JOURNAL ARTICLE

Rhodococcus bacteremia in cancer patients is mostly catheter related and associated with biofilm formation

Fadi Al Akhrass, Iba Al Wohoush, Anne-Marie Chaftari, Ruth Reitzel, Ying Jiang, Mahmoud Ghannoum, Jeffrey Tarrand, Ray Hachem, Issam Raad
PloS One 2012, 7 (3): e32945
22427914
Rhodococcus is an emerging cause of opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients, most commonly causing cavitary pneumonia. It has rarely been reported as a cause of isolated bacteremia. However, the relationship between bacteremia and central venous catheter is unknown. Between 2002 and 2010, the characteristics and outcomes of seventeen cancer patients with Rhodococcus bacteremia and indwelling central venous catheters were evaluated. Rhodococcus bacteremias were for the most part (94%) central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI). Most of the bacteremia isolates were Rhodococcus equi (82%). Rhodococcus isolates formed heavy microbial biofilm on the surface of polyurethane catheters, which was reduced completely or partially by antimicrobial lock solution. All CLABSI patients had successful response to catheter removal and antimicrobial therapy. Rhodococcus species should be added to the list of biofilm forming organisms in immunocompromised hosts and most of the Rhodococcus bacteremias in cancer patients are central line associated.

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