Multidrug-resistant pathogens have important effects on clinical outcomes. Antibiotic cycling is one approach to control anti-microbial resistance, but few studies have examined cycling in hematology-oncology units. Antibiotic cycling was implemented in January 1999 at our hematology-oncology unit, alternating piperacillin-tazobactam (pip-tazo) and cefepime in 3 months periods, until June 2004. Clinical isolates were compared in post- and pre-intervention periods and with the susceptibility among the solid organ transplant intensive care unit (TICU) isolates. The rate of Gram-negative isolates remained stable. Among Gram-negatives, susceptibility to cefepime and pip-tazo remained stable. There was an increase in Enterococcus spp. (P = 0.007), and susceptibility to ampicillin and vancomycin decreased (odds ratio (OR): 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.17-0.89 and OR: 0.23, 95% CI: 0.09-0.58). Compared with the TICU, there was increased susceptibility to pip-tazo and cefepime among enterics (OR: 7.32, 95% CI: 4.44-12.07 and OR: 8.82, 95% CI: 2.1-37.13) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (OR: 4.27, 95% CI: 1.47-12.4 and OR: 4.61, 95% CI: 1.75-12.1) and decreased susceptibility to ampicillin and vancomycin among enterococci (OR: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.30-0.63 and OR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.26-0.56). Cycling was associated with preserved antibiotic susceptibility among Gram-negatives, but with an increase in Enterococcus spp. and vancomycin and ampicillin resistance among enterococci.
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