Clinical impact of fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli in the fecal flora of hematological patients with neutropenia and levofloxacin prophylaxis

Yong Chong, Shinji Shimoda, Hiroko Yakushiji, Yoshikiyo Ito, Takatoshi Aoki, Toshihiro Miyamoto, Tomohiko Kamimura, Nobuyuki Shimono, Koichi Akashi

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Fluoroquinolone prophylaxis in patients with neutropenia and hematological malignancies is said to be effective on febrile netropenia (FN)-related infection and mortality; however, the emergence of antibiotic resistance has become a concern. Ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin prophylaxis are most commonly recommended. A significant increase in the rate of quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli in fecal flora has been reported following ciprofloxacin prophylaxis. The acquisition of quinolone-resistant E. coli after levofloxacin use has not been evaluated. Methods: We prospectively examined the incidence of quinolone-resistant E. coli isolates recovered from stool cultures before and after levofloxacin prophylaxis in patients with neutropenia from August 2011 to May 2013. Some patients received chemotherapy multiple times. Results: In this trial, 68 patients were registered. Levofloxacin-resistant E. coli isolates were detected from 11 and 13 of all patients before and after the prophylaxis, respectively. However, this was not statistically significant ( P= 0.65). Multiple prophylaxis for sequential chemotherapy did not induce additional quinolone resistance among E. coli isolates. Interestingly, quinolone-resistant E. coli, most of which were extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producers, were already detected in approximately 20% of all patients before the initiation of prophylaxis. FN-related bacteremia developed in 2 patients, accompanied by a good prognosis. Conclusions: Levofloxacin prophylaxis for neutropenia did not result in a significant acquisition of quinolone-resistant E. coli. However, we detected previous colonization of quinolone-resistant E. coli before prophylaxis, which possibly reflects the spread of ESBL. The epidemic spread of resistant E. coli as a local factor may influence strategies toward the use of quinolone prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere85210
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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