Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess colistin use in a country endemic for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB). Methods: Colistin prescription patterns were evaluated in 22 Italian centres. Factors associated with use of colistin in combination with other anti-MDR-GNB agents were also assessed. Results: A total of 221 adults receiving colistin were included in the study. Their median age was 64 years (interquartile range 52–73 years) and 134 (61%) were male. Colistin was mostly administered intravenously (203/221; 92%) and mainly for targeted therapy (168/221; 76%). The most frequent indications for colistin therapy were bloodstream infection and lower respiratory tract infection. Intravenous colistin was administered in combination with at least another anti-MDR-GNB agent in 80% of cases (163/203). A loading dose of 9 MU of colistimethate was administered in 79% of patients receiving i.v. colistin and adequate maintenance doses in 85%. In multivariable analysis, empirical therapy [odds ratio (OR) = 3.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24–8.53;P = 0.017] and targeted therapy for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales infection (OR = 4.76, 95% CI 1.69–13.43; P = 0.003) were associated with use of colistin in combination with other agents, whilst chronic renal failure (OR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.17–0.88; P = 0.024) was associated with use of colistin monotherapy. Conclusion: Colistin remains an important option for severe MDR-GNB infections when other treatments are not available. Despite inherent difficulties in optimising its use owing to peculiar pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characteristics, colistin was mostly used appropriately in a country endemic for MDR-GNB.
- Antimicrobial resistance