Bacterial community acquired pneumonia in HIV-infected inpatients in the highly active antiretroviral therapy era

Infection. 2008 Jun;36(3):231-6. doi: 10.1007/s15010-007-7162-0. Epub 2008 May 10.


Introduction: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has deeply modified HIV/AIDS related morbidity and mortality. However, bacterial community acquired pneumonia (BCAP) still represents one of the most frequent causes of morbidity in HIV-infected patients with an inpatient 10% mortality rate.

Objectives: We retrospectively studied the characteristics of BCAP in consecutive HIV-infected inpatients hospitalized from 1999 to 2004 and evaluated the presence of risk factors and the influence of combination antiretroviral therapy receipt on BCAP outcomes.

Results: We studied 84 BCAP episodes in 76 HIV-infected inpatients (63 males and 13 females) aged 27-80 years. Thirty-two (42.1%) patients were receiving combination antiretroviral treatment (CART) while 44 (57.9%) were not treated (NART). BCAP incidence progressively increased from 1999 to 2004. The overall percentage of injection drug users was >84%, of smokers >88% and alcohol abusers >32% with no statistical difference between CART and NART. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most frequently identified pathogen (60%). Time to clinical stability was significantly longer in NART in respect of CART (p=0.011). In multivariate analysis, CDC stage C, CD4 cell count <100 x 10(6) cells/l, and S. pneumoniae etiology were predictors for time to clinical stability >7 days, while receipt of antiretroviral therapy was protective. The percentage of deaths did not differ between CART and NART; most patients had a CD4 count <200 x 10(6) cells/l or severe concomitant diseases.

Conclusions: The incidence of BCAP was high in HIV-infected inpatients observed in the present study mainly due to HIV infection itself, IVDU, alcohol abuse and smoking habit. A longer time to clinical stability was associated with advanced HIV infection and with S. pneumoniae etiology, while receipt of antiretroviral therapy was protective. Injection drug abuse treatment, alcohol abuse and smoking cessation programs, antiretroviral treatment adherence support and pneumococcal vaccination should be implemented to reduce the incidence and to improve the outcomes of BCAP in HIV-infected patients.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / epidemiology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / microbiology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / mortality
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / complications
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / microbiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / mortality
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial* / complications
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial* / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial* / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome