Intra-abdominal infections: Etiology, epidemiology, microbiological diagnosis and antibiotic resistance

G. Nicoletti, D. Nicolosi, G. M. Rossolini, S. Stefani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intra-abdominal infections (IAIs) are commonly encountered in clinical practice. The etiology of these infections, often polymicrobial in nature, can be variable and usually includes organisms derived from the gut microbiota. In community-acquired IAIs enterobacteria predominate (mostly Escherichia cod*) in combination with anaerobes (mostly Bacteroides fragilis). In nosocomial IAIs, which can complicate abdominal surgery, other pathogens can also play a role, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus spp. and Candida spp. Diagnostic microbiology of IAIs is complex and plays a relevant role, especially in some situations (e.g. presence of foreign bodies, potential presence of resistant or uncommon pathogens, nosocomial infections in subjects with risk factors). Antibiotic resistance issues are currently encountered in most pathogenic species causing IAIs. Resistance affects all major classes of antimicrobial agents, often involving multiple classes and resulting in complex resistance phenotypes for which only a very limited number of drugs remain active.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemotherapy
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Intra-abdominal infections
  • Resistance to antimicrobial agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)


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