Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia: diagnosis and management of an environmentally ubiquitous multi-resistant organism in the burns population

Dr Derek Liang1, Dr Charles Meares1, Dr Aruna Wijewardena1, Dr Rowan Gillies1, Dr John Vandervord1

1Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards , Australia


Introduction: Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia is an aerobic gram negative biofilm forming organism.  It is an opportunistic pathogen that has principally but not exclusively caused infections in patients with a poor immune response, long ICU stays and those who have been mechanically ventilated. The danger with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is that it is by nature a multi-drug resistant bacterium. Once infected, the mortality has been reported to be as high as 30%. Therefore, early recognition and targeted antimicrobial therapy is paramount to optimal care of these patients.

Methods: We conducted a literature review regarding patients with burns and isolated Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infections and report our findings in conjunction with our experience of these patients managed at Royal North Shore Hospital in the past 10 years.

Results: The literature review yielded a number of studies regarding soft tissue Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia infections. However, few case reports observe Stenotrophomonas soft tissue infections in the burns patient cohort.

Discussion: Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia is a multi-drug resistant organism that can cause severe infections and pose a high risk to patients with a high percentage of total body surface area burns. Raising awareness of its severity and recognising the need for prompt targeted treatment is necessary in preventing poor patient outcomes.


Dr Derek Liang is an unaccredited trainee at Royal North Shore Hospital

Recent Comments