The impact of multidrug resistance in healthcare-associated and nosocomial Gram-negative bacteraemia on mortality and length of stay: Cohort study

D. C. Lye, A. Earnest, M. L. Ling, T. E. Lee, H. C. Yong, D. A. Fisher, P. Krishnan, Li Yang Hsu

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Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) are an emerging public health threat. Accurate estimates of their clinical impact are vital for justifying interventions directed towards preventing or managing infections caused by these pathogens. A retrospective observational cohort study was conducted between 1 January 2007 and 31 July 2009, involving subjects with healthcare-associated and nosocomial Gram-negative bacteraemia at two large Singaporean hospitals. Outcomes studied were mortality and length of stay post-onset of bacteraemia in survivors (LOS). There were 675 subjects (301 with MDR-GNB) matching study inclusion criteria. On multivariate analysis, multidrug resistance was not associated with 30-day mortality, but it was independently associated with longer LOS in survivors (coefficient, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.21-0.48; p<0.001). The excess LOS attributable to multidrug resistance after adjustment for confounders was 6.1days. Other independent risk factors for higher mortality included male gender, higher APACHE II score, higher Charlson comorbidity index, intensive care unit stay and presence of concomitant pneumonia. Concomitant urinary tract infection and admission to a surgical discipline were associated with lower risk of mortality. Appropriate empirical antibiotic therapy was neither associated with 30-day mortality nor LOS, although the study was not powered to assess this covariate adequately. Our study adds to existing evidence that multidrug resistance per se is not associated with higher mortality when effective antibiotics are used for definitive therapy. However, its association with longer hospitalization justifies the use of control efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-508
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial drug resistance
  • Cohort study
  • Gram-negative bacteraemia
  • Length of stay
  • Mortality

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