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Enterococcal bacteremia in febrile neutropenic children and adolescents with underlying malignancies, and clinical impact of vancomycin resistance

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Bae, K. S.; Shin, J. A.; Kim, S. K.; Han, S. B.; Lee, J. W.; Lee, D. G.; Chung, N. G.; Cho, B.; Jeong, D. C.; Kang, J. H.

PURPOSE: Enterococci are a common cause of bacteremia in immunocompromised patients. Although the increase of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) makes appropriate antibiotic therapy difficult, clinical characteristics of enterococcal bacteremia and the impact of VRE infection on outcomes have rarely been reported in immunocompromised children. METHODS: We enrolled children and adolescents (< 19 years of age) with underlying malignancies who were diagnosed with enterococcal bacteremia during febrile neutropenia between 2010 and 2017. Medical records of the enrolled children were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate the clinical characteristics of enterococcal bacteremia and impact of VRE infection on outcomes. RESULTS: Thirty-six episodes of enterococcal bacteremia were identified in 30 patients. VRE infection was identified in 11 episodes (30.6%); the 7- and 30-day mortalities were 27.8% and 44.4%, respectively. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (50.0%) and acute myeloid leukemia (30.6%) were the most common underlying disorders. Three (8.3%) of the patients were in complete remission, and palliative and reinduction chemotherapies were administered in 47.2% and 36.1% of episodes, respectively. Empirical antibiotic therapy was appropriate in 64.0% of patients with vancomycin-susceptible enterococcal infection and in none of the VRE-infected patients (p = 0.001). However, the 30-day mortality was not significantly different between the two patient groups (44.0% vs. 45.5%, p = 1.000). CONCLUSIONS: Most episodes of enterococcal bacteremia occurred in advanced stages of underlying malignancies, and still showed high mortality. The prognosis seemed to be related to the underlying disease condition rather than vancomycin resistance of the isolated enterococci, although the number of enrolled patients was small.

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