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Open Access Research article

Clinical profiles of patients colonized or infected with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates: a 20 month retrospective study at a Belgian University Hospital

Didier Schoevaerdts1*, Pierre Bogaerts2, Alexandre Grimmelprez2, Marie de Saint-Hubert1, Bénédicte Delaere2, Jacques Jamart3, Christian Swine1 and Youri Glupczynski2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Cliniques Universitaires UCL de Mont-Godinne, 5530 Yvoir, Belgium

2 Department of Microbiology and Infection Control Unit, Cliniques Universitaires UCL de Mont-Godinne, 5530 Yvoir, Belgium

3 Scientific Support Unit, Biostatistics, Cliniques Universitaires UCL de Mont-Godinne, 5530 Yvoir, Belgium

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-12

Published: 12 January 2011



Description of the clinical pictures of patients colonized or infected by ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates and admitted to hospital are rather scarce in Europe. However, a better delineation of the clinical patterns associated with the carriage of ESBL-producing isolates may allow healthcare providers to identify more rapidly at risk patients. This matter is of particular concern because of the growing proportion of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae species isolates worldwide.


We undertook a descriptive analysis of 114 consecutive patients in whom ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates were collected from clinical specimens over a 20-month period. Clinical data were obtained through retrospective analysis of medical record charts. Microbiological cultures were carried out by standard laboratory methods.


The proportion of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae strains after exclusion of duplicate isolates was 4.5% and the incidence rate was 4.3 cases/1000 patients admitted. Healthcare-associated acquisition was important (n = 104) while community-acquisition was less frequently found (n = 10). Among the former group, two-thirds of the patients were aged over 65 years and 24% of these were living in nursing homes. Sixty-eight (65%) of the patients with healthcare-associated ESBL, were considered clinically infected. In this group, the number and severity of co-morbidities was high, particularly including diabetes mellitus and chronic renal insufficiency. Other known risk factors for ESBL colonization or infection such as prior antibiotic exposure, urinary catheter or previous hospitalisation were also often found. The four main diagnostic categories were: urinary tract infections, lower respiratory tract infections, septicaemia and intra-abdominal infections. For hospitalized patients, the median hospital length of stay was 23 days and the average mortality rate during hospitalization was 13% (Confidence Interval 95%: 7-19). Escherichia coli, by far, accounted as the most common ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae species (77/114; [68%]) while CTX-M-1 group was by far the most prevalent ESBL enzyme (n = 56).


In this retrospective study, the clinical profiles of patients carrying healthcare-associated ESBL-producing Enterobacteriacae is characterized by a high prevalence rate of several major co-morbidities and potential known risk factors. Both, the length of hospital stay and overall hospital mortality rates were particularly high. A prospective case-control matched study should be designed and performed in order to control for possible inclusion bias.