Organ donor screening for carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria in Italian intensive care units: the DRIn study

Donor-Recipient Infection (DRIn) Collaborative Study Group

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The 759 cases of brain death declaration (BDD [Italian law, 6 hours of observation time]) that occurred in 190 Italian intensive care units (ICUs) between May and September 2012 were studied to quantify carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria (CR-GN) isolated in organ donors, to evaluate adherence to national screening guidelines, and to identify risk factors for CR-GN isolation. Mandatory blood, bronchoalveolar lavage, and urine cultures were performed on the BDD day in 99% of used donors. Because results were rarely made available before transplant, >20% of transplants were performed before obtaining any microbiological information, and organs from 15 of 22 CR-GN cases were used. Two (lung-liver) of the 37 recipients died, likely because of donor-derived early CR-GN sepsis. ICU stay >3 days (odds ratio [OR] = 7.49, P = .004), fever (OR = 3.11, P = .04), age <60 years (OR = 2.80, P = .06), and positive ICU epidemiology (OR = 8.77, P = .07) were associated with CR-GN isolation. An association between single ICU and risk of CR-GN was observed, as a result of differences across ICUs (ICC = 29%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.5%-72%) probably related to inadequate practices of infection control. Continuous education aimed at implementing priority actions, including stewardship programs for a rational use of antimicrobials, is a priority in healthcare systems and transplant networks. Improved awareness among ICU personnel regarding the importance of early CR-GN detection and timely alert systems might facilitate decisions regarding organ suitability and eventually save recipient lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-273
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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