Immune risk phenotype is associated with nosocomial lung infections in elderly in-patients - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Immunity & Ageing Year : 2011

Immune risk phenotype is associated with nosocomial lung infections in elderly in-patients

Anne Plonquet
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Farzad Tahmasebi
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Célia Brisacier
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  • PersonId : 912901
Katia Ledudal
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  • PersonId : 912902
Jean-Pierre Farcet
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Nosocomial infections are extremely common in the elderly and may be related to ageing of the immune system. The Immune Risk Phenotype (IRP), which predicts shorter survival in elderly patients, has not been evaluated as a possible risk factor for nosocomial infection. Our aim was to assess the prevalence of nosocomial infections in elderly in-patients and to investigate potential relationships between nosocomial infections and the immunophenotype, including IRP parameters.
We included 252 consecutive in-patients aged 70 years or over (mean age, 85 ± 6.2 years), between 2006 and 2008. Among them, 97 experienced nosocomial infections, yielding a prevalence rate of 38.5% (95% confidence interval, 32.5-44.5). The main infection sites were the respiratory tract (21%) and urinary tract (17.1%) When we compared immunological parameters including cell counts determined by flow cytometry in the groups with and without nosocomial infections, we found that the group with nosocomial infections had significantly lower values for the CD4/CD8 ratio and naive CD8 and CD4 T-cell counts and higher counts of memory CD8 T-cells with a significant increase in CD28-negative CD8-T cells. Neither cytomegalovirus status (positive in 193/246 patients) nor presence of the IRP was associated with nosocomial infections. However, nosocomial pneumonia was significantly more common among IRP-positive patients than IRP-negative patients (17/60 versus 28/180; p = 0.036).
Immunological parameters that are easy to determine in everyday practice and known to be associated with immune system ageing and shorter survival in the elderly are also associated with an elevated risk of nosocomial pneumonia in the relatively short term.


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Dates and versions

inserm-00636575 , version 1 (27-10-2011)



Anne Plonquet, Sylvie Bastuji-Garin, Farzad Tahmasebi, Célia Brisacier, Katia Ledudal, et al.. Immune risk phenotype is associated with nosocomial lung infections in elderly in-patients. Immunity & Ageing, 2011, 8 (1), pp.8. ⟨10.1186/1742-4933-8-8⟩. ⟨inserm-00636575⟩


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