BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 17;21(1):965. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06673-9.
BACKGROUND: Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) caused by more than one microorganisms is not uncommon and may be potentially challenging, but the relevant data is scarce in ventilated neonates. We aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of polymicrobial VAP in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
METHODS: All neonates with definite diagnosis of VAP from a tertiary level neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Taiwan between October 2017 and September 2020 were prospectively observed and enrolled for analyses. All clinical features, therapeutic interventions and outcomes were compared between the polymicrobial VAP and monomicrobial VAP episodes. Multivariate regression analyses were used to find the independent risk factors for treatment failure.
RESULTS: Among 236 episodes of neonatal VAP, 60 (25.4%) were caused by more than one microorganisms. Polymicrobial VAP episodes were more likely to be associated with multidrug-resistant pathogens (53.3% versus 34.7%, P = 0.014), more often occurred in later days of life and in neonates with prolonged intubation and underlying bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Otherwise most clinical characteristics of polymicrobial VAP were similar to those of monomicrobial VAP. The therapeutic responses and treatment outcomes were also comparable between these two groups, although modification of therapeutic antibiotics were significantly more common in polymicrobial VAP episodes than monomicrobial VAP episodes (63.3% versus 46.2%; P < 0.001). None of any specific pathogens was significantly associated with worse outcomes. Instead, it is the severity of illness, including presence of concurrent bacteremia, septic shock, and requirement of high-frequency oscillatory ventilator and underlying neurological sequelae that are independently associated with treatment failure.
CONCLUSIONS: Polymicrobial VAP accounted for 25.4% of all neonatal VAP in the NICU, and frequently occurred in neonates with prolonged intubation and underlying bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In our cohort, most clinical features, therapeutic responses and final outcomes of neonates with monomicrobial and polymicrobial VAP did not differ significantly.