Research Article| Volume 136, P75-84, June 2023

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Modifiable risk factors associated with later gut decolonization of carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in children: a prospective cohort study

Published:April 17, 2023DOI:



      Nosocomial infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (CRGNB) are associated with increased mortality and prolonged hospitalization; thus, later CRGNB decolonization has significant clinical and public health implications.


      To investigate modifiable/non-modifiable risk factors for CRGNB later gut decolonization in children.


      CRGNB carriers (aged from one day to 16 years) hospitalized in a tertiary level hospital (2018–2019) were included. Upon CRGNB carriage detection, rectal swab cultures were taken weekly, if patients were hospitalized, and monthly after discharge for 12 months. CRGNB decolonization was defined as three consecutive negative rectal-swab cultures obtained ≥1 week apart. Modifiable (treatment administered/medical devices) and non-modifiable (age/gender/comorbidities) risk factors were recorded. Cox regression for later CRGNB decolonization was performed.


      One hundred and thirty CRGNB carriers were recorded. After 12 months, 5.4% remained carriers. Risk factors for later decolonization were immunosuppression (hazard ratio: 0.52; 95% confidence interval: 0.31–0.87), carbapenems (0.52; 0.30–0.91), proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (0.39; 0.24–0.64) and their duration of use, duration of hospitalization (0.90; 0.81–0.92, per 10 days), number of readmissions (0.90; 0.86–0.96), abdominal surgery (0.33; 0.17–0.65), urinary catheter (0.42; 0.24–0.76), and duration of steroid administration per 10 days (0.86; 0.84–0.88).


      Carbapenems, PPIs and their duration of use, duration of steroids use, immunosuppression, urinary catheter, readmissions, duration of hospitalization, and abdominal surgery are associated with later CRGNB decolonization among children. Paediatric patients at risk of later decolonization should be under targeted screening and pre-emptive contact precautions. Known carriers at risk of later CRGNB decolonization should be under meticulously applied contact precautions for longer durations.


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