Bacterial Infection among Cancer Patients: Analysis of Isolates and Antibiotic Sensitivity Pattern

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Introduction. Cancer patients being immunosuppressed are vulnerable to develop infections. Knowledge of the changing epidemiology of infections has a pivotal role in its management. Aims and Objectives. The study is undertaken to assess the types of bacterial infections in cancer patients undergoing anticancer treatment, the associated bacterial pathogens, and their antibiotic sensitivity patterns. Materials and Methods. A retrospective surveillance study was undertaken in our center. Positive culture reports and other clinical details of cancer patients diagnosed with infection during a stay in the tertiary care center from 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2016 were analysed by descriptive statistical methods chi-square test and odds ratio to study the association. Results. Out of 638 cancer patients diagnosed with infections in the 2-year period, 140 patients had positive cultures, representing 272 specimens and 306 isolates. Common specimens sent for culture were blood sputum, urine, and pus. 214 isolates (69.9%) were gram-negative bacilli, and 92 (30.1%) were gram-positive cocci. The most common isolates were Klebsiella spp. (18.30%), Pseudomonas spp. (17.65%), and Escherichia coli (14.71%) followed by Staphylococcus aureus (13.72%). Among the gram-negative organisms, the antibiotic resistance rates reported to fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, and third-generation cephalosporins were 45.13%, 39.20%, and 48.58%, respectively. 26.92% of the organisms are resistant to all three antibiotics. 50.4% of Klebsiella spp. and Escherichia coli were ESBL producers. Gram-negative organisms showed 11.63% resistance to β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combination, and 22.22% of gram-negative organisms are resistant to carbapenems. 50% of the Staphylococcus spp. were methicillin resistant, but all were sensitive to vancomycin. Conclusion. The surge in the number of gram-negative infections emphasizes the need for broad-spectrum empirical therapy targeting the same. Rate of resistance of the isolated gram-negative organisms to the routinely used empirical therapy is alarming. Prudent use of antibiotics, based on culture reports wherever possible, is of utmost importance to save the lives of infected patients and prevent further development of antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8883700
JournalInternational Journal of Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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