Bloodstream infections and antibiotic resistance at a regional hospital, Colombia, 2019–2021

Saavedra et al.


To assess antibiotic susceptibility of World Health Organization (WHO) priority bacteria (Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae) in blood cultures at the Orinoquía regional hospital in Colombia.


This was cross-sectional study using routine laboratory data for the period 2019–2021. Data on blood samples from patients suspected of a bloodstream infection were examined. We determined: the total number of blood cultures done and the proportion with culture yield; the characteristics of patients with priority bacteria; and the type of bacteria isolated and antibiotic resistance patterns.


Of 25 469 blood cultures done, 1628 (6%) yielded bacteria; 774 (48%) of these bacteria were WHO priority pathogens. Most of the priority bacteria isolated (558; 72%) were gram-negative and 216 (28%) were gram-positive organisms. Most patients with priority bacteria (666; 86%) were hospitalized in wards other than the intensive care unit, 427 (55%) were male, and 321 (42%) were ≥ 60 years of age. Of the 216 gram-positive bacteria isolated, 205 (95%) were Staphylococcus aureus. Of the 558 gram-negative priority bacteria isolated, the three most common were Escherichia coli (34%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (28%), and Acinetobacter baumannii (20%). The highest resistance of Staphylococcus aureus was to oxacillin (41%). For gram-negative bacteria, resistance to antibiotics ranged from 4% (amikacin) to 72% (ampicillin).


Bacterial yield from blood cultures was low and could be improved. WHO priority bacteria were found in all hospital wards. This calls for rigorous infection prevention and control standards and continued surveillance of antibiotic resistance.

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