Multi-Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Infections in Deployment-Related Trauma Patients

Wesley R. Campbell*, Ping Li, Timothy J. Whitman, Dana M. Blyth, Elizabeth R. Schnaubelt, Katrin Mende, David R. Tribble

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: The contribution of multi-drug-resistant gram-negative bacilli infections (MDRGN-I) in patients with trauma is not well described. We present characteristics of MDRGN-Is among military personnel with deployment-related trauma (2009-2014). Patients and Methods: Data from the Trauma Infectious Disease Outcomes Study were assessed for infectious outcomes and microbial recovery. Infections were classified using standardized definitions. Gram-negative bacilli were defined as multi-drug-resistant if they showed resistance to ≥3 antibiotic classes or were producers of extended-spectrum β-lactamase or carbapenemases. Results: Among 2,699 patients admitted to participating U.S. hospitals, 913 (33.8%) experienced ≥1 infection event, of which 245 (26.8%) had a MDRGN-I. There were 543 MDRGN-I events (24.6% of unique 2,210 infections) with Escherichia coli (48.3%), Acinetobacter spp. (38.6%), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (8.4%) as the most common MDRGN isolates. Incidence of MDRGN-I was 9.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.0-10.2). Median time to MDRGN-I event was seven days with 75% occurring within 13 days post-trauma. Patients with MDRGN-Is had a greater proportion of blast injuries (84.1% vs. 62.5%; p < 0.0001), traumatic amputations (57.5% vs. 16.3%; p < 0.0001), and higher injury severity (82.0% had injury severity score ≥25 vs. 33.7%; p < 0.0001) compared with patients with either no infections or non-MDRGN-Is. Furthermore, MDRGN-I patients were more frequently admitted to the intensive care unit (90.5% vs. 48.5%; p < 0.0001), colonized with a MDRGN before infection (58.0% vs. 14.7%; p < 0.0001), and required mechanical ventilation (78.0% vs. 28.8% p < 0.0001). Antibiotic exposure before the MDRGN-I event was significantly higher across antibiotic classes except first generation cephalosporins and tetracyclines, which were very commonly used with all patients. Regarding outcomes, patients with MDRGN-Is had a longer length of hospitalization than the comparator group (53 vs. 18 days; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: We found a high rate of MDRGN-I in our population characterized by longer hospitalization and greater injury severity. These findings inform treatment and infection control decisions in the trauma patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-367
Number of pages11
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2017


  • gram-negative bacilli
  • multi-drug-resistant organisms
  • trauma-related infections


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