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Epidemiological aspects of major opportunistic infections of the respiratory tract in persons with AIDS: Europe, 19932000

Serraino, Diego; Puro, Vincenzo; Boumis, Evangeloa; Angeletti, Claudio; Girardi, Enrico; Petrosillo, Nicolaa; Ippolito, Giuseppe

Epidemiology & Social

Objective(s): To describe the epidemiology of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and recurrent bacterial pneumonia (RBP) as AIDS-defining illnesses (ADI) in Europe.

Design: Analysis of AIDS surveillance data collected in the World Health Organization European region by EuroHIV, Saint Maurice, France.

Methods: Adult AIDS cases notified between 1993 and 2000 were studied. Since AIDS diagnosis may be constituted by up to four concurrent illnesses, polytomous logistic regression odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Time trends and correlates of PCP, PTB or RBP were assessed.

Results: There were 181 296 ADI among the 142 447 AIDS cases included in this study. PCP was the commonest ADI in western Europe (17.8%) and PTB (20.4%) was the commonest ADI in eastern Europe. Within western Europe, PTB was more common in the south than in the north (OR, 1.5) and increased steadily over time. RBP increased until 1998 (from 1.9% to 3.7%) and thereafter declined. Young age was associated with an excess risk for PTB and, in comparison with heterosexuals, homosexual men were at higher risk for PCP (OR, 1.3). Injecting drug users (IDU) (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 2.6–3.1) and recipients of blood (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.4–2.2) were at increased risk for RBP.

Conclusions: This analysis highlighted the continuing importance of PCP and the increasing importance of PTB as an ADI in western Europe, and it emphasized the need to investigate more thoroughly the vast epidemic of AIDS-associated PTB in eastern Europe. IDU and recipients of blood should be considered as target groups for vaccination against RBP.

From the Department of Epidemiology, and aSecond Division of Infectious Diseases, National Institute for Infectious Diseases, L. Spallanzani, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Correspondence to D. Serraino, Department of Epidemiology, INMI L. Spallanzani, IRCCS, Via Portuense 292, 00149 Rome, Italy.

Received: 6 September 2002; revised: 20 November 2002; accepted: 8 April 2003.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.