Exposure to antibiotics with anaerobic activity before respiratory viral infection is associated with respiratory disease progression after hematopoietic cell transplant

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2022 Dec;57(12):1765-1773. doi: 10.1038/s41409-022-01790-8. Epub 2022 Sep 5.


We examined associations between specific antibiotic exposures and progression to lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) following individual respiratory viral infections (RVIs) after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We analyzed allogeneic HCT recipients of all ages with their first RVI during the first 100 days post-HCT. For the 21 days before RVI onset, we recorded any receipt of specific groups of antibiotics, and the cumulative sum of the number of antibiotics received for each day (antibiotic-days). We used Cox proportional hazards models to assess the relationship between antibiotic exposure and progression to LRTD. Among 469 patients with RVI, 124 progressed to LRTD. Compared to no antibiotics, use of antibiotics with broad anaerobic activity in the prior 21 days was associated with progression to LRTD after adjusting for age, virus type, hypoalbuminemia, neutropenia, steroid use, and monocytopenia (HR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.1). Greater use of those antibiotics (≥7 antibiotic days) was also associated with LRTD in adjusted models (HR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.3). Results were similar after adjusting for lymphopenia instead of monocytopenia. Antibiotic use is associated with LRTD after RVI across different viruses in HCT recipients. Prospective studies using anaerobe-sparing antibiotics should be explored to assess impact on LRTD in patients undergoing HCT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Tract Infections* / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Virus Diseases*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents