In the patients with Enterobacteriaceae bloodstream infections, even a short course of antibiotics led to similar outcomes as a longer course, a recent study found.
In the retrospective cohort study, adult patients from three medical centers who had Enterobacteriaceae bacteremia and were treated within vitro active therapy between 2008 and 2014 were included. Patients who had received a short course of therapy (median duration, eight days) were matched 1:1 with those who had received a long course of therapy (median duration, 15 days), resulting in 385 matched pairs. Results of the study were published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The retrospective cohort study included patients with monomicrobial Enterobacteriaceae bacteremia from 3 medical centers from 2008 to 2014 and compared the outcomes of patients receiving short-course (6-10 days) vs prolonged-course (11-16 days) antibiotic therapy. Among the findings:
- There were 385 matched (1:1) pairs.
- The median duration of therapy in the short-course group and prolonged-course group was 8 days and 15 days, respectively.
- No difference in mortality between the treatment groups was observed (adjusted HR, 1.00).
- There was a trend toward a protective effect of short-course antibiotic therapy on the emergence of MDRGN bacteria (OR, 0.59).
The study’s primary outcome was all-cause mortality within 30 days of the end of antibiotic treatment, and it did not differ between the short and long-course groups. Rates of recurrent bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile infections within 30 days were also similar between groups. The short course of therapy also showed a slight protective effect against developing multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria within 30 days, but this was only a trend, not a statistically significant difference (odds ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.32 to 1.09; P=0.09).
Thet current Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines suggest antibiotics for seven to 14 days for such patients but that this recommendation is based on low-grade evidence. The current study was limited by its reliance on observational data, but the authors attempted to overcome that problem by using propensity score matching to create comparator groups that were similar in demographics, pre-existing medical conditions, source control measures, and severity of illness.
It was concluded that a short course of antibiotic therapy yields similar clinical outcomes as longer courses for patients with Enterobacteriaceae bacteremia and that a shorter course may also protect to some extent against multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria. However the results do not apply to patients with inadequate source control, because few such patients were included in the study, the authors noted.