Microbiology and Risk Factors for Hospital-Associated Bloodstream Infections Among Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2020 Mar 16;7(4):ofaa093. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofaa093. eCollection 2020 Apr.


Background: Children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are at high risk for hospital-associated bloodstream infections (HA-BSIs). This study aimed to describe the incidence, microbiology, and risk factors for HA-BSI in pediatric HSCT recipients.

Methods: We performed a single-center retrospective cohort study of children and adolescents (<18 years of age) who underwent HSCT over a 20-year period (1997-2016). We determined the incidence and case fatality rate of HA-BSI by causative organism. We used multivariable Poisson regression to identify risk factors for HA-BSI.

Results: Of 1294 patients, the majority (86%) received an allogeneic HSCT, most commonly with umbilical cord blood (63%). During the initial HSCT hospitalization, 334 HA-BSIs occurred among 261 (20%) patients. These were classified as gram-positive bacterial (46%), gram-negative bacterial (24%), fungal (12%), mycobacterial (<1%), or polymicrobial (19%). During the study period, there was a decline in the cumulative incidence of HA-BSI (P = .021) and, specifically, fungal HA-BSIs (P = .002). In multivariable analyses, older age (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.06), umbilical cord blood donor source (vs bone marrow; IRR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.19-2.40), and nonmyeloablative conditioning (vs myeloablative; IRR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.21-2.82) were associated with a higher risk of HA-BSIs. The case fatality rate was higher for fungal HA-BSI than other HA-BSI categories (21% vs 6%; P = .002).

Conclusions: Over the past 2 decades, the incidence of HA-BSIs has declined among pediatric HSCT recipients at our institution. Older age, umbilical cord blood donor source, and nonmyeloablative conditioning regimens are independent risk factors for HA-BSI among children undergoing HSCT.

Keywords: antifungal prophylaxis; conditioning regimen; mortality; umbilical cord blood.