top of page


The multi-drug resistant organisms infections decrease during the antimicrobial stewardship era in cirrhotic patients: An Italian cohort study

Dalbeni A, Mantovani A, Zoncapè M, Cattazzo F, Bevilacqua M, De Marco L, Paon V, Ieluzzi D, Azzini AM, Carrara E, Tacconelli E, Sacerdoti D

Background and purpose: Bacterial infections represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality in cirrhotic patients. Our aim was to assess the incidence of bacterial infections, in particular due to multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) before and after the introduction of the antimicrobial stewardship program, "Stewardship Antimicrobial in VErona" (SAVE). In addition, we also analysed the liver complications and the crude mortality during the whole follow up.

Methods: We analysed 229 cirrhotic subjects without previous hospitalization for infections enrolled at the University Verona Hospital from 2017 to 2019 and followed up until December 2021 (mean follow-up 42.7 months).

Results: 101 infections were recorded and 31.7% were recurrent. The most frequent were sepsis (24.7%), pneumonia (19.8%), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (17.8%). 14.9% of infections were sustained by MDROs. Liver complications occurred more frequently in infected patients, and in case of MDROs infections with a significantly higher MELD and Child-Pugh score. In Cox regression analysis, mortality was associated with age, diabetes and bacterial infections episodes (OR 3.30, CI 95%: (1.63-6.70). Despite an increase in total infections over the past three years, a decrease in the incidence rate in MDROs infections was documented concurrently with the introduction of SAVE (IRD 28.6; 95% CI: 4.6-52.5, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: Our study confirms the burden of bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients, especially MDROs, and the strong interconnection with liver complications. The introduction of SAVE decreased MDROs infections. Cirrhotic patients require a closer clinical surveillance to identify colonized patients and avoid the horizontal spread of MDROs in this setting.

bottom of page