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Serratia Bacteremia in a Large University Hospital: Trends in Antibiotic Resistance During 10 Years and Implications for Antibiotic Use

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Sang-Ho Choi
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Yang Soo Kim
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Jin-Won Chung
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Tae Hyong Kim
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Eun Ju Choo
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Mi-Na Kim
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Baek-Nam Kim
Division of Infectious Diseases, Dongsan Medical Center, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea
Nam Joong Kim
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Jun Hee Woo*
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Jiso Ryu
Division of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Division of Infectious Diseases, Asan Medical Center, 388-1 Poongnap-dong, Songpa-gu, 138-736, Seoul, South Korea



To identify antibiotic resistance trends and risk factors for resistance of Serratia species to third-generation cephalosporins.


Retrospective survey of medical records.


A 2,200-bed, tertiary-care hospital.


One hundred twenty-two patients with Serratia bacteremia between January 1991 and June 2001.


Infectious disease physicians collected data from medical records regarding patient demographics, underlying disease or condition, portal of entry, microorganism, antibiogram, complications, antibiotics received, and outcome.


Among 122 Serratia isolates, 117 (95.9%) were Serratia marcescens and 110 (90.2%) were of nosocomial origin. During the study period, the 122 isolates showed a high rate of resistance to third-generation cephalosporins (45.9%) and extended-spectrum penicillins (56.6%). The resistance rate to ciprofloxacin was 32.0%. The resistance rate to third-generation cephalosporins increased from 31.7% for 1991 to 1995 to 54.9% for 1996 to 1998 and 50.0% for 1999 to 2001. In the multivariate analysis, prior use of a second-generation cephalosporin (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 5.90; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 1.41 to 24.6; P = .015) or a third-generation cephalosporin (OR, 3.26; CI95, 1.20 to 8.87; P = .020) was a strong independent risk factor for resistance to third-generation cephalosporins. The overall case-fatality rate was 25.4% (Serratia bacteremia-related case-fatality rate, 13.1%).


Prior use of a second- or third-generation cephalosporin was the most important risk factor for bacteremia with Serratia resistant to third-generation cephalosporins, suggesting the need for antibiotic control. The potential role of patient-to-patient spread could not be fully evaluated in this retrospective study.

Original Articles
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2002

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