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Keywords:

  • Carbapenem antibiotics;
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa ;
  • Resistance

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information

The role of antibiotic exposure in the evolution and emergence of resistance is challenging to assess. We used carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) phenotypes to assess possible factors that are associated with the occurrence and prognosis of such a phenotype and to examine the possible contribution of antibiotic exposure to the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. We conducted a nested case-control study. Cases were defined as patients from whom carbapenem-resistant ureidopenicillin-sensitive PA (CRUS-PA) was isolated; matched controls were PA patients who did not have isolation of CRUS-PA. We analysed potential predictors of CRUS-PA isolation and assessed their clinical significance (mortality and eventual isolation of pan-resistant PA), taking into account antibiotic exposures. We matched 800 case-control pairs. Case patients were more likely to have been exposed to anti-PA carbapenems (OR = 6.9; 95% CI, 2.5–18.6). This finding did not apply to the administration of other antibiotics. The mortality among CRUS-PA patients was similar to that of the controls (HR, 0.8 95%; CI, 0.6–1.1). Subsequent isolation of pan-resistant PA was more frequent among case patients compared with non-pan-resistant controls (p-value <0.05). Among cases, the risk of eventual pan-resistant PA isolation was increased in ertapenem recipients, only after and not prior to the index specimen date (HR, 1.9, 95%; CI, 1.01–3.4). Therefore we suggest that the CRUS-PA phenotype may represent pan beta-lactam resistance and that antibiotic exposure is associated with evolution of PA resistance phenotypes. We demonstrate a novel association of ertapenem with sequentially appearing PA resistance patterns.


Introduction

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information

Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is a known major bacterial pathogen. Although it occasionally causes community-acquired infections, it is a significant medical burden in hospital settings, where it may be resistant to a wide range of antibiotics [1]. Beta-lactam antibiotics are considered the mainstay of treatment for PA. In severe infections, some recommend double antibiotic coverage including non-beta-lactam antibiotics [2].

The major classes of beta-lactam antibiotics available for the treatment of PA include: ureidopenicillins; third and fourth generation cephalosporins (e.g. ceftazidime and cefepime); and carbapenems (such as imipenem, meropenem and doripenem), though ertapenem is not considered to be an effective treatment [2]. Mechanisms of resistance to different beta-lactam agents vary and beta-lactam pan-resistance has been documented [1, 3].

Recently, it was suggested that patient exposure to either imipenem or ciprofloxacin is associated with development of PA infections with wider resistance profiles [4]. Patient-to-patient transmission of carbapenem-resistant PA can also account for these infections in intensive care settings [5].

Antibiotic pressure is regarded by many as the culprit that induces antibiotic resistance at the single bacteria level as well as an ecological pressure that promotes the spread of such bacteria. Measures to curtail inappropriate antibiotic prescription and encourage prudent use are promoted at institutional and national levels [6, 7]. However, information on the effect that antibiotics have on a patient and their contribution to the development of resistant bacteria in that same patient is not widely available. The ecological trends are population centred and not patient centred. In fact there is a dearth of evidence of the individual probabilities of benefits/harms patients might experience with regard to emergence of resistance in their flora.

In our institution, we have noticed that in recent years there has been an increased proportion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates that display a unique susceptibility/resistance phenotype – carbapenem resistance and ureidopenicillin sensitivity. Until 2002 they comprised no more than 5% of all Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. Since 2002 their prevalence has varied between 5% and 8.7% (see Table S2 and Fig. S1). The possibility of ureidopenicillin therapy for a carbapenem-resistant pathogen is unique. However, if the in vitro phenotype does not predict an in vivo response, other therapeutic options should be sought. Here we assess whether this phenotype was unique to certain patients and whether it might have different prognostic implications from other clinical PA isolates. Additional aims for this study were to evaluate whether specific antibiotic exposure can be related to the isolation of this unique phenotype or other PA resistance phenotypes. The main foundations for this study were a reliable and substantive dataset based on both a long-standing antibiotic stewardship programme in our institution, which also documents all antibiotic prescriptions, and our computerized microbiological database.

Methods

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information

The study was performed at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel, a tertiary care medical institution comprising two hospital campuses and a total of 1100 inpatient beds (the larger campus has 775 beds), and was approved by the institutional ethics committee. The institution gives care to both admitted and daycare patients and does not deliver primary outpatient care, which is delivered by the community physicians as part of the patients' Health maintenance organizations. The clinical, microbiological and pharmacy data included in this study were collected from the institutional database between January 1987 to August 2009. Our institution has maintained an antibiotic stewardship programme for over 25 years. Part of this programme includes scrutiny and approval of selected antibiotic prescriptions by infectious diseases consultants. All relevant orders and approvals have been computerized and documented since 1987. The microbiology laboratory computerized database also dates back to 1987.

Patients were included according to the protocol presented in Fig. 1. Using the WHONET software package [8] we reviewed the entire clinical microbiological database and identified PA cultures that were tested for susceptibility to one or more carbapenems used in our institution (imipenem and meropenem) and ureidopenicillins (piperacillin, azlocillin and mezlocillin). For some years only one carbapenem or ureidopenicillin was in use.

image

Figure 1. Flow chart depicting the selection process of the included cases and controls in the analysis.

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Carbapenem-resistant ureidopenicillin-susceptible PA (CRUS-PA) was defined as a P. aeruginosa that was resistant to either imipenem or meropenem (most of the time only one of the two was tested) and susceptible to ureidopenicillins. For the purpose of this analysis we classified intermediate resistance as resistant. Carbapenem-resistant ureidopenicillin-resistant PA (CRUR-PA) was defined when a PA isolate was non-susceptible to both antibiotic groups (see Table S1). We defined a patient's first CRUS-PA-positive specimen as the index specimen and the date of specimen collection as the index date. Patients with PA isolates, but from whom CRUS-PA was never isolated, were used for the control pool. The control pool contained any PA isolates that were carbapenem-sensitive and ureidopenicillin-sensitive (CSUS), carbapenem-sensitive and ureidopenicillin-resistant (CSUR) or carbapenem-resistant and ureidopenicillin-resistant (CRUR), but never contained isolates that were CRUS. Cases and controls were matched for sex, year of specimen collection, hospital campus and type of ward in which the specimen was collected. All potential controls were stratified according to the matching criteria and randomly sampled to generate the study controls. Specimens were included if all such data were available. When a case and control were matched, the control's matched specimen was considered his index specimen and the specimen date, the index date.

Data collection included demographic data (date of birth, sex and date of admission) and laboratory data within 48 h of specimen collection: white blood cell count, serum albumin, serum creatinine, serum urea and haemoglobin levels. Exposure to all classes of antibiotics since 1987 at our institution was assessed. Each patient's exposure to antibiotics was estimated in two ways: whether the patient received an antibiotic on a specific day (yes/no), and the patient's antibiotic load, defined as the total number of days each patient had received an antibiotic in the 60 days prior to and following the index date. The antibiotic resistance profile of each PA isolate was recorded as well as specimen source. Nosocomial acquisition was determined if the specimen was collected more than 72 h after admission.

All cultured bacteria were processed according to NCCLS/CLSI guidelines. [9] The cut-off values for sensitive/intermediate/resistant designation did not change over the study period. In our laboratory, most often either imipenem discs (1302 isolates) or sometimes meropenem discs were used (303 isolates in the years 2003–2006) to assess carbapenem susceptibility. Rarely, both were used (five isolates). In only one case was the isolate imipenem resistant but meropenem sensitive, and deemed carbapenem resistant. Ureidopenicillin susceptibility was assessed with three discs during the study period: azlocillin discs were used between 1987 and 1995 (177 isolates), mezlocillin discs were used between 1987 and 2002 (504 isolates) and piperacillin discs were used between 1991 and 2010 (1100 isolates). There were four isolates that were assessed with piperacillin and azlocillin, all sensitive to both. There were another four isolates that were assessed with piperacillin and mezlocillin; all four were sensitive to both. All isolates that were assessed with azlocillin were also assessed with mezlocillin. In 171 isolates (97%) there was complete concordance between the isolates. There were six that were mezlocillin resistant and azlocillin sensitive and were considered ureodopenicillin resistant in our analysis.

During the entire study period there has been an active antimicrobial stewardship programme encompassing all services in the hospital. In this programme each department is visited by an infectious diseases specialist every 2 days and antibiotics are distributed only if the infectious diseases specialist approves dispensing by the hospital pharmacy. During the study period, in the hospital formulary, at least one ureidopenicillin was available. Carbapenems were introduced in 1990. Ertapenem was introduced in 2003. Standard precautions were and are used when treating patients carrying/infected with multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Statistical analysis

Continuous variables were compared using the paired t-test whereas categorical variables were compared with the McNemar test. All comparisons were performed between patients from whom CRUS-PA was isolated and those patients from whom it was not. As the cases and controls were matched, conditional logistic regression was performed in order to assess risk factors for CRUS-PA vs. non-CRUS-PA phenotype. All variables collected were entered into the initial model. Additionally, only variables that were closely associated with the CRUS-PA phenotype on univariate analysis (p-value <0.2) were assessed in a separate model. In cases of multi-colinearity the variables with greater variability were included in the models. Prognosis as a major outcome was measured with time from index date to death or censorship. A secondary outcome was a later isolation of CRUR-PA. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were generated and compared with the log-rank test. Additionally, matched stratified Cox proportional hazard models were employed for multivariate survival analysis. In all analyses, p-values <0.05 were deemed statistically significant. Analyses were performed with SPSS version 19 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information

During the 22-year study period, 65 226 PA-positive cultures were analysed. There were 57 518 (88.2%) PA culture records, obtained from 18 886 patients, that were tested for carbapenem and ureidopenicillin susceptibility (Fig. 1). A total of 9365 cultures (12% of all cultures) collected from 2499 patients (13% of all patients) were carbapenem resistant and of these, 2426 cultures (25% of carbapenem-resistant PA cultures and 4.2% from all PA tested for both carbapenems and ureidopenicillins) from 990 patients (39% of all patients with carbapenem-resistant PA) were ureidopenicillin susceptible. Carbapenem resistance among PA emerged during the mid-1990s (Fig. S1a). Among the carbapenem-resistant PA, the proportion of CRUS-PA showed variability over the years (Fig. S1b; Table S2), ranging between 7% and 49%. After excluding patients with missing data, there were 956 patients (5.4% of all 18 886 patients) from whom CRUS-PA was isolated and were potential cases for the study (Fig. 1). We found 800 matched controls for CRUS-PA-positive patients and these 1600 patients comprised the study sample for analysis.

Each group included 319 females (40%). In each group 93 (12%) patients were hospitalized at the smaller campus. There was also matching in the in-hospital location of patients: 321 (40.1%) case-control pairs were in ICUs, 163 (20.4%) were in internal medicine wards, 163 (20.4%) in surgical wards, 51 (6.4%) were from the emergency department, 48 (6%) were paediatric and the remaining 54 pairs were distributed amongst other clinical services. Characteristics of cases and controls are presented in Table 1. The index specimens were more often from urine and sputum, were less often designated as community acquired and originated from younger patients and those whose blood creatinine levels were slightly higher.

Table 1. Characteristics of case and control patients and their respective Pseudomonas aeruginosa-positive cultures
CharacteristicsCase (n = 800)Control (n = 800)p-Value
  1. a

    Data available for 477 pairs.

Specimen type
Blood53 (6.6%)56 (8%)0.843
Sputum340 (43%)274 (34%)0.001
Wound206 (26%)185 (23%)0.245
Urine183 (23%)236 (30%)0.003
Community acquired (3 days)a115 (24%)157 (33%)0.001
Age55 ± 2458 ± 250.002
Albumin24 ± 625 ± 60.101
Haemoglobin9.5 ± 1.49.4 ± 2.20.725
WBC15.4 ± 8.516.3 ± 13.20.53
Urea18.5 ± 13.615.6 ± 12.40.05
Creatinine193 ± 183157 ± 1400.043

We compared the susceptibilities of the initial PA isolates in cases and controls (Table 2). Interestingly, the CRUS-PA isolates, as a group, were more resistant to a variety of non-beta-lactam antibiotics (including aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones) compared with the control group (p <0.005). They were more resistant to ceftazidime and aztreonam (p = 0.08 and 0.04).

Table 2. Sensitivity profiles of index specimensa
AntibioticsCases (%)Controls (%)p-Value
  1. a

    The table presents the number (%) of sensitive specimens.

Gentamicin481 (60)558 (70)<0.001
Amikacin621 (78)666 (83)0.005
Ciprofloxacin496 (62)592 (74)<0.001
Ofloxacin294 (37)482 (60)<0.001
Colistin796 (99)795 (99)0.31
Ceftazidime667 (83)691 (86)0.08
Aztreonam382 (48)423 (53)0.04
Ureidopenicillin800 (100)584 (73)
Meropenem0 (0) (n = 150)139 (92) (n = 152)
Imipenem0 (0) (n = 650)582 (90) (n = 648)

In order to understand whether there was a possible association (either prior to or following the index date) between antibiotic exposure (e.g. carbapenem administration) and the CRUS-PA phenotype, we examined the antibiotic prescriptions given to the cases and controls before and after the isolation of the index culture. CRUS-PA cases were more likely to be exposed to carbapenems both prior to and after the index date (Table 3). This was also true for exposure to ureidopenicillins. The frequency of antibiotic exposure 60 days prior to and following specimen collection is presented in Fig. 2. Antibiotic load was also higher in the CRUS-PA patients (Fig. S2). Assessment of possible risk factors for the occurrence of CRUS-PA vs. non-CRUS-PA, using multivariate analyses, confirmed that prior treatment with anti-PA carbapenem was associated with CRUS-PA isolation, with an odds ratio of 6.9 (95% CI, 2.5–18.6). Age was not associated with CRUS-PA isolation, nor was community acquisition (specimens collected up to 72 h from admission or later) vs. nosocomial acquisition. Neither prior ureidopenicillin nor ertapenem regimens showed an association with CRUS-PA isolation. Similarly, other antibiotic prescriptions (aminoglycosides, quinolones and colistin) were not associated with CRUS-PA isolation.

Table 3. Individual exposure to carbapenems and ureidopenicillins in temporal relationship to index specimens
Temporal relationshipAntibioticsCases (%)Controls (%)p-Value
On index dateErtapenem24 (3)9 (1)0.002
Meropenem/imipenem119 (15)30 (3.8)<0.001
Ureidopenicillins30 (3.8)20 (2.5)0.203
Prior to index date – anytimeErtapenem90 (11)19 (2.4)<0.001
Meropenem/imipenem336 (42)77 (9.6)<0.001
Ureidopenicillins268 (33.5)152 (19)<0.001
Prior to index date – previous monthErtapenem70 (9)16 (2)<0.001
Meropenem/imipenem204 (25.5)37 (4.6)<0.001
Ureidopenicillins152 (19)79 (9.9)<0.001
Prior to index date – previous 6 monthsErtapenem87 (11)19 (2.5)<0.001
Meropenem/imipenem248 (31)46 (5.8)<0.001
Ureidopenicillins218 (27.3)100 (12.5)<0.001
After index date – anytimeErtapenem69 (9)36 (4.5)<0.001
Meropenem/imipenem289 (36.1)115 (14.4)<0.001
Ureidopenicillins255 (31.9)185 (23.1)<0.001
After index date – following monthErtapenem39 (5)22 (2.8)0.027
Meropenem/imipenem156 (19.5)76 (9.5)<0.001
Ureidopenicillins159 (19.9)110 (13.8)0.001
After index date – following 6 monthsErtapenem54 (6.8)25 (3.1)<0.001
Meropenem/imipenem192 (24)86 (10.8)<0.001
Ureidopenicillins201 (25.1)131 (16.4)<0.001
image

Figure 2. Frequency distribution of antibiotic exposure in temporal relation to the index specimen date. Cases are on the right pyramid (green) and controls are on the left (blue). (a) Distribution of antipseudomonal carbapenems (imipenem/meropenem). X-axis ranges between 0 and 220 days. (b) Distribution of ertapenem. X-axis ranges between 0 and 45 days. (c) Distribution of ureidopenicillin antibiotics. X-axis ranges between 0 and 45 days.

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The mortality among CRUS-PA patients was similar to that of the controls (Fig. 3a). However, control patients with CRUR-PA index specimens had poorer survival compared with all case patients and other control patients (Fig. S3). We were intrigued by this because subsequent CRUR-PA isolation was more common among CRUS-PA patients compared with controls who did not start with CRUR-PA (Fig. 3b). Thus, in order to further understand if CRUS-PA was associated with either increased mortality and/or increased likelihood of future CRUR-PA isolation we used a stratified Cox proportional hazard time-dependent regression model. The case patients had a similar overall mortality rate to controls: hazard ratio (HR) of 0.8 (0.6–1.1). This was also true for patients with subsequent isolation of CRUR-PA, HR 0.8 (0.3–1.9), suggesting that even when a CRUR-PA phenotype was subsequently isolated from the CRUS-PA case patients, the survival outcome for those patients had not changed.

image

Figure 3. Survival of patients and acquisition of resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA). (a) Kaplan–Meier survival curves. Cases (blue line) vs. controls (orange line); p-values are with borderline statistical significance depending on method: log-rank 0.026, Breslow 0.071, Tarone-Ware 0.046. (b) Acquisition of carbapenem-resistant ureidopenicillin-resistant PA (CRUR-PA) since index date (CRUS-PA, blue line; carbapenem-sensitive ureidopenicillin-sensitive PA, grey line; carbapenem-sensitive ureidopenicillin-resistant PA, dark blue line). All three curves are significantly different one from the other (p-value <0.05).

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As we found that prior use of carbapenems is associated with isolation of CRUS-PA, and a significant proportion of CRUS-PA patients had later isolation of CRUR-PA, we explored the possible association of antibiotic treatment with the subsequent isolation of CRUR-PA among the CRUS-PA patients. Surprisingly, patients who received ertapenem (a carbapenem that is not considered to be clinically effective for PA), as opposed to any other antibiotic, demonstrated a unique phenomenon. Specifically, the risk of eventual CRUR-PA isolation was increased among CRUS-PA patients who received ertapenem after the index specimen date and not prior to that date (HR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.01–3.4). We did not find any similar pattern with other antibiotics, such as imipenem/meropenem, ureidopenicillins, colistin, aminoglycosides and quinolones (Fig. 4). This suggests a unique association between exposure to the non-PA carbapenem and future isolation of CRUR-PA.

image

Figure 4. Acquisition of carbapenem-resistant ureidopenicillin-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRUR-PA) among carbapenem-resistant ureidopenicillin-susceptible PA (CRUS-PA) cases, according to the type of antibiotic exposure in a 6-month period. No antibiotic exposure prior to and after the index date, black line; antibiotic exposure only prior to the index date, orange line; antibiotic exposure only after the index date, blue line; antibiotic exposure before and after the index date, green line.

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As mentioned above, subsequent isolation of CRUR-PA was far less common among control patients. Among control patients with a carbapenem-sensitive ureidopenicillin-sensitive (CSUS) PA (n = 554), there were 62 (11%) subsequent ureidopenicillin-resistant isolates. Unlike the evolution to CRUR-PA in a CRUS-PA patient, we did not found an association between ertapenem and carbapenem use and CRUR-PA evolvement in CSUS-PA controls. Nevertheless, ureidopenicillin use was associated with the subsequent isolation of ureidopenicillin-resistant PA among these CSUS-PA patients (p 0.038).

Not all patients (156, 16.3%) from whom CRUS-PA was isolated were included in the analysis due to lack of matching controls. We assessed whether the exclusion of those non-matched CRUS-PA patients had potentially biased our results. Indeed, non-matched CRUS-PA patients were commonly from the Mt Scopus campus (42% vs. 12%, p-value <0.001), the surgical subspecialty wards (24% vs. 16%) and pediatrics (22% vs. 6%), and less commonly from intensive care units (11% vs. 42%, p-value <0.001). The non-included CRUS-PA-positive patients were, on average, 12 years younger than the included CRUS-PA-positive patients (p-value <0.001). There was no difference in the sex and year of presentation between the included and non-included cases.

Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information

Carbapenem-resistant PA isolates emerged during the last decade of the 20th century. A subgroup of these demonstrated a susceptibility to ureidopenicillins (CRUS-PA). There are reports in which CRUS-PA was identified in as many as 40–80% of carbapenem-resistant PA isolates [10-12].

In this report we used this PA resistance phenotype to study the effect of antibiotic selection pressure on the development of resistance patterns. We found that exposure to carbapenems is greater among cases, both before and after index specimens. Antibiotic exposure was associated with subsequent isolation of CRUR-PA among CRUS-PA patients. Most notably, ertapenem exposure after the isolation of CRUS-PA, but not before, was predictive of CRUR-PA isolation among the cases.

In line with our findings, it was previously shown that consumption of antibiotics is well associated with increased microbial resistance [13-17], including PA resistance [4, 18]. Restriction of antibiotic use has also been shown to decrease resistance [19, 20]. That is a main reason for wide implementation of antibiotic stewardship programmes [6, 7]. PA is considered inherently resistant to ertapenem. Thus, it was presumed that the introduction of ertapenem into clinical use would delay the emergence of carbapenem resistance in PA or even decrease it [21-23]. Indeed, there are some studies suggesting that ertapenem is not associated with increased carbapenem resistance in PA [24-26]. However, those reports drew their conclusions from analysis of collections of isolates and grouped antibiotic usage (ecological analyses), and there was no direct analytical connection between the patients from whom PA specimens were collected and those who received antibiotics. In contrast, our study overcame this limitation by using a patient-centred methodology and not an ecological analysis.

Patient-centred analyses are more difficult to perform and are far less common than ecological analyses. Johnson et al. [5] demonstrated that a significant proportion of ICU-associated imipenem-resistant PA was acquired via patient-to-patient transmission. There was no assessment of the role of antibiotic exposure, though some imipenem-susceptible PA pulsotypes became imipenem resistant, suggesting either evolutionary pressure or horizontal transfer [5]. Another study in a tertiary care centre demonstrated that among 142 imipenem-resistant PA-carrying patients, quinolone exposure was more prevalent than in patients with imipenem-susceptible PA [10]. In a case-control study examining risk factors for acquisition of extended-spectrum drug-resistant PA, Park et al. [27] did not find among the 33 cases that prior antibiotic exposure was more prevalent. A previous Israeli case-control report found that 82 multidrug-resistant PA-carrying patients were more often treated with prior broad-spectrum antibiotics [28]. In a study assessing different definitions of antibiotic exposure, ureidopenicillin resistance was associated with prior exposure to any antibiotics, depending on the cumulative burden of prior exposures [29]. Our study is far larger than these previous analyses and presents patient-unique data spanning two decades.

In vitro, antibiotic exposure has been linked to changes in resistance mechanisms. Antibiotics have been shown to induce enzyme-mediated resistance [30], but other mechanisms may exist.

Our study has certain limitations. Molecular studies cannot be performed because most PA isolates are not preserved routinely. Such analyses might provide insight into mechanisms of resistance. Another possibility is that a substantial number of CRUS-PA specimens, for clinical purposes, are pan-beta-lactam resistant and ertapenem merely unveils this phenotype. We are not aware of previous observations demonstrating selection of resistance to other drugs by ertapenem.

Selective information bias poses a threat to the validity and reliability of retrolective analyses such as ours. All data used for analyses were based on computerized records, reducing the potential for non-systematic information bias. Computerized records themselves are limited and patient file review might have led to insights into the clinicians' reasoning for choice of specific antimicrobials. Another possible drawback could result from the fact that antibiotic dispensing in the emergency room in our hospitals was not documented on the computerized database. These accounts for no more than a day of undocumented care and continuation of treatment in the inpatient wards have always been monitored by the antibiotic stewardship programme. Most of the antibiotics examined are not available outside the hospital setting, with the exception of oral fluoroquinolones. Thus, our assessment of the effect of quinolone might be flawed to some degree.

The patients included in this study might have received antibiotic medications, prior to hospital admittance and after discharge, which we could not account for. Unaccounted for antibiotic exposure could lead to confounding of the presented results; however, antibiotic dispensing would need to be differently distributed between the cases and the controls, which is unlikely as they had similar demographic and medical profiles.

Another result worth noting is the fact that patients, in both case and control groups, had received antibiotics to which the PA isolated was resistant after the index date. This might reflect consideration of other isolates that were felt to be clinically significant and, possibly, medical errors. However, we have no reason to believe that these additional isolates were differentially distributed between the cases and the controls, given their matching.

To conclude, we have conducted a large and comprehensive study assessing patient-specific relationships between antibiotic exposure and PA resistance phenotypes. We confirmed that antibiotics are associated with differential resistance phenotypes and also provide a possible association of ertapenem with sequentially appearing PA resistance patterns. Clinicians should be aware that CRUS-PA may be pan-beta-lactam resistant and the use of antibiotics other than ureidopenicillins might be prudent.

Acknowledgments

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information

This study was approved by the Hadassah-Hebrew University ethics committee. Parts of this paper were presented at the 51st ICAAC, Chicago, Illinois.

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  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information
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Supporting Information

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Transparency Declarations
  9. References
  10. Supporting Information
FilenameFormatSizeDescription
clm12362-sup-0001-TableS1-S2-FigS1-S3.docWord document574K

Figure S1. Distribution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates by year.

Figure S2. Distribution of antibiotic load (total antibiotic days) per patient.

Figure S3. Patient survival curves per specific resistance phenotype.

Table S1. Original resistance pattern of index case and control specimens.

Table S2. Distribution of ureidopenicillin and carbapenem sensitivities among Pseudomonas aureginosa clinical isolates.

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