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Background: This study compares treatment failure for patients who received oral beta-lactams (BLs) and fluoroquinolones (FQs) for stepdown treatment of Enterobacterales bloodstream infections (BSIs).

Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective, age- and sex-matched, cohort study, at a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in South Texas. Eligible patients were at least 18 years of age with a monomicrobial BSI treated with a single oral BL or FQ antibiotic. Treatment failure was defined as recurrence or all-cause mortality within 90 days of documented BSI. Bivariate (chi-square, Fisher's Exact, and Wilcoxon Rank Sum) and multivariate (logistic regression) statistical tests were used to compare groups.

Results: A total of 130 patients were included in this study, with 65 patients per group. Groups were well balanced with respect to exact age, sex assigned at birth, Caucasian race, source control, intensive care unit admission, and Charlson Comorbidity Index. Importantly, 60% of patients in the BL group had cultures that were resistant to FQs and 71% were prescribed cefpodoxime. Patients in the BL group had higher median (interquartile range [IQR]) Pitt bacteremia scores than those in the FQ group: 2 (1-4) vs. 1 (1-2), p=0.04. Patients in the BL group also had a higher median (IQR) duration of intravenous (IV) antibiotics than those in the FQ group: 5 (3-7) vs. 4 (3-5), p=0.02. Treatment failure was statistically comparable for patients in the BL and FQ groups: 15% vs. 12%, p=0.61. This finding was consistent in a multivariate logistic regression model with group (BL vs. FQ) as the independent variable, treatment failure as the dependent variable, and Pitt bacteremia score and duration of IV antibiotics as covariates (OR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.27-2.18). One patient in the FQ group experienced Clostridioides difficile infection.

Conclusion: This study suggests that BLs may be as effective as FQs for oral stepdown treatment of Enterobacterales BSI without the potential associated risks. Furthermore, in the setting of FQ-resistant Enterobacterales BSI secondary to urinary source, third generation oral cephalosporins (i.e., cefpodoxime) may be reasonable alternatives.

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APA Citation

Bjork, L., Hopkins, T., Yang, L., Teng, C., Jones, X., Cadena, J., Walter, E., & Frei, C. R. (2023). Comparative-effectiveness of oral beta-lactams and fluoroquinolones for stepdown therapy in patients with Enterobacterales bloodstream infections: A retrospective cohort study. International Journal of Medical Sciences, 20(4), 437–443.


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