Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Open Forum Infect Dis


Background: Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are commonly associated with antibiotic overuse. Empiric DFI treatment often includes coverage for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PsA), but the frequency of PsA DFIs is poorly understood. The study objectives were to quantify the prevalence of and determine predictors for PsA DFIs.

Methods: This multicenter, retrospective cohort included hospitalized patients with DFI from 2013 through 2020 who were age ≥18 years; diabetes mellitus diagnosis; and DFI based on International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision coding, antibiotic treatment, and DFI culture with organism growth. Osteomyelitis was excluded. Patient characteristics were described and compared; the primary outcome was presence of PsA on DFI culture. Predictors of PsA DFI were identified using multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Two hundred ninety-two patients were included. The median age was 61 (interquartile range [IQR], 53–69) years; the majority were men (201 [69%]) and White (163 [56%]). The most commonly isolated organisms were methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (35%) and streptococci (32%); 147 (54%) cultures were polymicrobial. Two hundred fifty-seven (88%) patients received empiric antibiotics active against PsA, but only 27 (9%) patients had PsA DFI. Immunocompromised status (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 4.6 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.3–16.7]) and previous outpatient DFI antibiotic treatment failure (aOR, 4.8 [95% CI, 1.9–11.9]) were associated with PsA DFI.

Conclusions: PsA DFI is uncommon, but most patients receive empiric antipseudomonal antibiotics. Empiric broad-spectrum antibiotics are warranted given the frequency of mixed infections, but patient-specific risk factors should be considered before adding antipseudomonal coverage.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.