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BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Jul 31;13:356. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-356.

Ciprofloxacin prophylaxis in high risk neutropenic patients: effects on outcomes, antimicrobial therapy and resistance.

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Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rua Professor Rodolpho Paulo Rocco 255, Cidade Universitária, Rio de Janeiro 21941-913, Brazil.



The use of quinolone prophylaxis in high-risk neutropenic patients is considered standard of care but the development of resistance is a concern. Previous studies have focused mainly on quinolone resistance among patients receiving prophylaxis, with very few data reporting its impact on the hospital microbial epidemiology.


We analyzed a cohort of 329 episodes of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in adults, and compared two periods: 2005 (period 1, no prophylaxis, n=110) and 2006-2008 (period 2, ciprofloxacin prophylaxis, n=219). Outcomes analyzed were the frequency of febrile neutropenia, bacteremia, duration of antibiotic therapy and hospitalization, and antimicrobial resistance to ciprofloxacin and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase [ESBL] production. We analyzed resistance rates (by patients-day) in the cohort, as well as in other patients (neutropenic and non-neutropenic, 11,975 patients-day) admitted to the hematology unit in the same period, taking into consideration the general resistance patterns in the hospital.


Quinolone prophylaxis (period 2) resulted in fewer episodes of febrile neutropenia (159/219 [73%] vs. 102/110 [93%], Chi-square 18.09, p = 0.00002), and bacteremia (49/219 [22] vs. 36/110 [33%], Chi-square 4.10, p = 0.04), shorter duration of antibiotic therapy (p = 0.0002) and hospitalization (p = 0.002), but more frequent use of carbapenems (79/219 [36%] vs. 15/110 [14%], Chi-square 18.06, p = 0.0002). In addition, period 2 was associated with higher rates of quinolone resistance (6.77 vs. 3.02 per 1,000 patients-day, p = 0.03). The rate of ESBL-producing enterobacteria in the two periods was slightly higher in patients receiving quinolone prophylaxis (1.27 vs. 0.38 per 1,000 patients-day, p = 0.26) as well as in the hematology unit overall (1.59 vs. 0.53 per 1,000 patients-day, p = 0.08), but remained stable in the whole hospital (0.53 vs. 0.56 per 1,000 patients-day, p = 0.74).


Ciprofloxacin prophylaxis was beneficial in high risk neutropenic patients, but important modifications in the prescription of carbapenems and on antimicrobial resistance patterns of isolates were observed. The importance of hospital or ward ecology must be taken into account when deciding for quinolone prophylaxis in high-risk neutropenic patients.

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