Skip to main content

Microbiology profile of sepsis in Brazil


Sepsis occurs in 16.6% of the patients in the Brazilian ICU and is associated with a high mortality rate (46.6%). Several studies show different pathogenic agents among countries and increased antibiotic resistance. This study aims to describe the pathogen profile in Brazil's ICU septic patients.


A prospective cohort study involving 75 ICUs all over Brazil was performed. All patients who were admitted or developed sepsis during a 1-month period were enrolled and followed until the 28th day and/or until their discharge.


A total of 521 patients filled the criteria of sepsis and were studied. The two main sources of infection were pneumonia and the abdominal tract. Gram-negative bacteria were isolated in 40.1%, followed by Gram-positive (38.8%) and fungus (5%). The most prevalent bacteria were Staphylococcus aureus (31.3%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (26.8%). Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were present in 64.8%. Bacteria were isolated in blood samples in 19.57% and S. aureus was prevalent. The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria was 26.6% and was associated with higher mortality at the 28th day (resistant bacteria 50.9% vs nonresistant bacteria 43.5%). Septic shock was related to the highest mortality, with rates ranging from 45.8%, 63.7% and 83.3% due to S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp, respectively.


Gram-negative bacteria were the most frequently isolated pathogens in the ICU in septic patients. MRSA represented the majority of S.aureus strains isolated. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were associated with higher mortality. It is important to recognize the Brazilian ICU organisms' profile and their resistance pattern to guide rational administration of antimicrobial agents.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Goldwasser, R., David, C., Hatum, R. et al. Microbiology profile of sepsis in Brazil. Crit Care 11 (Suppl 2), P67 (2007).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: