Stenotrophomonas maltophilia: Emerging disease patterns and challenges for treatment

Iain J. Abbott, Monica A. Slavin, John D. Turnidge, Karin A. Thursky, Leon J. Worth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous organism associated with opportunistic infections. In the immunocompromised host, increasing prevalence and severity of illness is observed, particularly opportunistic bloodstream infections and pneumonia syndromes. In this article, the classification and microbiology are outlined, together with clinical presentation, outcomes and management of infections due to S. maltophilia. Although virulence mechanisms and the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance have been identified, a role for standardized and uniform reporting of antibiotic sensitivity is not defined. Infections due to S. maltophilia have traditionally been treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ticarcillin-clavulanic acid, or fluoroquinolone agents. The use of combination therapies, newer fluoroquinolone agents and tetracycline derivatives is discussed. Finally, measures to prevent transmission of S. maltophilia within healthcare facilities are reported, especially in at-risk patient populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-488
Number of pages18
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • antibiotic resistance
  • immunocompromised
  • opportunistic infection
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
  • virulence factors

Cite this