Multidrug resistant Aeromonas infection following medical leech therapy: A case report and development of a joint antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention protocol

Mary Clare Masters*, Aakash R. Gupta, Nathaniel J. Rhodes, John P. Flaherty, Teresa R. Zembower, Mohammed Alghoul, Karen M. Krueger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Aeromonas sp. infections are a recognized complication of medical leech therapy (MLT). In patients requiring MLT, ciprofloxacin or trimethoprim–sulphamethoxazole are commonly used to prevent such nosocomial infections. After a patient at our institution developed a MLT-associated multi-drug resistant (MDR) Aeromonas infection, we developed and evaluated a joint antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention protocol for MLT at our institution. Methods: We describe a case of a surgical site infection with MDR Aeromonas following MLT that was resistant to typically prescribed prophylactic antimicrobials, and development of a new leech culture protocol to proactively monitor for antimicrobial resistance among our institution's leech supply. We also report the rates of MLT-associated infections prior to and following implementation of this protocol and the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles detected in leech culture at our institution. Results: Between October 2014 and February 2018, 46 patients received MLT at our institution. Other than the case described in this report, no other instances of MLT-related infections were noted during this time period. Culture results from 22 leeches in six batches since February 2018 showed that all were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, TMP-SMX, and ceftriaxone. Since initiation of a leech culture protocol, no further cases of MLT-associated infections have been reported at our institution. Conclusions: In light of increasing antimicrobial resistance and the potentially devastating consequences of MLT-associated infections, institutions offering MLT should be aware of these risks and ensure that protocols are in place to minimize infection risks for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-351
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance
Volume23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Aeromonas
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Infection prevention
  • Medical leech therapy
  • Multidrug resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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