Nicholson, Alison M. ; Castle, D. ; Akpaka, P. E.; Tennant, I. ; Nelson, Maria
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Microbiology
The Emergence of Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia as a Significant Nosocomial Pathogen at the University Hospital of the West Indies
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is emerging worldwide as a nosocomial pathogen. It is associated with certain risk factors and a wide range of infections. This study was done to document its emergence at the University Hospital of the West Indies and to determine the incidence, distribution and risk factors associated with it. A retrospective study was conducted over the period April 1997 to December 2000. Clinical records were available for 46 of the 66 patients identified over the study period. Fifty-five per cent of the cases came from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the rest from other wards. There was a slight increase in the prevalence of infection with increasing age. The surgical service accounted for the largest number of isolates. Of the cases presented, 95.7% were exposed to a wide range of antibiotics and had some form of instrumentation. Underlying disease was found in 71.7% of the patients. S maltophilia was found most often in the sputum of ICU patients whereas it was most often isolated from wound swabs in the ward patients. The organism was isolated from blood more often in ICU patients (23.3%) than in ward patients (9.5%) and there was a 44% mortality rate among the cases in ICU compared with those on the wards (4.8%). Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an important nosocomial pathogen and occurs in a wide cross-section of patients. The risk factors must be addressed and infection control measures implemented to restrict the spread of this organism.....