Over the past two decades, nosocomial infections caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Klebsiella
spp. have become a major problem all around the world. This situation is of concern because there are limited antimicrobial options to treat patients infected with these pathogens, and also because this kind of resistance can spread to a wide variety of Gram-negative bacilli. Our objectives were to evaluate among in-patients at a public university tertiary-care hospital with documented infection due to Klebsiella
spp., which were the risk factors (cross-sectional analysis) and the clinical impact (prospective cohort) associated with an ESBL-producing strain. Study subjects were all patients admitted at the study hospital between April 2002 and October 2003, with a clinically and microbiologically confirmed infection caused by Klebsiella
spp. at any body site, except infections restricted to the urinary tract. Of the 104 patients studied, 47 were infected with an ESBL-producing strain and 57 with a non-ESBL-producing strain. Independent risk factors associated with infection with an ESBL-producing strain were young age, exposure to mechanical ventilation, central venous catheter, use of any antimicrobial agent, and particularly use of a 4th generation cephalosporin or a quinolone. Length of stay was significant longer for patients infected with ESBL-producing strains than for those infected with non-ESBL-producing strains, although fatality rate was not significantly affected by ESBL-production in this cohort. In fact, mechanical ventilation and bacteremia were the only variables with independent association with death detected in this investigation.