Recent changes in bacteremia in patients with cancer: a systematic review of epidemiology and antibiotic resistance

  • E. Montassier
  • E. Batard
  • T. Gastinne
  • G. Potel
  • M. F. de La Cochetière


Bacteremia remains a major cause of life-threatening complication in patients with cancer. Significant changes in the spectrum of microorganisms isolated from blood culture have been reported in cancer patients over the past years. The aim of our systematic review was to inventory the recent trends in epidemiology and antibiotic resistance of microorganisms causing bacteremia in cancer patients. Data for this review was identified by searches of Medline, Scopus and Cochrane Library for indexed articles and abstracts published in English since 2008. The principal search terms were: “antimicrobial resistance”, “bacteremia”, “bacterial epidemiology”, “bloodstream infection”, “cancer patients”, “carbapenem resistance”, “Escherichia coli resistance”, “extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing E. coli”, “febrile neutropenia”, “fluoroquinolone resistance”, “neutropenic cancer patient”, “vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus”, and “multidrug resistance”. Boolean operators (NOT, AND, OR) were also used in succession to narrow and widen the search. Altogether, 27 articles were selected to be analyzed in the review. We found that Gram-negative bacteria were the most frequent pathogen isolated, particularly in studies with minimal use of antibiotic prophylaxis. Another important trend is the extensive emergence of antimicrobial-resistant strains associated with increased risk of morbidity, mortality and cost. This increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance has been reported in Gram-negative bacteria as well as in Gram-positive bacteria. This exhaustive review, reporting the recent findings in epidemiology and antibiotic resistance of bacteremia in cancer patients, highlights the necessity of local continuous surveillance of bacteremia and stringent enforcement of antibiotic stewardship programs in cancer patients.


Antibiotic Prophylaxis Methicillin Resistance Quinolone Resistance Enterococcus Species Febrile Neutropenic Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Montassier
    • 1
  • E. Batard
    • 1
  • T. Gastinne
    • 2
  • G. Potel
    • 1
  • M. F. de La Cochetière
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculté de Médecine, Laboratoire EA 3826, Thérapeutiques Cliniques et Expérimentales des InfectionsUniversité de NantesNantesFrance
  2. 2.Service d’Hématologie CliniqueCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de NantesNantesFrance
  3. 3.Faculté de Médecine, Laboratoire EA 3826, Thérapeutiques Cliniques et Expérimentales des InfectionsINSERM, Université de NantesNantesFrance

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