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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2006 Aug;25(8):522-6.

Changing trends in etiology of bacteremia in patients with cancer.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, Unit 402, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The present study was conducted to determine trends in the quantitative bacterial load patterns of bacterial bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by various bacteria in patients receiving care at a comprehensive cancer center. Bacterial loads of all consecutive quantitative blood cultures performed during 1998 and 2004 were graded quantitatively. Gram-positive bacteria (GPB) were responsible for the majority of BSI episodes in both years studied: 740 of 1,055 (73%) in 1998 and 820 of 1,025 (82%) in 2004. Compared with GPB infections, a significant proportion of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria was associated with a high bacterial load (HBL) (11 vs 28% in 1998 and 10 vs 30% in 2004; p<0.001). In 2004, BSI episodes due to non-Pseudomonas non-fermentative GNB (Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Acinetobacter spp) were significantly associated with a HBL compared to BSI due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa (47 vs 23%; p<0.05); this was not the case in 1998. Conversely, the HBLs commonly associated with BSI due to Staphylococcus aureus (50%) and Streptococcus spp (35%) versus coagulase-negative staphylococci (13%; p<0.0001) during 1998 were not noted during 2004 (22% Staphylococcus aureus, 20% Streptococcus spp, 21% coagulase-negative staphylococci; p>0.5). The spectrum of BSI continues to change and its prognostic implications in cancer patients needs further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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