Epidemiology of intensive care unit-acquired sepsis in Italy: results of the SPIN-UTI network

Ann Ig. 2018 Sep-Oct;30(5 Supple 2):15-21. doi: 10.7416/ai.2018.2247.


Background: Sepsis is the major cause of mortality from any infectious disease worldwide. Sepsis may be the result of a healthcare associated infection (HAI): the most frequent adverse events during care delivery especially in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The main aim of the present study was to describe the epidemiology of ICU-acquired sepsis and related outcomes among patients enrolled in the framework of the Italian Nosocomial Infections Surveillance in ICUs - SPIN-UTI project.

Study design: Prospective multicenter study.

Methods: The SPIN-UTI network adopted the European protocols for patient-based HAI surveillance.

Results: During the five editions of the SPIN-UTI project, from 2008 to 2017, 47.0% of HAIs has led to sepsis in 832 patients. Overall, 57.0% episodes were classified as sepsis, 20.5% as severe sepsis and 22.5% as septic shock. The most common isolated microorganisms from sepsis episodes were Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The case fatality rate increased with the severity of sepsis and the mean length of ICU-stay was significantly higher in patients with ICU-acquired sepsis than in patients without.

Conclusion: Our study provides evidence that ICU-acquired sepsis occurs frequently in Italian ICU patients and is associated with a high case fatality rate and increased length of stay. However, in order to explain these findings further analyses are needed in this population of ICU patients.

Keywords: Healthcare-associated infections; Mortality; Sepsis; Surveillance.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross Infection / classification
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / mortality
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sepsis / classification
  • Sepsis / epidemiology*
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Shock, Septic / epidemiology
  • Time Factors