Bio

Clinical Focus


  • Infectious Disease
  • Immunocompromised Host Infectious Disease

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Fellowship, Stanford University, Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases Fellowship (2017)
  • Board Certification: Infectious Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine (2016)
  • Fellowship:NYU Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital (2016) NY
  • Board Certification: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine (2014)
  • Residency:UCLA Medical Center Internal Medicine (2014) CA
  • Medical Education:Boston University School of Medicine (2011) MA

Publications

All Publications


  • Eremothecium coryli bloodstream infection in a patient with acute myeloid leukemia: first case report of human infection. Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease Multani, A., Rustagi, A., Epstein, D. J., Gomez, C. A., Budvytiene, I., Banaei, N., Brown, J. M., Liu, A. Y. 2019

    Abstract

    Eremothecium coryli is a dimorphic fungus of the Saccharomycetes class. While species within this class are known to cause human infection, Eremothecium species have previously only been known as phytopathogens and never been isolated from a human sample. Here, we report the first known case of human E. coryli infection.

    View details for PubMedID 31005402

  • Use of Alternative Agents for Prevention of Opportunistic Infections in Heart and Lung Transplant Recipients CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES Epstein, D. J., Benamu, E., Subramanian, A. K. 2018; 67 (10): 1637–39

    View details for DOI 10.1093/cid/ciy397

    View details for Web of Science ID 000450051300025

  • Echinocandin prophylaxis in patients undergoing haematopoietic cell transplantation and other treatments for haematological malignancies. The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy Epstein, D. J., Seo, S. K., Brown, J. M., Papanicolaou, G. A. 2018; 73 (suppl_1): i60–i72

    Abstract

    Antifungal prophylaxis is the standard of care for patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy for haematological malignancy or haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Prophylaxis with azoles reduces invasive fungal infections and may reduce mortality. However, breakthrough infections still occur, and the use of azoles is sometimes complicated by pharmacokinetic variability, drug interactions, adverse events and other issues. Echinocandins are highly active against Candida species, including some organisms resistant to azoles, and have some clinical activity against Aspergillus species as well. Although currently approved echinocandins require daily intravenous administration, the drugs have a favourable safety profile and more predictable pharmacokinetics than mould-active azoles. Clinical data support the efficacy and safety of echinocandins for antifungal prophylaxis in haematology and HCT patients, though data are less robust than for azoles. Notably, sparse evidence exists supporting the use of echinocandins as antifungal prophylaxis for patients with significant graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after HCT. Two drugs that target (1,3)-β-d-glucan are in development, including an oral glucan synthase inhibitor and an echinocandin with unique pharmacokinetics permitting subcutaneous and weekly administration. Echinocandins are a reasonable alternative to azoles and other agents for antifungal prophylaxis in patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy for haematological malignancy or those receiving HCT, excluding those with significant GvHD.

    View details for PubMedID 29304213

  • Prevention and Management of Tuberculosis in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients. Infectious disease clinics of North America Epstein, D. J., Subramanian, A. K. 2018; 32 (3): 703–18

    Abstract

    Solid organ transplant recipients are at an increased risk of tuberculosis and transplant candidates should be screened early in their evaluation with a detailed history, tuberculin skin test or tuberculosis interferon-gamma release assay, and chest radiograph. For latent tuberculosis treatment, isoniazid and rifamycin-based regimens have advantages and disadvantages; treatment decisions should be customized. Tuberculosis after solid organ transplantation generally occurs after months or years; early infections should raise the possibility of donor-derived infections. Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment in solid organ transplant recipients may be complicated by protean manifestations, drug interactions, and adverse drug reactions.

    View details for PubMedID 30146031

  • Infectious Complications of Multiple Sclerosis Therapies: Implications for Screening, Prophylaxis, and Management. Open forum infectious diseases Epstein, D. J., Dunn, J., Deresinski, S. 2018; 5 (8): ofy174

    Abstract

    Multiple sclerosis therapies include interferons, glatiramer, and multiple immunosuppressive drugs. Discerning infectious risks of immunosuppressive drugs requires understanding their mechanisms of action and analyzing interventional studies and postmarketing observational data. Though identical immunosuppressive therapies are sometimes used in non-neurologic conditions, infectious risks may differ in this population. Screening for and treatment of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection should be prioritized for patients receiving alemtuzumab; ocrelizumab is likely not associated with an increased risk of TB. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation can be devastating for patients treated with ocrelizumab and alemtuzumab, whereas the small molecule oral agents do not likely pose substantial risk of HBV. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy is a particular concern with natalizumab. Alemtuzumab, and possibly natalizumab and fingolimod, risks herpes virus reactivation and may warrant prophylaxis. Unusual opportunistic infections have been described. Vaccination is an important tool in preventing infections, though vaccine timing and contraindications can be complex.

    View details for PubMedID 30094293

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6080056

  • Use of Alternative Agents for Prevention of Opportunistic Infections in Heart and Lung Transplant Recipients. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Epstein, D. J., Benamu, E., Subramanian, A. 2018

    View details for PubMedID 29771330

  • Micafungin Versus Posaconazole Prophylaxis in Acute Leukemia or Myelodysplastic Syndrome: A Randomized Study. The Journal of infection Epstein, D. J., Seo, S. K., Huang, Y. T., Park, J. H., Klimek, V. M., Berman, E., Tallman, M. S., Frattini, M. G., Papanicolaou, G. A. 2018

    Abstract

    To compare the effectiveness and tolerability of micafungin versus posaconazole during chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in acute leukemia (AL) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).Patients with AL or MDS undergoing chemotherapy were randomized to open-label micafungin 100 mg intravenously daily or posaconazole suspension 400 mg orally twice daily until neutrophil recovery, up to 28 days. Patients were followed for 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was prophylaxis failure (premature discontinuation due to infection, intolerance, adverse event, or death). Time to failure and survival were calculated by Kaplan-Meier analysis.From March 2011 to May 2016, 113 patients who received at least 2 doses of prophylaxis were analyzed (58 patients randomized to micafungin and 55 to posaconazole). Prophylaxis failure occurred in 34.5% and 52.7% of patients on micafungin and posaconazole, respectively (P = 0.0118). The median number of days on prophylaxis was 16 [interquartile range (IQR) 12-20] for micafungin and 13 [IQR 6-16] for posaconazole (P = 0.01). Micafungin failures were largely due to antifungal treatment; posaconazole failures were mostly due to gastrointestinal intolerance or adverse effects. IFI incidence and survival were similar between study arms.Our data support micafungin as alternative antifungal prophylaxis in patients with AL and MDS.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jinf.2018.03.015

    View details for PubMedID 29746955

  • HHV-6 and Septic Shock: Tenuous Proof of Causation. American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Epstein, D. J., Tan, S. K., Deresinski, S. 2018

    Abstract

    Bonnafous and others present the case of a patient who became ill three weeks after liver transplantation, developing multiple organ failure and episodes of apparent septic shock culminating in death. The authors attribute the illness to reactivation of donor-derived chromosomally-integrated human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection.1 While HHV-6 is often considered a potential etiologic agent in immunocompromised patients with encephalitis and other diseases, proof of a causal relationship is tenuous. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ajt.14983

    View details for PubMedID 29939480

  • The Brief Case: Anaerobiospirillum succiniciproducens Bacteremia and Pyomyositis. Journal of clinical microbiology Epstein, D. J., Ernst, K., Rogers, R., Carmody, E., Aguero-Rosenfeld, M. 2017; 55 (3): 665-669

    View details for DOI 10.1128/JCM.01351-16

    View details for PubMedID 28232502

  • Closing the Brief Case: Anaerobiospirillum succiniciproducens Bacteremia and Pyomyositis. Journal of clinical microbiology Epstein, D. J., Ernst, K., Rogers, R., Carmody, E., Aguero-Rosenfeld, M. 2017; 55 (3): 986-987

    View details for DOI 10.1128/JCM.01358-16

    View details for PubMedID 28232506

  • Toxoplasma Encephalitis in Atypical Hosts at an Academic Cancer Center. Open forum infectious diseases Morjaria, S., Epstein, D. J., Romero, F. A., Taur, Y., Seo, S. K., Papanicolaou, G. A., Hatzoglou, V., Rosenblum, M., Perales, M., Scordo, M., Kaltsas, A. 2016; 3 (2): ofw070-?

    Abstract

    Toxoplasma encephalitis is a well recognized complication of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, solid organ transplantation, and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, patients with hematologic malignancies not treated with allogeneic HSCT may also develop this condition, which requires high clinical suspicion and consideration for prophylactic therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ofid/ofw070

    View details for PubMedID 27096140