Pseudomonas aeruginosabacteremia over a 10-year period: multidrug resistance and outcomes in transplant recipients

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L.E. Johnson, E.M.C. D'Agata, D.L. Paterson, L. Clarke, Z.A. Qureshi, B.A. Potoski, A.Y. Peleg. Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteremia over a 10-year period: multidrug resistance and outcomes in transplant recipients. Transpl Infect Dis 2009: 11: 227–234. All rights reserved


Transplant recipients are at risk for hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), including those caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Of all HAIs, bloodstream infection (BSI) remains one of the most life-threatening.


Over a 10-year period, we studied 503 patients, including 149 transplant recipients, with pseudomonal BSI from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Trends in antimicrobial susceptibility, risk factors for multidrug resistance (MDR), and outcomes were compared between transplant and non-transplant patients.


Resistance to all antibiotic classes was significantly greater in pseudomonal blood culture isolates from transplant compared with non-transplant patients (P<0.001). Of isolates from transplant recipients (n=207), 43% were MDR, compared with 18% of isolates from non-transplant patients (n=391) (odds ratio [OR] 3.47; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.34–5.14, P<0.001). Among all patients, independent risk factors for MDR P. aeruginosa BSI included previous transplantation (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.51–3.76, P<0.001), hospital-acquired BSI (OR 2.41; 95% CI 1.39–4.18, P=0.002), and prior intensive care unit (ICU) admission (OR 2.04; 95% CI 1.15–3.63, P=0.015). Mortality among transplant recipients was 42%, compared with 32% in non-transplant patients (OR 1.55; 95% CI 0.87–2.76, P=0.108). For transplant recipients, onset of BSI in the ICU was the only independent predictor of mortality (OR 8.00; 95% CI 1.71–37.42, P=0.008).


Transplant recipients are at greater risk of MDR P. aeruginosa BSI, with an appreciable mortality. Future management must concentrate on the implementation of effective preventative strategies.

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