Eur J Pediatr. 2021 Apr 9. doi: 10.1007/s00431-021-04056-5. Online ahead of print.
Bacterial infections remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised children. From the onset of fever, an early administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics is begun; this strategy could induce emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria (MDR). We describe the incidence and microbiological spectrum, including MDR bacteria of bacterial documented blood-stream infections (BSI) in immunocompromised children. A retrospective, descriptive study was conducted in a tertiary referral centre in France from January 2014 to December 2017. Our cohort included a large scale of patients with febrile neutropenia: haematological and oncological malignancies, haematopoietic stem cell transplantations, severe combined immunodeficiency syndromes. BSI were defined by positive blood culture samples associated with fever. Among 760 febrile neutropenia episodes in 7301 admitted patients, we identified 310 documented BSI with a mean of 7.4 BSI/1000 patient bed days. Only 2.9% BSIs were caused by MDR bacteria, none vancomycin resistant. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were identified in 49.7% BSI and Staphylococcus aureus caused 6.5% infections. Gram-negative bacilli accounted for 21.6% of isolated bacteria, Pseudomonas for 4.8%. The incidence of BSI annually decreased by 0.75% (p = 0.002).Conclusion: With a step-down strategy at 48 h of initial broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, we reported a low number of MDR bacteria, no deaths related to BSI. What is Known: • Bacterial bloodstream infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised children • Multi-drug resistant bacteria are emerging worldwide. What is New: • Initial broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy with a step-down strategy at 48 h: no deaths related to bloodstream infections with a low number of resistant bacteria. • Parental and nurse stewardship to decrease bloodstream infections incidence with a drop of staphylococcal infections.