Triple Resistance Occurs in 1 in 8 Patients Hospitalized With Complicated UTIs

Complicated urinary tract infection (cUTI) is common among hospitalized patients. Though carbapenems are an effective treatment in the face of rising resistance, overuse drives carbapenem resistance (CR). Zilberberg, et al. (2021) hypothesized that resistance to routinely used antimicrobials is common, and, despite frequent use of carbapenems, associated with an increased risk of inappropriate empiric treatment (IET), which in turn worsens clinical outcomes.

The researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with a culture-positive non-CR cUTI. Triple resistance (TR) was defined as resistance to > 3 of the following: third generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, fosfomycin, and nitrofurantoin. Multivariable models quantified the impact of TR and inappropriate empiric therapy (IET) on mortality, hospital LOS, and costs.

Among 23,331 patients with cUTI, 3040 (13.0%) had a TR pathogen. Compared to patients with non-TR, those with TR were more likely male (57.6% vs. 47.7%, p < 0.001), black (17.9% vs. 13.6%, p < 0.001), and in the South (46.3% vs. 41.5%, p < 0.001). Patients with TR had higher chronic (median [IQR] Charlson score 3 [2, 4] vs. 2 [1, 4], p < 0.001) and acute (mechanical ventilation 7.0% vs. 5.0%, p < 0.001; ICU admission 22.3% vs. 18.6%, p < 0.001) disease burden. Despite greater prevalence of empiric carbapenem exposure (43.3% vs. 16.2%, p < 0.001), patient with TR were also more likely to receive IET (19.6% vs. 5.4%, p < 0.001) than those with non-TR. Although mortality was similar between groups, TR added 0.38 (95% CI 0.18, 0.49) days to LOS, and $754 (95% CI $406, $1103) to hospital costs. Both TR and IET impacted the outcomes among cUTI patients whose UTI was not catheter-associated (CAUTI), but had no effect on outcomes in CAUTI.

TR occurs in 1 in 8 patients hospitalized with cUTI. It is associated with an increase in the risk of IET exposure, as well as a modest attributable prolongation of LOS and increase in total costs, particularly in the setting of non-CAUTI.

Reference: Zilberberg MD, et al. Multiple antimicrobial resistance and outcomes among hospitalized patients with complicated urinary tract infections in the US, 2013–2018: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Infectious Diseases. Vol. 21, No. 159. 2021.

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