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Eur Respir J. 2007 Aug;30(2):307-13. Epub 2007 May 15.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia due to colistin susceptible-only microorganisms.

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Critical Care Service, Profesor Alejandro Posadas Hospital, Haedo, Argentina.


Acinetobacter spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are common pathogens of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). The presentation and outcome of VAP due to Acinetobacter spp. and P. aeruginosa susceptible to carbapenems (Carb-S; imipenem and/or meropenem) and to colistin only (Col-S) were compared in the present retrospective study in three intensive care units. A total of 61 episodes of VAP caused by Acinetobacter spp. or P. aeruginosa were studied, of which 30 isolates were Carb-S and 31 were Col-S. Demographics, worsening of renal function and mortality were not different. The univariate analysis showed that a later onset and a previous episode of VAP, prior antimicrobial therapy for >10 days and previous therapy with carbapenems during the present admission were more frequent in patients with Col-S strains. On multivariate analysis, prior antimicrobial therapy for >10 days and a previous episode of VAP remained significantly associated with Col-S VAP. Approximately 41% of the infections caused by Col-S isolates, but none of those due to Carb-S isolates, had received prior carbapenem therapy. Colistin-susceptible ventilator-associated pneumonia episodes can be effectively treated using colistin without significant renal dysfunction. This susceptibility pattern could be suspected in patients with a previous ventilator-associated pneumonia episode or prior antibiotic therapy for >10 days preceding the present ventilator-associated pneumonia episode.

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