Clinical and microbiological characteristics of polymicrobial bacteremia: a retrospective, multicenter study

Shinnosuke Fukushima, Hideharu Hagiya, Koji Fujita, Shinya Kamiyama, Haruto Yamada, Masayuki Kishida, Fumio Otsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: To clarify the clinical and microbial characteristics of polymicrobial bacteremia (PMB) to contribute to improvements in clinical diagnosis and effective early treatment. Methods: This retrospective multicenter study used data from three acute-care hospitals in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, collected between January 2014 and March 2019. We reviewed the demographics, comorbidities, organisms isolated, infectious focus, and 30-day mortality of patients with PMB. Results: Of the 7233 positive blood cultures, 808 (11.2%) were positive for more than one organism. Of the patients with bacteremia, 507 (7.0%) had PMB, of whom 65.3% were male. Infectious foci were identified in 78.3% of the cases, of which intra-abdominal infections accounted for 47.1%. A combination of Gram-positive cocci (GPC) (chain form) and Gram-negative rods (GNR) accounted for 32.9% of the cases, and GPC/GNR and GNR/GNR patterns were significantly associated with intra-abdominal infections. The 30-day mortality rate of patients with PMB was 18.1%, with a median of 7.5 days from diagnosis to death. The mortality in patients with an infectious focus identified was significantly lower than that in patients with an unknown focus (16.3% vs. 24.5%; p = 0.031). Conclusions: Intra-abdominal infections were the most common source of PMB, and were strongly associated with a Gram-staining combination pattern of GPC (chain form)/GNR. PMB cases with an unknown focus had a poorer prognosis, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Bloodstream infection
  • Infectious focus
  • Intra-abdominal infection
  • Polymicrobial bacteremia
  • Prognosis
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical and microbiological characteristics of polymicrobial bacteremia: a retrospective, multicenter study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this