Surveillance stool cultures (SSC) have been used in immunocompromised populations to predict the organisms associated with invasive infections and aid in the selection of empiric antibiotic regimens. To evaluate the utility of this approach in pediatric small bowel transplant (SBT) recipients, we conducted a retrospective review of 33 patients who underwent SBT, 16 of whom had SSC done. In no case was the same organism isolated from SSC and subsequent blood, peritoneal fluid or wound cultures. In the first month post-transplantation, blood cultures were positive in 44% and 35% of patients that had and did not have SSC done, respectively (p = 0.73); peritoneal fluid cultures in 44% and 65% (p = 0.30); and wound cultures in 44% and 24% (p = 0.28). There were no significant differences among both groups in time to first infection, duration of ICU stay following SBT, graft survival or long-term patient survival. We conclude that SSC-guided antibiotic selection does not have a significant impact on the incidence of invasive infections in the first month following SBT or on specific indicators of patient outcome. This suggests that empiric antibiotic regimens should be selected based on clinical presentation and hospital flora and susceptibility patterns.
- Small intestine