Risk of non-typhoidal Salmonella vascular infections is increased with degree of atherosclerosis and inflammation: A multicenter study in southern Taiwan


Ying-Wen ChenHung-Jen TangYi-Shan TsaiNan-Yao LeeYuan-Pin HungChien-Fang HuangChing-Chi LeeChia-Wen LiMing-Chi LiLing-Shan SyueShu-Li SuShu-Hao HsuWen-Chien KoPo-Lin Chen


Background: Atherosclerosis and vascular inflammatory response have been considered as risk factors for non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) vascular infection. The study aims to assess the risk of vascular infection by measuring atherosclerosis severity, NTS vascular infection (NTSVI) score, and serum levels of inflammatory markers in people with NTS bacteremia.

Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in two medical centers and two regional hospitals. Adults aged ≥50 years with NTS bacteremia who underwent computed tomography (CT) scan for revealing vascular infections were enrolled. The degree of atherosclerosis was scaled by a calcium score determined by a CT scan. Serum concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers were determined in the patients enrolled in a medical center.

Results: Fourteen (20.3%) of 69 patients with NTS bacteremia had vascular infections. Calcium scores over the thoracic (12,540 vs. 3,261, P = 0.0005) and abdominal (9755 vs. 3,461, P = 0.0006) aorta of those with vascular infections were higher than those without vascular infection. All vascular infections were present in the high-risk group (NTSVI score ≥1), yielding a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 30.9%. Among 17 low-risk patients (NTSVI score <1), none had vascular infections, resulting in a negative predictive value of 100%. Higher plasma concentrations of IL-1β were detected in the cases of vascular infection than those in the control group (23.6 vs. 1.06 pg/mL, P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Atherosclerosis of the aorta which is associated with a positive NTSVI score can predict the occurrence of vascular infections and serum IL-1β could be a biomarker for vascular infection in patients with NTS bacteremia.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; IL-1β; NTSVI score; Non-typhoidal Salmonella; Vascular infection.

Click here to read the article, published in The Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection.