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Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 Jul;36(1):199-204.

An outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia bacteremia in hemodialysis patients: an epidemiologic and molecular study.

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Division of Nephrology and the Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand.


The risk of blood stream infections increases in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. Outbreaks of infection are usually caused by contamination of the water supply, water treatment, distribution system, or dialyzer reprocessing. We report an outbreak of subclavian catheter-related Burkholderia cepacia bacteremia in nine patients undergoing hemodialysis. Using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, the bacterial isolates were clonally identical to Burkholderia cepacia isolated from residue of the diluted chlorhexidine-cetrimide solution used to disinfect the transfer forceps. These forceps were used to pick up cotton balls and gauze for dressing the subclavian catheter. Antibiotic therapy failed to cure the infections, and all patients required catheter removal. Pathology showed numerous bacilli embedded in the biofilm on the inner surface of the removed catheters. In conclusion, our study showed that contaminated chlorhexidine-cetrimide solution was the source of a bacteremic outbreak in nine patients who developed catheter-related Burkholderia cepacia infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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