Objectives: Despite a recent decrease, bacterial pneumonia (BP) is still the most common admission diagnosis in HIV patients. We analyse BP incidence, characteristics and prevention measures.
Methods: Observational study of all patients hospitalized for BP in a tertiary hospital in Barcelona, Spain, from January 2000 to December 2005. Demographic and HIV-related data, BP risk factors, characteristics of BP and outcomes are analysed.
Results: One hundred and eighty-six BP episodes in 161 patients were included; patients were mainly male (73.7%) and intravenous drug users (73.7%). A decrease in BP incidence was seen during the study period, especially in vaccinated patients. The most commonly isolated microorganism was Streptococcus pneumoniae (31.7%), followed by Legionella pneumophila (5.9%). Legionella pneumophila was more likely in patients with undetectable viral load, higher CD4 cell counts or prior vaccination. Highly active antiretroviral therapy, cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and pneumococcal vaccination did not have a significant influence on bacteraemia rate, in-hospital complications or BP mortality. High Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI) predicted mortality accurately [relative risk 15.2, 95% confidence interval 3.2-71.7; P=0.001]. Mortality was 9.1%, but was significantly higher in patients with CD4 counts under 200 cells/microL (P=0.022).
Conclusions: A decline in BP incidence was seen during the study period. Combining CD4 cell count and PSI score could become a good strategy in deciding which patients have to be hospitalized.