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Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infection, antimicrobial resistance and consumption trends in Ireland: 2008 to 2013

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This study aimed to describe the epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance trends of Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infection (BSI) in Ireland, in conjunction with national antimicrobial consumption data, during the period 2008 to 2013. A retrospective cohort study of K. pneumoniae BSI cases was conducted, based on notifications from Irish microbiology laboratories to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). In total, 1942 K. pneumoniae BSI cases were identified over 6 years, with 310 reported in 2008 and 326 reported in 2013. From 2008 to 2013, the proportion of isolates resistant to co-amoxiclav (24 % versus 29 %), piperacillin-tazobactam (11 % versus 27 %), third generation cephalosporins (3GC) (11 % versus 21 %), fluoroquinolones (13 % versus 21 %) and gentamicin (11 % versus 17 %) increased overall, concurrent with increasing national rates of antimicrobial consumption in Ireland (acute hospitals: 35.87 versus 39.77 defined daily doses (DDD) per 100 bed days used (BDU); and community: 6.38 versus 7.85 DDD per 1000 inhabitants per day (DID)). Enhanced data on the patient’s admission route was available for 735 (38 %) cases. Overall, 51 % (n = 378) were categorised as ‘acquired in the reporting hospital’. The all-cause mortality was 20 %, with 115 deaths, 101 (88 %) of whom died within 30 days of blood culture sampling date. K. pneumoniae is the second most common cause of Gram-negative BSI in Ireland, with most cases healthcare-associated and an all-cause mortality of 20 % reported in this study. Annual increases in resistance to different antimicrobial classes and in a multi-drug resistant phenotype have been observed, concurrent with increasing national broad spectrum antimicrobial consumption. These trends portend a risk to patient outcomes and highlight the urgency for individual prescribers to evaluate their antimicrobial prescribing habits in hospitals, long-term care and community settings.

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Sincere thanks to the staff of all microbiology laboratories who report enhanced EARS-Net data in Ireland.

Author contributions

Melissa Brady performed the analyses. Robert Cunney and Karen Burns initiated the research. All authors supported the analyses and approved the final submitted draft.

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Correspondence to M. Brady.

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A retrospective study was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the national centre for surveillance of infectious diseases in Ireland and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.


No funding was received for this work.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Brady, M., Cunney, R., Murchan, S. et al. Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infection, antimicrobial resistance and consumption trends in Ireland: 2008 to 2013. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 35, 1777–1785 (2016).

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