Incidences of and risk factors for Streptococcus pneumoniae sepsis (SPS) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation were analyzed in 1329 patients treated at a single center between 1973 and 1997. SPS developed in 31 patients a median of 10 months after transplantation (range, 3 to 187 months). The infection was fatal in 7 patients. The probability of SPS developing at 5 and 10 years was 4% and 6%, respectively. Age, sex, diagnosis, and gaff versus host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis did not influence the development of SPS. Allogeneic transplantation (10-year probability, 7% vs 3% for nonallogeneic transplants; P = .03) and chronic GVHD (10-year probability, 14% vs 4%; P = .002) were associated with significantly higher risk for SPS. All the episodes of SPS were seen in patients who had undergone allograft or total body irradiation (TBI) (31 of 1202 vs 0 of 127; P = .07). Eight patients were taking regular penicillin prophylaxis at the time of SPS, whereas 23 were not taking any prophylaxis. None of the 7 patients with fatal infections was taking prophylaxis for Pneumococcus. Pneumococcal bacteremia was associated with higher incidences of mortality (6 of 15 vs 1 of 16; P = .04). We conclude that there is a significant long-term risk for pneumococcal infection in patients who have undergone allograft transplantation, especially those with chronic GVHD. Patients who have undergone autograft transplantation after TBI-containing regimens also appear to be at increased risk. These patients should receive lifelong pneumococcus prophylaxis. Consistent with increasing resistance to penicillin, penicillin prophylaxis does not universally prevent SPS, though it may protect against fatal infections. Further studies are required to determine the optimum prophylactic strategy in patients at risk. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology