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Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Oct 17. pii: ciz1025. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz1025. [Epub ahead of print]

Reported Beta Lactam and Other Antibiotic Allergies in Solid Organ and Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients.

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Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.



Patients with reported beta lactam antibiotic allergies (BLA) are more likely to receive broad-spectrum antibiotics and experience adverse outcomes. Data describing antibiotic allergies among solid organ transplant (SOT) and hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients are limited.


We reviewed records of adult SOT or allogeneic HCT recipients from 1/1/2013-12/31/2017 to characterize reported antibiotic allergies at time of transplant. Inpatient antibiotic use was examined for 100 days post-transplant. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) comparing antibiotic use in BLA and non-BLA groups were calculated using multivariable negative binomial models for two metrics: days of therapy (DOT)/1000 inpatient days and percentage of antibiotic exposure days.


Among 2153 SOT (65%) and HCT (35%) recipients, 634 (29%) reported any antibiotic allergy and 347 (16%) reported BLA. Inpatient antibiotics were administered to 2020 (94%) patients during the first 100 days post-transplant; average antibiotic exposure was 41% of inpatient days (Interquartile range (IQR) 16.7%, 62.5%). BLA patients had significantly higher DOT for vancomycin (IRR 1.4; 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.2, 1.7]; p<0.001), clindamycin (IRR 7.6; 95% CI [2.2, 32.4]; p=0.001), aztreonam in HCT (IRR 9.7; 95% CI [3.3, 35.0]; p<0.001), and fluoroquinolones in SOT (IRR 2.9; 95% CI [2.1, 4.0]; p<0.001); these findings were consistent when using percentage of antibiotic exposure days.


Transplant recipients are frequently exposed to antibiotics and have a high prevalence of reported antibiotic allergies. Reported BLA was associated with greater use of beta lactam antibiotic alternatives. Pre-transplant antibiotic allergy evaluation may optimize antibiotic use in this population.


Allergy; Beta lactams; Hematopoietic cell transplantation; Solid organ transplantation


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