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Carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae: a major clinical challenge

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Clinical record

A 59-year-old man from rural Victoria, with no hospital contact for 15 years or recent history of international travel, presented to his local hospital with severe acute pancreatitis secondary to gallstones. He was transferred to a metropolitan hospital for further management, including intermittent admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) for haemodynamic support. On Day 4 of admission, empirical antibiotics were prescribed for severe pancreatitis and concurrent nosocomial pneumonia, according to hospital guidelines and advice from the infectious diseases team; initially ceftriaxone, later changed to piperacillin–tazobactam and then meropenem, due to clinical deterioration. Diagnostic microbiology did not reveal any significant pathogens.

Serial computed tomography demonstrated persistent peri-pancreatic fluid collections despite repeated percutaneous drainage and broad-spectrum antibiotics. One month into admission, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, Candida albicans and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were identified in peri-pancreatic fluid. Contact precautions were implemented, and an infectious diseases physician recommended piperacillin–tazobactam, fluconazole, co-trimoxazole and linezolid (later changed to teicoplanin) to cover these organisms. Teicoplanin, co-trimoxazole and fluconazole were ceased after 8 weeks of treatment.