A Multicenter Study of Bacterial Blood Stream Infections in Pediatric Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients: The Role of Acute Gastrointestinal Graft-versus-Host Disease

Satwani, P.; Freedman, J. L.; Chaudhury, S.; Jin, Z.; Levinson, A.; Foca, M. D.; Krajewski, J.; Sahdev, I.; Talekar, M. K.; Gardenswartz, A.; Silverman, J.; Hayes, M.; Dvorak, C. C.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2017 Jan 21; 23(4):642-647


Blood stream infections (BSI) caused by enteric organisms are associated with a particularly high mortality rate in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) recipients. We conducted a retrospective multicenter study aiming to analyze the risk factors associated with antibiotic resistance and impact of BSI on transplantation-related mortality (TRM) in children after alloHCT. During the study period from 2004 to 2014, 395 children (mean age, 9.4 years) with at least 1 BSI were included. The incidences of resistant gram-negative rods were 20.7% to piperacillin-tazobactam, 10.9% to cefepime, 21% to ceftazidime, 11.4% to levofloxacin, and 8.16% to meropenem. Thirty-eight percent of Enterococcus spp. isolates were resistant to vancomycin. More than 1 episode of BSI was associated with significant increase in the risk of resistance to piperacillin-tazobactam, cefepime, and vancomycin. On multivariate analysis of risk factors for TRM, achievement of neutrophil engraftment by day 30 was associated with lower TRM (P = .002). However, infection with an antibiotic-resistant organism was not associated with TRM. Development of enteric bacterial BSI after the onset of acute gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was the strongest predictor of TRM (hazard ratio, 4.786; 95% confidence interval, 2.833 to 8.087; P < .001). In patients with acute gastrointestinal GVHD who subsequently developed enteric bacterial BSI, the incidence of 1-year TRM was 33.4% (SE = 7%), compared with 15.3% (SE = 2%) for those without acute gastrointestinal GVHD (P = .004). Primary prevention of a first episode of BSI is arguably the most important intervention to decrease antibiotic resistance. It is also imperative that we develop strategies to maintain gastrointestinal health, especially in patients with gastrointestinal GVHD, in an effort to prevent subsequent enteric bacterial BSI and improve survival.

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