Infect Chemother.  2022 Jun;54(2):340-352. 10.3947/ic.2022.0069.

Bloodstream Infections in Patients with Hematologic Diseases: Causative Organisms and Factors Associated with Resistance

  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 2The Catholic Hematology Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Vaccine Bio Research Institute, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Patients with hematologic diseases are at high risk of bloodstream infections (BSIs). This study aimed to analyze clinical features and distributions of microorganisms in patients with hematologic diseases presenting at a tertiary care university-affiliated hospital in Korea.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed all BSI episodes recorded in patient medical records at two hematologic wards of the Catholic Hematology Hospital from January to December 2020. Our aim was to analyze demographic and clinical characteristics relevant to BSIs. We also described the antimicrobial resistance patterns of the major pathogens identified in this study, and evaluated risk factors for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production in Enterobacteriaceae isolates and for vancomycin resistance in enterococcal isolates.
A total of 380 BSI episodes were identified in 334 patients over the course of 1 year (monomicrobial BSI episodes, 86.1%; polymicrobial BSI episodes, 13.9%). Gram-negative bacteria accounted for 242 isolates (54.8%). The most frequently isolated Gram-negative bacteria isolates were Escherichia coli (107 [24.2%]) followed by Klebsiella spp. (72 [16.3%]), Pseudomonas spp. (21 [4.8%]), and Enterobacter spp. (12 [2.7%]). The most commonly identified Gram-positive bacteria were Enterococcus spp. (72 [16.3%]) followed by viridans streptococci (54 [12.2%]), coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) (24 [5.4%]), and Corynebacterium spp. (22 [5.0%]). ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae accounted for 25.1% of the total distribution. Among 54 Enterococcus faecium isolates, 100.0% were resistant to ampicillin and 55.6% showed resistance to vancomycin, while 100.0% (n = 12) of Enterococcus faecalis isolates were susceptible to ampicillin and vancomycin, respectively. Use of ciprofloxacin prophylaxis (odds ratio: 5.20; 95% confidence interval: 1.11 - 24.34; P = 0.04) was an independent risk factor for ESBL production in Enterobacteriaceae BSIs.
Compared with the results of a previous study conducted at the same institution, our findings demonstrated that Gram-negative bacteria remained dominant pathogens in BSIs occurring in patients with hematologic diseases. Our findings also demonstrated a comparatively decreased prevalence of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in the evaluated BSIs. However, the prevalence of enterococcal BSIs had not decreased, and the proportion of vfancomycin-resistant Enterococcus isolates from E. faecium BSIs had increased. In addition, we found that ciprofloxacin prophylaxis was statistically significantly associated with ESBL production in Enterobacteriaceae BSIs. We conclude that, in order to avoid critical complications and to reduce the burden of antimicrobial-resistant organisms in patients with hematologic diseases, it is necessary to conduct periodic examinations evaluating changes in BSI epidemiology within a single medical center.


Antimicrobial stewardship; Antimicrobial stewardship; Bacteremia; Bacteremia; Drug resistance; Drug resistance; Bacterial; Bacterial; Hematologic diseases; Hematologic diseases
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