CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2021; 42(06): 540-546
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1740313
Original Article

Retrospective Analysis of Bacterial Isolates during Blood Stream Infections in Children with Chemotherapy-induced Febrile Neutropenia: A Single Centre Experience

Abhilasha Sampagar
1   Department of Paediatrics, KAHER's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
B. R. Ritesh
1   Department of Paediatrics, KAHER's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
Dubey Shiv
2   Department of Pediatrics, House Surgeon, KAHER's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
Shridhar C. Ghagne
3   Department of Urology, KAHER's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
Neha Patil
2   Department of Pediatrics, House Surgeon, KAHER's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
Prathamesh Pawashe
2   Department of Pediatrics, House Surgeon, KAHER's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Introduction The recent advances in cancer treatment have resulted in significant improvement in the outcome of pediatric cancers. However, febrile neutropenia (FN) is the most important cause of mortality and morbidity in pediatric cancer patients and is a crucial limiting factor for the outcome. The greatest threat that we are facing is the emergence of pan drug-resistant (PDR) organisms.

Objectives To study bacterial organisms causing bloodstream infections (BSI) during febrile neutropenia episodes, their antibiotic sensitivity pattern, impact on treatment outcome during the intensive phase of chemotherapy, and the association between prior administration of antibiotics and emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDR).

Materials and Methods This retrospective study was conducted in patients between the age group of 0 to 18 years who were treated for malignancies in the division of pediatric oncology at a tertiary center from August 2017 to December 2020. Blood cultures were collected under aseptic precautions, and they were processed as per the Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute Guideline (CLSI) 2017.

Results A total of 122/159 (76.7%) patients were diagnosed to have hematological malignancies, and 37/159 (23.3%) patients were found to be suffering from solid tumors. A total of 309 episodes of FN were documented and 386 cultures were sent, out of which 87/386 (22.53%) cultures were positive for bacteria and 2/386 (2.2%) for fungi. Gram-negative isolates were seen in 51/87 (58.62%) cultures and Gram-positive in 36/87 (41.37%) cultures. Burkholderia cepacia and coagulase-negative Staphylococci (CONS) were the commonest found Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively. MDR bacterial strains were seen in 44/87 (50.57%) cultures and PDR strains in 8/87 (9.2%) cultures. Resistance was higher with Klebsiella species and CONS. There were six mortalities during the induction phase of acute leukemia treatment, out of which 4/6 (66.66%) were due to MDR infections, 1/6 (16.6%) due to fungal infection and chemotherapy refractoriness each.

Conclusion Proven bacterial infections were determined in 22.53% of febrile neutropenia episodes. Most BSI in patients with febrile neutropenia were caused by Gram-negative bacteria. Indiscriminate use of higher antibiotics before referral led to the emergence of MDR organisms, thus compromising the outcome. Our study emphasizes the fact that antibiotic stewardship is a crucial task to counter MDR bacteremia-related morbidity and mortality in neutropenic children.

Publication History

Article published online:
11 December 2021

© 2021. Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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