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Significant clinical differences but not outcomes between Klebsiella aerogenes and Enterobacter cloacae bloodstream infections: a comparative cohort study.

Infection 2023 March 8
PURPOSE: Although Klebsiella aerogenes (formerly Enterobacter aerogenes) and Enterobacter cloacae share many phenotypic characteristics, controversy exists as to whether they cause clinically distinguishable infections. The objective of this study was to determine the comparative incidence, determinants, and outcomes of K. aerogenes and E. cloacae bloodstream infections (BSI).

METHODS: Population-based surveillance was conducted among residents aged ≥ 15 years of Queensland, Australia during 2000-2019.

RESULTS: Overall 695 and 2879 incident K. aerogenes and E. cloacae BSIs were identified for incidence rates of 1.1 and 4.4 per 100,000 population, respectively. There was a marked increase in incidence associated with older age and with males with both species. Patients with K. aerogenes BSIs were older, were more likely male, to have community-associated disease, and to have a genitourinary source of infection. In contrast, E. cloacae were more likely to have co-morbid diagnoses of liver disease and malignancy and be associated with antimicrobial resistance. Enterobacter cloacae were significantly more likely to have repeat episodes of BSI as compared to K. aerogenes. However, no differences in length of stay or all cause 30-day case-fatality were observed.

CONCLUSION: Although significant demographic and clinical differences exist between K. aerogenes and E. cloacae BSI, they share similar outcomes.

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