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Bloodstream infections (BSI) and Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in pediatric oncology/hematology/bone marrow transplant (BMT) populations are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to explore possible associations between altered microbiome composition and the occurrence of BSI and CDI in a cohort of pediatric oncology patients. Stool samples were collected from all patients admitted to the pediatric oncology floor from Oct.-Dec. 2012. Bacterial profiles from patient stools were determined by bacterial 16S rRNA gene profiling. Differences in overall microbiome composition were assessed by a permutation-based multivariate analysis of variance test, while differences in the relative abundances of specific taxa were assessed by Kruskal-Wallis tests. At admission, 9 of 42 patients (21%) were colonized with C. difficile, while 6 of 42 (14%) subsequently developed a CDI. Furthermore, 3 patients (7%) previously had a BSI and 6 patients (14%) subsequently developed a BSI. Differences in overall microbiome composition were significantly associated with disease type (p = 0.0086), chemotherapy treatment (p = 0.018), BSI following admission from any cause (p < 0.0001) or suspected gastrointestinal organisms (p = 0.00043). No differences in baseline microbiota were observed between individuals who did or did not subsequently develop C. difficile infection. Additionally, multiple bacterial groups varied significantly between subjects with post-admission BSI compared with no BSI. Our results suggest that differences in gut microbiota not only are associated with type of cancer and chemotherapy, but may also be predictive of subsequent bloodstream infection.
PMID: 29329346 [PubMed - in process]