Bloodstream infection among adults in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: key pathogens and resistance patterns

E.R. Vlieghe, T. Phe, B. De Smet, C.H. Veng, C. Kham, K. Lim, O. Koole, L. Lynen, W.E. Peetermans, J.A. Jacobs

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BACKGROUND: Bloodstream infections (BSI) cause important morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Cambodia, no surveillance data on BSI are available so far. METHODS: From all adults presenting with SIRS at Sihanouk Hospital Centre of HOPE (July 2007-December 2010), 20 ml blood was cultured. Isolates were identified using standard microbiological techniques; antibiotic susceptibilities were assessed using disk diffusion and MicroScan(R), with additional E-test, D-test and double disk test where applicable, according to CLSI guidelines. RESULTS: A total of 5714 samples from 4833 adult patients yielded 501 clinically significant organisms (8.8%) of which 445 available for further analysis. The patients' median age was 45 years (range 15-99 y), 52.7% were women. HIV-infection and diabetes were present in 15.6% and 8.8% of patients respectively. The overall mortality was 22.5%. Key pathogens included Escherichia coli (n = 132; 29.7%), Salmonella spp. (n = 64; 14.4%), Burkholderia pseudomallei (n = 56; 12.6%) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 53; 11.9%). Methicillin resistance was seen in 10/46 (21.7%) S. aureus; 4 of them were co-resistant to erythromycin, clindamycin, moxifloxacin and sulphamethoxazole-trimethoprim (SMX-TMP). We noted combined resistance to amoxicillin, SMX-TMP and ciprofloxacin in 81 E. coli isolates (62.3%); 62 isolates (47.7%) were confirmed as producers of extended spectrum beta-lactamase. Salmonella isolates displayed high rates of multidrug resistance (71.2%) with high rates of decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility (90.0%) in Salmonella Typhi while carbapenem resistance was observed in 5.0% of 20 Acinetobacter sp. isolates. CONCLUSIONS: BSI in Cambodian adults is mainly caused by difficult-to-treat pathogens. These data urge for microbiological capacity building, nationwide surveillance and solid interventions to contain antibiotic resistance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)e59775
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Blood-borne diseases
  • Escherichia coli
  • Salmonella
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pathogenesis
  • Drug resistance
  • Surveillance
  • Blood culture
  • Antibiotics
  • Testing
  • Methicillin
  • Erythromycin
  • Clindamycin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
  • Cambodia
  • Asia-Southeast


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