Background: Recent investigations suggest an increasing prevalence of Gram-positive and antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), probably related to changes in antibiotic prescription patterns, in particular more widespread and long-term use of antibiotic prophylaxis with quinolones.
Objective: The primary objective of this study was to assess potential changes in the microbiology of SBP in two patient cohorts studied at a 10-year interval. Further aims were to study prognostic factors and outcome of SBP.
Methods: A retrospective double-cohort study, including all ascitic cultures from patients with cirrhosis obtained 2003–2005 and 2013–2014, was conducted.
Results: In total 312 patients were included, 125 patients in the first and 187 patients in the second cohort. SBP was diagnosed in 132 of 840 analyzed ascitic fluid samples; 62 samples were culture positive. An increase of Gram-positive bacterial isolates was noted from 26% to 46% between cohorts (p=0.122). The prevalence of multidrug-antibiotic–resistant pathogens increased from 25% to 32% (p=0.350). Survival after SBP among the two cohorts was comparable.
Conclusion: This single-center study in the Netherlands found a modest but nonsignificant increase in the proportion of patients with SBP caused by Gram-positive bacteria and multidrug-antibiotic–resistant bacteria over a 10-year period. Our findings differ from reported data in other countries and suggest empiric antibiotic prophylaxis and treatment of SBP should be based on national and regional microbiological findings and resistance patterns.