Stewardship opportunities in viral pneumonia: Why not the immunocompromised?

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Transplant infectious disease : an official journal of the Transplantation Society


Antimicrobial management of viral pneumonia has proven to be a challenge in hospitalized immunocompromised patients. A host of factors contribute to the dilemma, such as diagnostic uncertainty, lack of organism identification, and clinical status of the patient. Respiratory virus panel (RVP) use was compared between 131 immunocompromised patients who received send-out (n = 56) vs in-house (n = 75) testing. Antimicrobial optimization interventions consisted of antiviral addition/discontinuation, antibiotic discontinuation/de-escalation, or modification of immunosuppressive regimen. After implementation of an in-house test with audit and feedback, turnaround time of the RVP was reduced from 46.7 to 5.5 hours (P < .001) and time to intervention was reduced from 52.1 to 13.9 hours (P < .001), yet the frequency of antimicrobial optimization interventions was unchanged (30.7% vs 35.7%). Differences were not observed in duration of empiric antibiotic therapy or length of stay. The overall discontinuation rate for patients tested with a RVP was low (4.6%), and those with positive RVP (n = 43) had antibiotics stopped in 14% of cases. Bacterial pneumonia coinfection was confirmed in 2 patients. Further systematic efforts should be taken to reduce antibiotic use in viral pneumonia and identify the major barriers in the immunocompromised population.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Antimicrobial Stewardship; Bacterial Infections; Drug Utilization; Female; Humans; Immunocompromised Host; Immunosuppressive Agents; Male; Middle Aged; Retrospective Studies; Transplant Recipients

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