#IVTEAM #Intravenous literature: Simojoki, S.T., Kirjavainen, V., Rahiala, J. and Kanerva, J. (2013) Surveillance cultures in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Pediatric Transplantation. October 23rd. [epub ahead of print].
The value of surveillance cultures in predicting systemic infections and in guiding antimicrobial treatment is controversial. We investigated 57 pediatric allo-SCTs between 2007 and 2009. ALL (34), AML (5), and severe aplastic anemia (4) were the largest patient groups. Conditioning was TBI-based in 87% and 54% developed GVHD (21% grade III-IV). Of the 2594 weekly colonization samples, 24% were positive (fecal bacteria 86%, fecal fungi 16%, Clostridium difficile 16%; throat bacteria 17% and throat fungi 4%). Enterobacteria and enterococci were the most common fecal findings, staphylococci and streptococci in the throat. Of the bacterial stool samples pretransplant, 74% (mostly enterococci) were resistant to our first-line antibiotics (ceftazidime and cloxacillin). Candida species accounted for the majority of the fungal findings: 62% of the fecal and 78% in the throat. A total of 170 clinical infection episodes were recorded, and in 12 of these, the bacterial blood culture was positive. In 4/12 cases, the pathogen was detected in surveillance culture previously, leading to sensitivity and specificity of 33.3 and 47.4%, respectively. Positive predictive value of bacterial surveillance cultures was 0.9%. The antimicrobial treatment was changed in only five cases based on the surveillance culture results. Weekly surveillance cultures seldom provided clinical benefit and were not cost-effective.