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Lytic Bacteriophage Screening Strategies for Multidrug-Resistant Bloodstream Infections in a Burn Intensive Care Unit

Zichen Yang, Yunlong Shi, Cheng Zhang, Xiaoqiang Luo, Yu Chen, Yizhi Peng, Yali Gong

State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Chongqing Key Laboratory for Proteomics Disease, Institute of Burn Research, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University (Army Medical University), Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:8352-8362

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.917706

Available online:

Published: 2019-11-06


BACKGROUND: Increasing antibiotic resistance and multidrug resistance (MDR) in patients with bloodstream infection (BSI) has resulted in treatment using bacteriophage. This study aimed to identify Gram-negative bacilli and Gram-positive cocci and antibiotic resistance in patients with BSI in a burn intensive care unit (BICU). The environment, including sewage systems, were investigated for the presence of lytic bacteriophage.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between January 2011 to December 2017, 486 patients with BSI were admitted to the BICU. Blood culture identified the main infectious organisms. Bacterial screening tests for antibiotic resistance included the D test and the modified Hodge test (MHT). Lytic bacteriophage was isolated from the environment.
RESULTS: In 486 patients with BSI, the main causative organisms were Gram-negative bacilli (64.6%), Gram-positive cocci (27.7%), and fungi (7.7%). The main pathogenic organisms that showed multidrug resistance (MDR) were Acinetobacter baumannii (26.0%), Staphylococcus aureus (16.8%), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (14.2%). Bacteriophage was mainly isolated from Gram-negative bacilli. Screening of hospital and residential sewage systems identified increased levels of bacteriophage in hospital sewage.
CONCLUSIONS: The causative organisms of BSI and the presence of MDR in a hospital BICU were not typical, which supports the need for routine bacterial monitoring. Hospital sewage provides a potential source of bacteriophage for the treatment of MDR pathogenic bacteria.

Keywords: Antibiotics, Antitubercular, Bacterial Infections, Bacteriophages, Burn Units



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