Clinical and bacteriological survey of diabetic foot infections in Lisbon

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2012 Jan;95(1):153-61. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Oct 21.


Aims: An epidemiological survey of diabetic foot infections (DFIs) in Lisbon, stratifying the bacterial profile based on patient demographical data, diabetic foot characteristics (PEDIS classification), ulcer duration and antibiotic therapy.

Methods: A transversal observational multicenter study, with clinical data collection using a structured questionnaire and microbiological products (aspirates, biopsies or swabs collected using the Levine method) of clinically infected foot ulcers of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM).

Results: Forty-nine hospitalized and ambulatory patients were enrolled in this study, and 147 microbial isolates were cultured. Staphylococcus was the main genus identified, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was present in 24.5% of total cases. In the clinical samples collected from patients undergoing antibiotic therapy, 93% of the antibiotic regimens were considered inadequate based on the antibiotic susceptibility test results. The average duration of an ulcer with any isolated multi-drug resistant (MDR) organism was 29 days, and previous treatment with fluoroquinolones was statistically associated with multi-drug resistance.

Conclusions: Staphylococcus aureus was the most common cause of DFIs in our area. Prevalence and precocity of MDR organisms, namely MRSA, were high and were probably related to previous indiscriminate antibiotic use. Clinicians should avoid fluoroquinolones and more frequently consider the use of empirical anti-MRSA therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diabetic Foot / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Foot / microbiology
  • Female
  • Fluoroquinolones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portugal
  • Prevalence
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones