Staphylococcus aureus infections in the early period after lung transplantation: epidemiology, risk factors, and outcomes.
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J Heart Lung Transplant 31 (11): 1199--1206 (November 2012)

Staphylococcus aureus infections among lung transplant recipients are poorly studied.We conducted a 5-year retrospective study of the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, risk factors, and outcomes of patients infected with S aureus within the first 90 days after lung transplantation.An S aureus infection developed in 109 of 596 lung transplant (18\%) recipients. Methicillin-susceptible S aureus (MSSA; 62\%) was more common than methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA; 38\%); however, the proportion of infections caused by MRSA increased over time. Pneumonia (48\%) was the most common infection, followed by tracheobronchitis (26\%), bacteremia (12\%), intrathoracic infections (7\%), and skin/soft tissue infections (7\%). Risk factors included mechanical ventilation for > 5 days and isolation of S aureus from recipients' sterility cultures. Patients with MRSA cultured from the nares or respiratory tract at the time of transplant were at an increased risk for MRSA infection (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.02, respectively). Infected patients required longer hospital and intensive care unit stays (p < 0.0001 for both), but the 30- and 90-day mortality rates from the onset of infection were only 7\% and 12\%, respectively. However, infected patients had higher rates of acute and chronic rejection at 1 (p = 0.048) and 3 years (p = 0.002), and higher rates of mortality at 1 (p = 0.058) and 3 years (p = 0.009).S aureus infections within the first 90 days of lung transplant were associated with low short-term mortality but increased long-term rates of mortality and acute and chronic rejection. Future studies are needed to explore the utility of S aureus eradication strategies in reducing disease burden and improving outcomes.
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