ECCMID19: Mortality rate in bloodstream infections varies hugely depending on the causative organism

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Research presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID; 13–16 April, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) has highlighted large variations in mortality rates associated with different bloodstream infections (BSIs).

BSIs are among the top seven causes of death, however, relatively little is known about the risks posed by the different microorganisms that can give rise to them. This study aimed to investigate the different causative agents via a multi-centre retrospective analysis of hospitalized patients across ten health facilities in New York between January and December 2018.

The team obtained two sets of blood samples from patients with suspected BSIs, which were then cultured to look for infection. If infection was found, the cultures were subject to molecular analysis to identify the species of microorganism responsible.

Of 6149 patients found to have a BSI, 93% were infected with a single species of pathogen, with the remaining 7% showing two or more different species in their blood. Overall 12% of the patients in the study were reported to have died in hospital, however, the team discovered mortality rates carried significantly according to the type of pathogen present, from 8% from Streptococcus spp., to 22% for MRSA and 46% for Acinetobacter baumanii infections.

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