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Bacterial bloodstream infections and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern in pediatric hematology/oncology patients after anticancer chemotherapy

Authors Al-Mulla N, Taj-Aldeen SJ, El Shafie S, Janahi M, Al-Nasser A, Chandra P

Received 2 July 2014

Accepted for publication 18 August 2014

Published 6 November 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 289—299


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Naima A Al-Mulla,1,2 Saad J Taj-Aldeen,3 Sittana El Shafie,4 Mohammed Janahi,2,5 Abdullah A Al-Nasser,1 Prem Chandra6

1Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar; 2Weill-Cornel Medical College, Ar-Rayyan, Qatar; 3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Hamad Medical Corporation, 4Department of Laboratory Medicine and Infection Control, Aspetar Hospital, 5Infectious Disease division, Department of Pediatrics, 6Medical Research Center, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Purpose: Bloodstream infections in pediatric hematology and oncology represent a major problem worldwide, but this has not been studied in Qatar. In this study, we investigated the burden of infection and the resistance pattern in the bacterial etiology, in the only tertiary pediatric hematology and oncology center in Qatar.
Methods: All pediatric cancer patients (n=185) were evaluated retrospectively during the period 2004–2011; a total of 70 (38%) patients were diagnosed with bloodstream infections. Bacterial etiology was determined, along with their susceptibility patterns. Neutropenia, duration of neutropenia, fever, duration of fever, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were evaluated throughout the study.
Results: A total of 70 patients (38%) were diagnosed with acute leukemias, lymphomas, solid tumors, or brain tumors; those patients experienced 111 episodes of bacteremia. The most common Gram-positive (n=64 [55%]) isolates were Staphylococcus epidermidis (n=26), Staphylococcus hominis (n=9), and Staphylococcus haemolyticus (n=7), and the common Gram-negative (n=52 [45%]) isolates were Klebsiella pneumoniae (n=14), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=10), and Escherichia coli (n=7). There was a significant association observed between fever with positive blood culture and different types of cancer (P=0.035). The majority of bacteremia (n=68 [61.3%]) occurred in nonneutropenic episodes. Elevated values of CRP (≥5 mg/L) were detected in 82 (95.3%) episodes and were negatively correlated with absolute neutrophil count (ANC) (r=-0.18; P=0.248) among all cases. However, the infection-related fatality rate was 2.2% (n=4), with three caused by Gram-negative pathogens. Multidrug resistant organisms were implicated in 33 (28.4%) cases and caused three of the mortality cases.
Conclusion: Multidrug resistant organisms cause mortality in pediatric cancer patients. Investigation of antimicrobial susceptibility of these organisms may guide successful antimicrobial therapy and improve the surveillance and quality of pediatric malignancy care.

Keywords: risk factors, antibiotic susceptibility

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