Current Microbiology of Surgical Site Infections in Patients with Cancer: A Retrospective Review Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Patients with solid tumors frequently undergo surgical procedures and develop procedure-related infections. We sought to describe the current microbiologic spectrum of infections at various sites following common surgical procedures. This was a retrospective review of microbiologic data between January 2011 and February 2012. The sites studied were those associated with breast cancer surgery, thoracotomy, craniotomy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube insertion, and abdominal/pelvic surgery. Only patients with solid tumors were included. A total of 368 surgical site infections (SSIs) were identified (68 breast cancer related; 91 thoracotomy related; 45 craniotomy related; 75 PEG-tube insertion related; and 89 abdominal/pelvic surgery related). Of these, 58% were monomicrobial and 42% were polymicrobial. Overall, 85% of the 215 monomicrobial infections were caused by Gram-positive organisms and 13% by Gram-negative bacilli (GNB). Staphylococcus aureus was the predominant pathogen in monomicrobial infections (150 of 215, 70%). Sixty (40%) of these staphylococcal isolates were methicillin resistant (MRSA), and 65% had a vancomycin minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≥1.0 µg/ml. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the predominant GNB pathogen (19 of 27, 70%). Staphylococci were also the predominant pathogens in polymicrobial infections, while P. aeruginosa and Escherichia coli were the predominant GNB. Overall, 35% of isolates from polymicrobial infections were GNB. Cephalosporins (e.g., cefazolin) or amoxicillin/clavulanate was used most often for surgical prophylaxis, and 47% of organisms from monomicrobial infections (MRSA, P. aeruginosa) were resistant to them. A similar resistance pattern was observed in polymicrobial infections. Staphylococcus species were isolated most often from the sites studied. Polymicrobial infections (42%) and GNB monomicrobial infections (13%) were relatively frequent causes of SSIs. Many of these infections were caused by organisms that are resistant to agents commonly used for surgical prophylaxis. Additionally, 65% of staphylococcal isolates had a vancomycin MIC ≥1.0 µg/ml, suggesting the need for alternative therapeutic agents.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014