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Crit Care. 2002 Jun;6(3):205-11. Epub 2002 May 9.

Clinical review: bacteremia caused by anaerobic bacteria in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.


This review describes the microbiology, diagnosis and management of bacteremia caused by anaerobic bacteria in children. Bacteroides fragilis, Peptostreptococcus sp., Clostridium sp., and Fusobacterium sp. were the most common clinically significant anaerobic isolates. The strains of anaerobic organisms found depended, to a large extent, on the portal of entry and the underlying disease. Predisposing conditions include: malignant neoplasms, immunodeficiencies, chronic renal insufficiency, decubitus ulcers, perforation of viscus and appendicitis, and neonatal age. Organisms identical to those causing anaerobic bacteremia can often be recovered from other infected sites that may have served as a source of persistent bacteremia. When anaerobes resistant to penicillin are suspected or isolated, antimicrobial drugs such as clindamycin, chloramphenicol, metronidazole, cefoxitin, a carbapenem, or the combination of a beta-lactamase inhibitor and a penicillin should be administered. The early recognition of anaerobic bacteremia and administration of appropriate antimicrobial and surgical therapy play a significant role in preventing mortality and morbidity in pediatric patients.

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