Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae colonization (CRE) and subsequent risk of infection and 90-day mortality in critically ill patients, an observational study
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) have emerged as an urgent public health threat. Intestinal colonization with CRE has been identified as a risk factor for the development of systemic CRE infection, but has not been compared to colonization with third and/or fourth generation cephalosporin-resistant (Ceph-R) Enterobacteriaceae. Moreover, the risk conferred by colonization on adverse outcomes is less clear, particularly in critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
We carried out a cohort study of consecutive adult patients screened for rectal colonization with CRE or Ceph-R upon ICU entry between April and July 2013. We identified clinical variables and assessed the relationship between CRE or Ceph-R colonization and subsequent systemic CRE infection within 30 days (primary outcome) and all-cause mortality within 90 days (secondary outcome).
Among 338 ICU patients, 94 (28%) were colonized with either Ceph-R or CRE. 26 patients developed CRE infection within 30 days of swab collection; 47% (N = 17/36) of CRE-colonized and 3% (N = 2/58) of Ceph-R colonized patients. 36% (N = 13/36) of CRE-colonized patients died within 90 days compared to 31% (N = 18/58) of Ceph-R-colonized and 15% (N = 37/244) of non-colonized patients. In a multivariable analysis, CRE colonization independently predicted development of a systemic CRE infection at 30 days (aOR 10.8, 95% CI2.8–41.9, p = 0.0006); Ceph-R colonization did not (aOR 0.5, 95% CI0.1–3.3, p = 0.5). CRE colonization was associated with increased 90-day mortality in a univariable analysis (p-value 0.001), in a multivariable model, previous hospitalization and medical ICU admission were independent predictors of 90-day mortality whereas CRE colonization approached significance (aOR 2.3, 95% CI1.0–5.3, p = 0.056).
Our study highlights the increased risk of CRE infection and mortality in patients with CRE colonization at the time of ICU admission. Future studies are needed to assess how CRE colonization can guide empiric antibiotic choices and to develop novel decolonization strategies.
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