Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Infect Dis. 2002 Mar;6(1):69-73.

Bacteremias caused by Escherichia coli in cancer patients - analysis of 65 episodes.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Trnava, Slovak Repulbic.



The aims of this study were to evaluate risk factors, clinical presentation, outcome and antimicrobial susceptibility in patients with Escherichia coli bacteremia occurring over seven years in a single cancer hospital.


Sixty five episodes of bacteremia from E. coli appearing over seven years from 12,301 admissions in a single cancer institution were retrospectively analyzed.


The proportion of bacteremia caused by E. coli among Gram-negative bacteremia was 20.8% (the second most common organism after Pseudomonas aeruginosa), and infection-associated mortality was 17%. The incidence in 1989-1995 varied from 14.3 to 24.7%. The most common risk factors were: solid tumors as the underlying disease (70.7%); central venous catheter insertion (32.3%); prior surgery (46.2%), and prior chemotherapy within 48 h (44.4%). Neutropenia and urinary catheters did not place patients at high risk in any of the subgroups. When we compared the two subgroups of 61 cases of bacteremia - monomicrobial and polymicrobial (when E. coli was isolated from blood culture with another microorganism) - we found that acute leukemia and breakthrough (recurrence while receiving antibiotics) bacteremia were more frequently associated with polymicrobial E. coli bacteremia. There was also a difference in infection-associated mortality: monomicrobial bacteremia due to E. coli only had a significantly lower mortality in comparison with polymicrobial E. coli bacteremia (8.9 vs 35.0%, respectively; P<0.03).


The susceptibility of 115 E. coli strains isolated from 65 episodes of bacteremia was stable. Only two episodes caused by quinolone-resistant strains occurred, both in 1995, after six years of using ofloxacin for prophylaxis in neutropenic patients in our hospital. We found that 85.2-91.3% of all strains were susceptible to aminoglycosides, 97.8% to quinolones, and 90-100% to third generation cephalosporins and imipenems. The patients most commonly infected had solid tumors and the mortality was only 17%.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center