Increasing Burden of Biliary Tract Infection Caused by Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Organisms in Korea: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Jan;35(1):56-64. doi: 10.1111/jgh.14809. Epub 2019 Aug 13.


Background and aim: Biliary tract infections (BTIs) are a major cause of bacteremia. The prevalence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in BTI patients is reported to be increasing. We used a nationwide database to evaluate the prevalence of, and risk factors for, BTIs caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing organisms (ESBL-PO) in Korea.

Methods: Patients with a BTI diagnosis, an admission history, a history of a BTI-related procedure, and antibiotic use for ≥ 4 days between 2007 and 2016 were identified from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service database. A BTI treated with carbapenems (BTI-TC) was used as the surrogate for a BTI caused by ESBL-PO. We conducted a multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine the risk factors for BTI-TC.

Results: In total, 341 002 patients were enrolled. The overall percentage of BTI-TC among BTIs was 2.4%, with an increasing annual trend (P < 0.0001). The risk of acute cholangitis caused by ESBL-PO increased significantly in men, older patients, patients with comorbidities, patients with a history of a biliary procedure within the previous year, and patients with a history of antibiotic use within the previous 90 days. Regarding antibiotic use, the patients at highest risk were those previously prescribed carbapenems (adjusted odds ratio, 4.77; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: The prevalence of BTIs caused by ESBL-PO has increased during the last 10 years. Initial carbapenem therapy should be considered for elderly patients with acute cholangitis if they have had a previous biliary procedure and/or a history of carbapenem administration within the previous 90 days.

Keywords: biliary tract diseases; cholangitis; cholecystitis; extended-spectrum beta-lactamase.