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Transplant Proc. 2012 Sep;44(7):1973-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.06.055.

Bacterial bloodstream infections in liver transplantation: etiologic agents and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles.

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Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery and Organ Transplantation, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.


Liver transplantation (OLT) is a lifesaving procedure for the treatment of many end-stage liver diseases, but infection and acute rejection episodes still remain the main causes of morbidity and mortality. Bloodstream infections (BSIs), particularly, are the major cause of mortality among these patients. BSIs in OLT, are from intra-abdominal, biliary, respiratory, urinary, wound and/or central venous catheter sources. A certain percentage are of unknown origin. Using the computerized database of our microbiology laboratory, we analyzed all BSIs in 75 consecutive adult liver transplant patients in a single center between January 2008 and July 2011. BSIs occurred in 21/75 (28%) patients. Thirteen subjects had a single; two, two episodes, and the other six patients each >4 episodes. All episodes occurred in the first 60 days following OLT; the majority (74%), in the first month. Among 44 microorganisms recovered, 52.3% were gram-negative, the most frequent being Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae; 47.7% were gram-positive, the most frequent being coagulase-negative staphylococci, particularly Staphylococcus epidermidis. Overall 65.9% of the isolates were resistant to several antibiotics: 40.9% displayed the multiding-resistant and 25% the panding-resistant phenotype. There was a high incidence of gram-negative and most importantly, resistant bacteria, which required appropriate therapy. These data showed that it is imperative to promote strategies to prevention and contain antimicrobial resistance.

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