Significant Publications on Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy in 2010

Elizabeth B. Hirsch; Jessica M. Cottreau; Judy O. Ikwuagwu; Katherine T. Lusardi; John F. Mohr; Sarah M. Rodriguez; Dhara N. Shah; Truc T. Tran


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2011;68(21):2075-2085. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Purpose. Important articles on topics pertinent to infectious diseases (ID) pharmacotherapy published in prominent peer-reviewed journals in 2010 are summarized.
Summary. At the end of 2010, pharmacists, physicians, and researchers in the Houston Infectious Diseases Network were asked to nominate articles published from January through December 2010 that they perceived as having a significant impact in the field of ID pharmacotherapy. The resulting list, comprising 27 articles relating to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and 52 articles on a broad range of other ID-related topics, was sent to members of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) for evaluation via an Internet survey. The survey participants were asked to select from the list 10 articles unrelated to HIV or AIDS and 1 HIV- or AIDS-related article that in their view had the most significant impact in the field. Of the 380 SIDP members surveyed, 105 (27.6%) ranked the non-HIV-related papers and 45 (11.8%) ranked the HIV-related papers. The 11 highest-ranked publications—including 2 articles presenting updated practice guidelines—are summarized here.
Conclusion. Due to the increasing number of articles published each year, it is difficult to maintain a current knowledge of significant publications in the field of ID pharmacotherapy. This review of key publications in 2010 may be helpful to the nonspecialist clinician by lessening this burden.


Each year, the volume of information published in peer-reviewed journals makes it challenging for many clinicians to stay updated on key publications. A PubMed search conducted in February 2011 found that in 2010 alone, 897,926 articles were cited. Specific keyword searches for the terms infectious diseases and HIV yielded 10,104 and 13,464 articles, respectively; those figures reflect substantial increases from the numbers of articles on those topics identified in 2009 (9,435 and 12,596, respectively). Rising antimicrobial resistance rates, strategies aimed at combating increased resistance, and investigations of novel antimicrobials may add to the growing body of publications in this field.

The Houston Infectious Diseases Network (HIDN) is a group of about 40 infectious diseases (ID) clinicians (pharmacists and physicians), microbiologists, and researchers, the majority of whom practice at more than 17 institutions in the greater Houston area. HIDN meets regularly and aims to foster collaborative research and education and the sharing of best-practice models. The network hosts presentations by national ID experts and mentors residents and fellows with an interest in ID.

To build on previous efforts to identify and summarize important ID pharmacotherapy-oriented publications of the previous year,[1–3] HIDN members were asked to serve as an expert panel in nominating articles published in 2010 that they believe had a significant impact in the area of ID pharmacotherapy, including the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). All nominated manuscripts were published from January 1 through December 31, 2010, in prominent peer-reviewed journals (e.g., The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, and Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

In late December 2010, the list of nominated articles was compiled and sent to members of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) for voting via an Internet survey ( SIDP members were asked to select the top 10 papers (in nonranked fashion) that made the most significant contributions to the field of ID pharmacotherapy from a list of 52 publications, as well as the single most significant paper from a list of 27 articles related to HIV disease or AIDS. In an effort to minimize responses from SIDP members who may not have been up to date with publications in both general and HIV-focused ID pharmacotherapy, the survey respondents were given the opportunity to opt out of voting in either area. Respondents were also allowed to nominate articles not included in the survey; each write-in nomination was counted as a single vote. The total survey response counts were used to determine the final article rankings.

Of the 380 SIDP members surveyed, 105 (27.6%) and 45 (11.8%) members voted for non-HIV-related articles and HIV-related articles, respectively. Interestingly, the majority of top articles selected from the non-HIV-related category pertained to major practice guideline updates or research on gram-negative bacteria or sepsis or septic shock, perhaps reflecting the continued and alarming emergence of resistance within gram-negative bacterial species. There were three write-in nominations of articles in the non-HIV-related category and no write-in nominations of HIV-related articles.

The 11 highest-ranked papers (10 non-HIV-related articles and 1 HIV-related article) are cited and summarized below; the selected papers are listed alphabetically by the lead author's name. A ranked summary of the top 25 non-HIV-related articles appears in Table 1, and the top 10 HIV-related articles are listed in Table 2.


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