Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Jun 5;10(6):674. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10060674.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is one of the most severe complications affecting mechanically ventilated patients. The condition is caused by microaspiration of potentially pathogenic bacteria from the upper respiratory tract into the lower respiratory tract or by bacterial pathogens from exogenous sources such as healthcare personnel, devices, aids, fluids and air. The aim of our prospective, observational study was to confirm the hypothesis that in the etiology of VAP, an important role is played by etiological agents from the upper airway bacterial microflora. At the same time, we studied the hypothesis that the vertical spread of bacterial pathogens is more frequent than their horizontal spread among patients. A total of 697 patients required mechanical ventilation for more than 48 h. The criteria for VAP were met by 47 patients. Clonality of bacterial isolates from 20 patients was determined by comparing their macrorestriction profiles obtained by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Among these 20 patients, a total of 29 PFGE pulsotypes of Klebsiella spp. and Escherichia spp. strains were observed. The high variability of clones proves that there was no circulation of bacterial pathogens among hospitalized patients. Our finding confirms the development of VAP as a result of bacterial microaspiration and therefore the endogenous origin of VAP.