Increasing rates of resistant and multidrug-resistant (MDR) P. aeruginosa in hospitalized patients constitute a major public health threat. We present a systematic review of the clinical and economic impact of this resistant pathogen.
Studies indexed in MEDLINE and Cochrane databases between January 2000-February 2013, and reported all-cause mortality, length of stay, hospital costs, readmission, or recurrence in at least 20 hospitalized patients with laboratory confirmed resistant P. aeruginosa infection were included. We accepted individual study definitions of MDR, and assessed study methodological quality.
The most common definition of MDR was resistance to more than one agent in three or more categories of antibiotics. Twenty-three studies (7,881 patients with susceptible P. aeruginosa, 1,653 with resistant P. aeruginosa, 559 with MDR P. aeruginosa, 387 non-infected patients without P. aeruginosa) were analyzed. A random effects model meta-analysis was feasible for the endpoint of all-cause in-hospital mortality. All-cause mortality was 34% (95% confidence interval (CI) 27% – 41%) in patients with any resistant P. aeruginosa compared to 22% (95% CI 14% – 29%) with susceptible P. aeruginosa. The meta-analysis demonstrated a > 2-fold increased risk of mortality with MDR P. aeruginosa (relative risk (RR) 2.34, 95% CI 1.53 – 3.57) and a 24% increased risk with resistant P. aeruginosa (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11 – 1.38), compared to susceptible P. aeruginosa. An adjusted meta-analysis of data from seven studies demonstrated a statistically non-significant increased risk of mortality in patients with any resistant P. aeruginosa (adjusted RR 1.24, 95% CI 0.98 – 1.57). All three studies that reported infection-related mortality found a statistically significantly increased risk in patients with MDR P. aeruginosa compared to those with susceptible P. aeruginosa. Across studies, hospital length of stay (LOS) was higher in patients with resistant and MDR P. aeruginosa infections, compared to susceptible P. aeruginosa and control patients. Limitations included heterogeneity in MDR definition, restriction to nosocomial infections, and potential confounding in analyses.
Hospitalized patients with resistant and MDR P. aeruginosa infections appear to have increased all-cause mortality and LOS. The negative clinical and economic impact of these pathogens warrants in-depth evaluation of optimal infection prevention and stewardship strategies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2047-2994-3-32) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.