necrotizing soft tissue infection, new arboviruses, qSOFA versus SIRS scores, lifelong antimicrobial therapy, and WHO recommendations for the BCG vaccine.
ID diagnostics research involved antibiotic reduction of blood culture yields, the reliability of antibiotic susceptibility testing, the utility of blood culture PCR panels for VAP, and MRSA nasal screening as a predictor of MRSA bacteremia.
HIV and STD research this month included discussions of cancer risk and screening for people living with HIV infection, PrEP efficacy in pregnancy, protease inhibitor use and risks of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and the safety of switching ART to bictegravir-tenofovir-emtricitabine.
Onc and transplant ID research covered fidaxomicin for CDI prophylaxis, ESBL bacteremia risk with quinolone prophylaxis, ethanol locks for CLABSI in cancer patients, and the happy side effects of allowing HIV-positive organ donation.
Antimicrobial stewardship and infection control research this month involved regional antibiograms, ivermectin for malaria control, niclosamide for VRE decolonization, and MRSA nasal screening as tool to rule out MRSA pneumonia.
Feel free to share your thoughts and comments on any of these blog posts or reach out to me directly by email at email@example.com or via Twitter at @Cortes_Penfield. When we share our expertise, everyone benefits!