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Critical Care

Open Access

A 6-month study of infections and antibiotic resistance pattern in a Greek intensive care unit

  • E Paramythiotou1,
  • P Ntagiopoulos1,
  • H Giamarellou2,
  • A Antoniadou2,
  • G Poulakou2 and
  • A Karabinis1
Critical Care20048(Suppl 1):P219

Published: 15 March 2004


MeningitisCeftazidimeImipenemKlebsiella PneumoniaeColistin


Severe infections and resistance of microorganisms to broad-spectrum antibiotics constitute a major concern for ICU physicians. Our purpose was to record the microorganisms usually responsible for infections in our ICU and their pattern of resistance to antibiotics during a 6-month period.

Patients and methods

We performed a prospective study between 1 June 2003 and 1 December 2003, including all patients hospitalized for more than 48 hours. Infections presented during this period were recorded as well as the sensitivity of microorganisms to special antimicrobial agents.


A total of 65 patients were included in the study (53 men, 12 women) with a mean age of 54.6 years. The mean ICU stay was 24 days. One hundred and fifty-one infections were recorded: ventilator-associated pneumonia (62.3%), primary bacteremias (22.5%), catheter-related infections (9.4%), meningitis (1.3%) and surgical infections (2%). Microorganisms most commonly isolated were: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (33.7%), Acinetobacter baumannii (28.5%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (14%), and Staphylococcus epidermidis (7.8%). Patterns of resistance were as follows: P. aeruginosa was sensitive to ceftazidime in 16.7% of cases, to imipenem in 38.4%, to ciprofloxacin in 10.2% to piperacillin/tazobactam in 62.8% and to colistin in 98.7%. A. baumannii was sensitive to imipenem in 61% of cases, to ampicillin/sulbactam in 51.5% and to colistin in 76.5%. K. pneumoniae was sensitive to imipenem in 74% of cases, to piperacillin/tazobactam in 48% of cases and to colistin in 88.8%.


Significant resistance of Gram-negative microorganisms to broad-spectrum antibiotics is noticed, posing important therapeutic problems. Change of antibiotic policy and strict hand hygiene are some of the measures that could possibly help us face this ominous situation.

Authors’ Affiliations

G. Gennimatas, Athens, Greece
Attikon University Hospital, Athens, Greece


© BioMed Central Ltd. 2004