Obstructive jaundice: Studies on predictors of biliary infection and microbiological analysis in an HIV setting

S Afr Med J. 2021 Aug 2;111(8):803-808. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i8.15255.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early diagnosis of biliary infection is critical for timely antimicrobial therapy and biliary drainage. HIV infection may influence the spectrum and severity of biliary infection in an environment with a high HIV prevalence. Charcot’s triad has low sensitivity and higher specificity for biliary infection, and more sensitive markers are required.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate possible predictors of biliary infection (bacteriobilia) and identify the microbiological spectrum in patients presenting with biliary obstruction to a tertiary institute in an environment with a high prevalence of HIV.

METHODS: Bile was assessed for infection at endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and surgery, and the roles of clinical/haematological factors, C-reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin (PCT) in determining biliary infection were evaluated.

RESULTS: One hundred and six patients with obstructive jaundice had a mean age of 52 years (range 21 – 58); most were female (74%), and 36 (34%) were infected with HIV, with a mean CD4 count of 495 cells/┬ÁL. Choledocholithiasis (53%), biliary strictures (21%) and head of pancreas tumour (8%) were the main aetiopathologies. Bile was obtained for microbial culture from 104 patients (98%), and 56 (54%) were infected. Gram-negative bacteria were most frequent (58%), and 2 HIV-infected patients had fungal infections (Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus). Screening for endoscopy-associated infections revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PCT was a poor predictor of bacterial infection, whereas CRP was a fair predictor.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of bacteria cultured were sensitive to ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin-clavulanate. Duodenoscopes were a potential source of Pseudomonas infection.

PMID:35227363 | DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i8.15255

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