OBJECTIVES: Eggerthella lenta is a Gram-positive anaerobic bacillus that is an important cause of bloodstream infections. This study aims to test the susceptibility of Eggerthella lenta blood culture isolates to commonly used antibiotics for the empirical treatment of anaerobic infections.
METHODS: In total, 49 positive blood cultures for Eggerthella lenta were retrospectively included from patients hospitalised at the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Belgium, between 2004 and 2018. Identification was done by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) system. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the reference agar dilution method according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines with Brucella agar supplemented with 5 μg/mL hemin, 1 μg/mL vitamin K1 and 5% laked sheep blood. The minimal inhibitory concentrations were interpreted using the EUCAST breakpoints. Clinical characteristics were collected by reviewing the patient's medical records.
RESULTS: All isolates were susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanate, metronidazole and meropenem. Eighty-eight % of them were susceptible to clindamycin and 94% (20% S, 74% I) were susceptible to piperacillin-tazobactam. The mean age of the patients was 64 (±20) and they showed a 30-day mortality of 27%. The source of infection was in 65.3% of the cases abdominal, 20.4% were sacral pressure ulcers and 14.3% were unknown causes. While all isolates were fully susceptible at standard dosing regimen to amoxicillin-clavulanate, most were only susceptible at increased exposure or resistant to piperacillin-tazobactam.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest to be careful with the use of piperacillin-tazobactam and clindamycin in the empirical treatment of Eggerthella lenta infections.