Serratia infections in a general hospital: characteristics and outcomes

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 May;30(5):653-60. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-1135-4. Epub 2011 Jan 10.


We aimed to present our experience regarding infections caused by Serratia spp. in a region with relatively high antimicrobial resistance rates. We retrospectively reviewed the databases of the microbiological laboratory of the University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete (2/2004-12/2009). A total of 77 patients [67.5% men, mean age ± standard deviation (SD) = 56.9 ± 24.5 years) were identified; 37.7% were outpatients. Sixty-five (84.4%) of the 77 included patients had a Serratia marcescens isolate; the remaining 12 patients had a non-marcescens Serratia spp. The most frequently observed infections were respiratory tract infection (32.5%) and keratitis/endophthalmitis (20.8%). Seventy-three (94.9%) patients were cured. Four deaths were observed; three of them were considered as attributed to the Serratia infection. No difference was found regarding the characteristics and outcomes between patients with Serratia marcescens and non-marcescens infections. In addition, antipseudomonal penicillins and their combinations with beta-lactamase inhibitors, as well as carbapenemes, and fluoroquinolones exhibited high antimicrobial activity against both the tested Serratia marcescens and non-marcescens isolates. Our study adds useful information regarding the characteristics and outcomes of patients with Serratia infection, as well as the susceptibilities of the respective Serratia marcescens and non-marcescens isolates, in a region with relatively high levels of antimicrobial resistance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Endophthalmitis / epidemiology
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / epidemiology
  • Keratitis / microbiology
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Serratia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Serratia Infections / microbiology
  • Serratia marcescens / isolation & purification*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents