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Infection in pediatric cancer patients has become a concerning problem due to increasing antimicrobial resistance. The goal of this study was to determine the antimicrobial resistance patterns of blood isolates from pediatric oncology patients in Iran to determine if quinolones are appropriate for empiric therapy.
Children with cancer who were admitted with or developed fever during admission to Aliasghar Children’s Hospital or Mahak Hospitals July 2009 through June 2011 were eligible for enrollment. Two blood cultures were obtained. Antimicrobial sensitivity test was performed for ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, gatifloxacin, meropenem, cefepime, and piperacillin-tazobactam on isolates from children who were bacteremic.
Blood cultures were positive for 39 episodes in 169 enrolled children but 9 episodes were excluded as blood cultures were thought to be contaminated, yielding a bacteremia rate of 29/160 (18%). The mean age of children and the stage of malignancy did not differ between those with and without bacteremia. Meropenem was the most likely antibiotic to cover isolates (97%) with cefepime having the lowest coverage rate (21%). Quinolone coverage ranged from 63% to 76%.
Quinolones are not suitable for use as empiric therapy in febrile pediatric oncology patients in Iran.