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Pandemics That Changed History

By Michele Davis, MD

May 6th, 2021

Dr Michele Davis, Infectious Diseases fellow at the University of South Florida, discusses historical pandemics of the past in this intriguing podcast. Dr. Davis begins her presentation by defining what constitutes a “pandemic.” She then describes ancient pandemics such as the Plague of Athens, Antonine, Cyprian plague, the Antonine plague, and the Justinian plague. Communicable plagues of the middle ages are also covered, such as leprosy, the black death, the first cholera pandemic, and the Spanish Flu. Finally, pandemics of the last few decades are also explored, including HIV/AIDS, SARS, and COVID-19. Lastly, Dr Davis discusses the lessons learned from previous outbreaks and how pandemics demonstrate why equitable access to health care resources is so critical.

Adverse Effects Associated with Cancer Immunotherapies

By Hareesh Singam, MD

April 22nd, 2021

Dr. Hareesh Singam, infectious diseases senior fellow at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, discusses some of the side effects associated with newer cancer therapies in this informative podcast. Dr. Singam broadly divides his remarks into two categories: Syndromes related to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors, and Syndromes related to CAR-T Cell Therapy. He begins by briefly introducing the Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors (ICIs) and their mechanisms of action. He then discusses mechanisms of ICI toxicity and their clinical features. Dr. Singam goes on to discuss the associated infectious risks and how they are managed. Next, Dr Singham moves on to CAR-T Cell therapy, including its mechanisms of action, what occurs with cytokine release syndrome (CRS), and describes CAR-T Related Encephalopathy (CRES), CAR-T related hematophagic lyphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome (HLH/MAS), and the factors behind infectious risk after CAR-T therapy. Lastly, Dr. Singam discusses the use of Tocilizumab in CAR-T therapy.

Neglected Gram Positive Bacilli

By Christian Lopez-Padilla, MD

April 15th, 2021

Dr. Lopez discusses the gram positive rods/bacilli which are perhaps lesser well known to the clinician but have important clinical relevance nonetheless. He first discusses the classification system for these bacteria. He then descibes coryneform bacteria other than C. diphtheriae, such as C. jeikeium, which can cause both community-acquired and nosocomial infections. Next, Dr. Lopez discusses Bacilli other than B. anthacis. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathae is an example of this category. Next mentioned are anaerobic non-spore-forming gram-positive rods. Cutibacterium is an example of a pathogen producing infections associated with pustular skin eruptions and infections of implanted hardware. Anerobic spore-forming rods such as Clostridium are a major cause of human infections, including gas gangrene, C difficile, and others. In the end, the listener can easily be convinced that the spectrum of gram positive organisms are equally as diverse as the better known group of gram negative bacteria.

Great Mimics of Infectious diseases: A False Tale of Rashes and Fevers

By Zola Nlandu, MD

April 1st, 2021

Dr. Nlandu, Infectious Diseases Fellow at the University of South Florida, discusses noninfectious conditions that can mimic everyday infectious diseases diagnoses. He begins by discussing hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a life threatening clinical syndrome characterized by extreme immune system activation. Next, he covers Behcet’s disease, a form of vasculitis commonly manifesting as mucocutaneous disease. Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is a rarely diagnosed syndrome seen in persons of Mediterranean descent that can mimic many infectious diseases conditions. Lastly, Adult Onset Still’s disease is a syndrome producing a triad of fever, arthrlagias, and a salmon-covered rash. The diagnosis and management options for each syndrome is characterized.

Covid-19 Updates: Viral Variants, Vaccines, and More

By Vivian Vega Rodriguez, MD

March 29th, 2021

Dr. Vivian Vega, Assistant Chief of Epidemiology at the James A Haley Veterans Hospital, presents an update on COVID 19 recorded on March 17, 2021. She begins by defining and discussing the topic of herd immunity, and recaps the progress that the US is making in vaccinations during the Spring. Next, she discusses global vaccine inequality, and how wealthier nations are preferentially vaccinating their populations at the expense of poorer nations, who cannot access vaccine supplies that are being gobbled up by resource rich countries. Next, Dr. Vega discusses viral variants, including the virus strains that are most likely to continue to emerge in the U.S. Lastly, Dr. Vega discusses vaccine strategies and future next generation COVID vaccines.

Mycobacterium abscessus in Florida: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Research Implications

By Anthony Cannella, MD

February 22nd, 2021

Dr. Anthony Cannella, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the USF Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, reviews Non-tuberculosis Mycobacteria, with a focus on Mycobacterium abscessus spp. Dr. Cannella begins his presentation by reviewing the microbiology and epidemiology of M. abscessus and their spectrum of disease. He then transitions to discussing the pathophysiology of how these infections occur as well as the pharmacologic options available for treating them. He closes by presenting the research implications of M. abscessus infections from the perspective of the immunological response and pharmacotherapeutic options.

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring: Aminoglycosides and Vancomycin

By Amanda Mercurio, PharmD

February 11th, 2021

Dr Amanda Mercurio, ID clinical pharmacist at the James A Haley Veterans Hospital, discusses the latest guidelines regarding the dosing and therapeutic drug monitoring of aminoglycosides and vancomycin. Dr. Mercurio begins by identifying the pharmacokinetic parameters for dosing antibiotic medications. She reviews the concepts of steady state and loading doses. She distinguishes between concentration dependent, AUC dependent, and time dependent dosing. She then discusses the unique pharmacokinetic parameters for aminoglycosides, including the benefits of extended interval dosing. Dr. Mercurio then goes through a step-by-step process for calculating aminoglycoside dosing based upon preferred nomograms. Next, Dr. Mercurio moves on to Vancomycin therapeutic modeling. In particular, she discusses the differences between older peak and trough-based dosing with the newer recommendations to dose based upon AUC modeling. Dr. Mercurio closes by going through a case-based example of dosing using the new guidelines.

Diabetic Foot Infections: Toe to Toe

By Richard L. Oehler, MD

January 28th, 2021

Dr. Richard Oehler, Professor of Medicine at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Morsani College of Medicine, presents an update in the management of diabetic foot infections for the 2020s. Dr. Oehler begins by introducing the concept of a multidisciplinary team as essential to the management of these patients. He then describes the current epidemiology of diabetes and diabetic foot ulcers. He also discusses Charcot arthropathy and how it occurs. Annual diabetic foot exams are also crucial to these patients, and Dr. Oehler also reviews proper techniques and what to ask/examine. Some of the newer hypotheses about the importance of biofilms to the creation and persistence of diabetic foot wounds are also presented. He also covers diabetic peripheral vascular disease, diagnostic imaging modalities, wound management, and the proper empiric antibiotic regimens and durations of therapy. Lastly, he discusses prevention techniques necessary to avoid recurrent ulceration.

Basic Principles of Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV

By Thomas Burkhead, MD

January 12th, 2021

Dr. Burkhead, infectious diseases fellow at the University of South Florida, covers HIV History, the development of HIV antiviral therapy, and current treatment strategies in this comprehensive update. Dr. Burkhead begins by reviewing the different classes of antiretrovirals. He then traces the chronological history of antiretroviral development, from the initial trials of AZT through the introduction of other NRTIs, Protease inhibitors, NNRTIs, and the Integrase inhibitors. Next, Dr. Burkhead discusses antiretroviral therapy in special situations, such as in those who are pregnant, have chronic kidney disease, or cardiac disease. Important antiretroviral mutations are also discussed. Lastly, Dr. Burkhead closes the talk by discussing future directions for antiretroviral therapy.

Syphilis: The Return of Corky the Killer

By John Toney, MD, FIDSA

January 4th, 2021

Dr. John Toney, Professor of Medicine at the James A Haley Veterans Hospital, reviews information about one of humanity’s greatest and most enduring scourges. Professor Toney begins by recalling the history of syphilis. He next relates the current epidemiology of syphilis in the US. The pathophysiology of syphilis is next discussed, as well as the manifestations of primary, secondary, and tertiary syphilis. The clinical manifestations of neurosyphilis are also reviewed. Lastly the association between syphilis and HIV is presented and therapy for syphilis is briefly covered.