Exit site infection and peritonitis due to Serratia species in patients receiving peritoneal dialysis: Epidemiology and clinical outcomes

Nephrology (Carlton). 2021 Mar;26(3):255-261. doi: 10.1111/nep.13813. Epub 2020 Dec 2.


Aim: To study the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of catheter-related infections of Serratia species in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the patient characteristics, antibiotics susceptibility/resistance patterns and treatment outcomes of exit site infection (ESI) and peritonitis due to Serratia in PD patients during the period of 2004 to 2017.

Results: One hundred and sixty-one patients had Serratia ESI, of which 10 (6.2%) progressed to tunnel tract involvement and 11 (6.8%) developed PD peritonitis. Nineteen (11.8%) patients with Serratia ESI failed to respond to medical treatment and required catheter removal. Fifty-six (34.8%) patients had repeat Serratia ESI, which occurred at 12.9 ± 13.6 months after the previous episode. Twenty-two patients had Serratia peritonitis, which accounted for 1% of peritonitis during the study period. Ten (45.5%) patients responded to medical treatment while 12 (54.5%) patients required catheter removal. Nine patients (36.4%) failed to resume PD and were converted to long-term haemodialysis. Two patients had repeat peritonitis at 2 months and 3 years, respectively, after the initial episode. Serratia species in PD patients showed high rates of resistance to ampicillin, and first- and second-generation cephalosporins, but were generally susceptible to aminoglycosides, carboxy-/ureido-penicillins and carbapenems.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that Serratia ESI show low risk of progression to peritonitis and favourable response to medical therapy, while Serratia peritonitis was associated with high rates of catheter removal and peritoneal failure.

Keywords: Serratia; clinical outcomes; exit site infection; peritoneal dialysis; peritonitis.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / classification
  • Catheter-Related Infections* / epidemiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections* / microbiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections* / physiopathology
  • Catheter-Related Infections* / therapy
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology
  • Device Removal / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic* / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Peritoneal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Peritoneal Dialysis* / instrumentation
  • Peritoneal Dialysis* / methods
  • Peritonitis / epidemiology
  • Peritonitis / etiology
  • Serratia / isolation & purification*
  • Serratia Infections* / epidemiology
  • Serratia Infections* / etiology
  • Serratia Infections* / physiopathology
  • Serratia Infections* / therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents