Infection with antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms in dialysis patients

Semin Dial. Jan-Feb 2003;16(1):30-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-139x.2003.03009.x.


The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms in various health care settings, including outpatient dialysis facilities, has increased dramatically in the last decade. Antimicrobial use and patient-to-patient transmission of resistant strains are the two main factors that have contributed to this rapid increase. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and coagulase-negative staphylococci are commonly isolated as a cause of hemodialysis (HD) catheter-related bacteremia and peritoneal dialysis (PD)-related catheter infection and peritonitis. The widespread use of vancomycin in dialysis patients is of concern because of an increase in the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in dialysis patients. Staphylococci with reduced sensitivity to vancomycin have also appeared in dialysis patients. A more recent problem is the appearance of S. aureus isolates with a high degree of resistance to the topical antimicrobial agent mupirocin. This has been seen in PD patients who have received prophylactic application of mupirocin at the peritoneal catheter exit site. Appropriate antimicrobial use will help protect the efficacy of currently used antibiotics, such as vancomycin. Published guidelines for use of vancomycin should be followed. New antimicrobials such as linezolid and quinupristin/dalfopristin have activity against VRE and MRSA, but resistance to these agents has already occurred. Preventing transmission of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms in health care settings, including outpatient dialysis facilities, is important in limiting the spread of these resistant organisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Enterococcus / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects
  • Vancomycin Resistance*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents