To check or not to check. Rectal ESBL colonization in hospitalized elderly patients


      The worldwide spread of extended-spectrum-beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria has affected health care. ESBL confers resistance to the majority of beta-lactam antibiotics.

      Materials and Methods

      We intended to quantify the rates of rectal ESBL-positive and negative patients that eventually developed fever and urinary tract infection (UTI). All rectal ESBL-positive patients were to be initially treated with the conventional antibiotics that have anti-ESBL activity (amikacin or ertapenem), while ESBL-negative patients were given ceftriaxone.


      Most patients were rectal ESBL-positive (60.7%). Fever was in 51% patients; 67.8% of them developed signs and symptoms of UTI. Most patients with UTI were urinary ESBL-positive (79%), most rectal ESBL-negative patients were urinary ESBL-negative (75%), (χ2 = 18.5, df = 1, P < .001). Overall mortality was higher in the febrile group (39, 34.8%) versus the afebrile (1, 0.9%) (χ2 = 42, df = 1, P < .001). The mortality rate in the febrile group was significantly higher in the rectal ESBL-positive patients (χ2 = 7.5, df = 1, P = .006).


      The direct correlation of rectal ESBL-positive and negative and respectively urinary ESBL-positive and negative patients' advocate for the use of antibiotics with anti-ESBL activity as an empiric treatment of rectal ESBL-positive patients with suspected UTI.


      In our opinion, it is worthwhile to identify rectal ESBL-positivity on hospital admission.

      Key Words

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