In this post a top 10 list of journal articles to read during an infectious diseases pharmacy rotation is provided.
Authored by: Timothy P. Gauthier, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP
Article Posted 12 March 2023
As a pharmacist serving as a preceptor to students and residents in the area of infectious diseases since 2010, I have always been on the hunt for good infectious diseases journal articles for my learners to read. Quality readings are a key element to giving them the tools to succeed and help support productive topic discussions or patient case reviews.
As a junior preceptor I gave my trainees a long list of topics and instructed them on which to read each day. Over time I learned that while it is good to give reading topics, it can be better not to be too prescriptive about which topics must be covered and when. Today I give learners a short list of topics that they must cover during their time with me (C. difficile, MRSA, UTIs, pneumonia, SSTIs, microbiology fundamentals, stewardship basics/regulations). My learners still have to read daily during the rotation, but the short list allows them flexibility so they can pick topics they want to read about to individualize their learning experience.
Many of my recommended readings today reflect topics I believe are fundamental to building a foundational understanding on antimicrobial pharmacotherapy. Others are for fun or to inspire learners to become or stay engaged.
Articles included here are some of my favorites. Not being included in this list does not reflect a lack of quality and certainly there are many robust articles that could be added. It is my hope that my list here may be helpful to learners and teachers of infectious diseases.
Side note, I also have learners watch this video from CIDRAP-ASP which is a presentation by Brad Spellberg. It’s from 2016 about the future of antibiotics and resistance, but it remains highly relevant today and people consistently give positive feedback about it.
Article 10: IDSA, CDC, and NIH Guidelines
These are available on the respective websites, for example here are IDSA practice guidelines, here is the CDC STI guideline, here are the HIV guidelines, and here is the NIH COVID guideline.
Indeed this is not a single article you may have been expecting, but this is a critical stopping point for any recommended readings list. If a student or resident is not sure what to read to cover a given topic, a guideline from IDSA, CDC, or NIH are almost always a good choice. Memorizing 45+ page document is certainly not a reasonable expectation, but one can certainly walk away with an awareness of general concepts and themes which are relevant.
You can add in the CLSI M100 here, because it is a great resource to become familiar with, but it can be a little advanced for early learners.
Article 9: How to Harness the Power of Social Media for Quality Drug Information in Infectious Diseases: Perspectives on Behalf of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists
Find it here.
Social media is now a powerful tool for learning about and keeping pace with medical literature. Including this article goes along with the saying: give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.
Article 8: Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Parameters: Rationale for Antibacterial Dosing of Mice and Men
Find it here.
This article dates back to 1998 but the principles discussed remain relevant through to today. As the saying goes: it is an oldie, but it is a goodie.
Article 7: The Future of Medical Guidelines: Standardizing Clinical Care With the Humility of Uncertainty
Find it here.
Learners often look for the boundaries of a topic to gauge what is “right” and what is “wrong” but in the world of infectious diseases the answer to almost every question is “it depends.” Labeling the use of an antibiotic as inappropriate or appropriate cannot simply be done based upon whether it is FDA-approved for a given indication.
This article is important because it pushes learners to think for themselves and encourages them not to blindly accept guideline recommendations as absolutes. It’s particularly important to consider this in light of the many aforementioned guidelines we recommend to our learners.
Article 6: Early Remdesivir to Prevent Progression to Severe Covid-19 in Outpatients
Find it here.
In today’s world remdesivir and COVID-19 remain hot topics. Since COVID-19 is with us for the foreseeable future, this is a good article that learners can use to apply what they read to everyday practice.
Article 5: A Baker’s Dozen of Top Antimicrobial Stewardship Intervention Publications for Hospitalized Patients in 2021
Find it here.
This articles and the previous editions are great sources of information for what is happening in antimicrobial stewardship.
Article 4: Can the Future of ID Escape the Inertial Dogma of Its Past? The Exemplars of Shorter Is Better and Oral Is the New IV
Find it here.
This is an eye-opening article for many learners and it brings them up to speed on important debated topics. It can additionally inspire learners to feel more passionate about their potential interventions, as they should feel encouraged to be practicing based on the latest evidence.
Articles 3: Interesting Reads
This position is reserved for articles that inspire. Helping learners get excited and interested about infectious diseases is a very important part of the learning process. These articles are super neat and almost always get learners’ eyes to light up. They may not be the most recent or pressing issues, but they are almost sure to get your learners engaged!
A. Management of extremity trauma and related infections occurring in the aquatic environment
Find it here. This is a really fun read. Having your learners try to pronounce the names of the organisms that are new to them is a good time too.
B. Serratia Infections: from Military Experiments to Current Practice
Find it here. This is a very long article in Clinical Microbiology Reviews, but it is really excellent and do not be surprised if your learner walks away saying Serratia is their favorite bacteria.
C. Daptomycin: from the mountain to the clinic, with essential help from Francis Tally, MD
Find it here. Many people are well aware of daptomycin but learning the back-story can take their appreciation of this antibiotic to the next level. This blog post I did may also be of interest, on the topic.
D. Outbreak of Mycobacterium chelonae Infection Associated with Tattoo Ink
Find it here. Have a learner who is thinking about getting a tattoo or has a tattoo? This may be of particular interest to catch their attention.
E. An Outbreak of Mycobacterial Furunculosis Associated with Footbaths at a Nail Salon
Find it here. With nail salons frequented by so many people, this one can be a good way to make infectious diseases relatable.
F. Piercing-Related Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infection
Find it here. Similar to the tattoo article, this can be a really neat article for the right learner.
Article 2: MIC-based dose adjustment: facts and fables
You can find it here.
This is an incredibly eye-opening article for many people, as it was for me. Can we really accept that MIC-based dosing is all that and a bag of chips? To me this is an absolute must read.
Article 1: Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing: An Updated Primer for Clinicians in the Era of Antimicrobial Resistance: Insights from the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists
You can find it here.
The title says it all. Recently published, this was a great add to the learner literature library!
You can find a good article on antifungal susceptibility testing here too if you are interested.
Here are some additional recommendations from Twitter comments on this post…
- Has antifungal susceptibility testing come of age?
- Cognitive bias: how understanding its impact on antibiotic prescribing decisions can help advance antimicrobial stewardship
- Clinical Utility of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Screening for Antimicrobial Stewardship: A Review of Current Literature
A while back I started collecting what I thought might later be a list of classic readings for infectious diseases. I never fully completed the task and rather than let the list sit unused, it seems this may be a good place to put them. Other people have suggested these readings, so I cannot take full credit for it, however apologies I do not recall all the folks who have passed these along.
- Flegel KM. Subacute bacterial endocarditis observed: the illness of Alfred S. Reinhart. JAMC. 2002; 167 (12): 1379-1382.
- Fernandez-Hildago, et al. Ampicillin plus ceftriaxone is as effective as ampicillin plus gentamicin for treating Enterococcus faecalis infective endocarditis. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2013; 56(9): 1261-8.
- Timbrook TT, et al. The effect of molecular rapid diagnostic testing on clinical outcomes in bloodstream infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2017; 64(1): 15-23.
- Kim JH. Observations on spiraling empiricism: its causes, allure, and perils, with particular reference to antibiotic therapy. The American Journal of Medicine. 1989; 87: 201-206.
- Shelburne SA, et al. Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome: emergence of a unique syndrome during highly active antiretroviral therapy. Medicine. 2002; 81; 213-227.
- Gulick et al. Treatment with indinavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine in adults with human immunodeficiency virus infection and prior antiretroviral therapy. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1997; 337: 734-739.
- D’Aquila RT, et al. Nevirapine, zidovudine, and didanosine compared with zidovudine and didanosine in patients with HIV-1 infection. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1996; 124(12(: 1019-1030.
- Pneumocystis pneumonia — Los Angeles. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 1981; 30(21): 1-3.
- Fischi MA, et al. The efficacy of azidothymidine (AZT) in the treatment of patients with AIDS and AIDS-related complex. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1987; 317(4): 185-191.
Origins of Antibiotics
- Colebrook L, et al. Prontosil in puerperal infections. Lancet. 1936 1281-1286.
- Colebrook L, et al. Treatment of human puerperal infections, and of experimental infections in mice, with prontosil. Lancet. 1936: 1279-1281.
- Abraham EP, at al. Further observations on penicillin. Lancet. 1941. 177-189.
- Drachman RH, et al. Studies on the effect of experimental nonketotic diabetes mellitus on antibacterial defense. Journal of Experiential Medicine. 1966.
Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacodynamics
- Moore RD, et al. Clinical response to aminoglycoside therapy: importance of the ration of peak concentration to minimal inhibitory concentration. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1987; 155(1): 93-99.
- Lodise TP, et al. Piperacillin-tazobactam for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection: clinical implications of an extended infusion dosing strategy. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2007; 44: 357-363.
- Eagle H and Musselman AD. The rate of bactericidal action of penicillin in vitro as a function of its concentration, and paradoxically reduced activity at high concentrations against certain organisms. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1948.
- Eagle H. Speculations as to the therapeutic significance of the penicillin blood level. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1947.
- Nicolau DP, et al. Experience with a once-daily amino glycoside program administered to 2,184 adult patients. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 1995; 39(3): 650-655.
- Craig WA. Pharmacokinetics/ pharmacodynamic parameters: rational for antibacterial dosing of mice and men. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 1998; 26: 1-12.
- Bland CM, et al. Reappraisal of contemporary pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles for informing amino glycoside dosing. Pharmacotherapy. 2018; 38(12): 1229-1238.
- Chang JC. Neoplastic fever: a proposal for a diagnosis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 1989; 149: 1728-1730.
- Whitecar JP, et al. Pseudomonas bacteremia in patients with malignant diseases. American Journal of Medical Sciences. 1970; 260: 216-223.
- Bodey GP, et al. Quantitative relationships between circulating leukocytes and infection in patients with acute leukemia. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1965; 64(2): 328-340.
Fever of Unknown Origin
- Petersdorf RG, et al. Fever of unexplained origin: report on 100 cases. Medicine. 1961; 40(1): 1-30.
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