Paediatric patients with cancer and those undergoing haematopoietic cell transplantation are at high risk of bacterial infections. The 8th European Conference on Infections in Leukaemia (ECIL-8) convened a Paediatric Group to review the literature and to formulate recommendations for the use of antibiotics according to the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases grading system. The evaluation of antibacterial prophylaxis included mortality, bloodstream infection, febrile neutropenia, emergence of resistance, and adverse effects as endpoints. Initial antibacterial therapy and antibiotic de-escalation or discontinuation focused on patients with a clinically stable condition and without previous infection or colonisation by resistant bacteria, and on patients with a clinically unstable condition or with previous infection or colonisation by resistant bacteria. The final considerations and recommendations of the ECIL-8 Paediatric Group on antibacterial prophylaxis, initial therapy, and de-escalation strategies are summarised in this Policy Review.
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