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J Chemother. 2004 Dec;16(6):540-8.

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcal bacteremia in patients with hematologic malignancies: clinical and microbiological retrospective comparative analysis of S. haemolyticus, S. epidermidis and S. aureus.

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Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica, Policlinico Umberto I, Università La Sapienza, Roma, Italy.


Although Staphylococcus haemolyticus (SH) represents an emerging etiology of methicillin-resistant (MR) coagulase-negative staphylococcal nosocomial bacteremia, little is known of clinical significance of this infection. Thus, we performed case-control retrospective comparative analysis of MRSH bacteremias (MRSHB), methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis bacteremias (MRSEB), and methicillin-resistant S. aureus bacteremias (MRSAB) in patients with hematologic malignancies. Most patients in the three groups were neutropenic and had a central venous catheter (CVC) in place at the onset of bacteremia. However, MRSHB patients had a CVC in place prior to bacteremia for a time significantly more prolonged than MRSEB and MRSAB ones (p<0.05). Severe sepsis or septic shock were more common in patients with MRSAB as compared with MRSHB (p=0.02). Nosocomial attributable mortality rate was very low in the 3 study groups (0 to 5.4%) and only two patients developed metastatic infections. Overall, reduced susceptibility to teicoplanin was observed in 19 (47.5%) MRSH and in 4 (10%) MRSE isolates. Resistance to teicoplanin was observed in 6 isolates, all MRSH. Reduced susceptibility or resistance to vancomycin was observed in 2 isolates, both MRSH. All MRSA isolates were susceptible to the glycopeptides. Comparison between cases of bacteremia in patients with MRSH isolates with reduced susceptibility to teicoplanin and those with susceptible MRSH did not reveal significant differences in the clinical-microbiological response to teicoplanin therapy and outcome. Our results seem to suggest that MRSHB in hematologic patients is associated with low morbidity and mortality rates. MRSH frequently shows a reduced susceptibility to teicoplanin; however these in vitro data do not seem associated with an unfavorable clinical response to teicoplanin therapy for MRSHB in patients with hematologic malignancies.

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