Bloodstream infection (BSI) is a well-known cause of morbidity and mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) recipients. Here, we conducted a retrospective study to assess the morbidity, etiology, risk factors, and outcomes of BSI in the postengraftment period (PE-BSI) after allo-HSCT. Forty-three of 316 patients (13.6%) developed 57 PE-BSI episodes, in which 62 pathogens were isolated: Gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and fungi, respectively, accounted for 54.8%, 35.5%, and 9.7% of the isolates. Multivariate analysis revealed methylprednisolone use for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis (odds ratio [OR], 6.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.49 to 28.2; P =.013) and acute gastrointestinal GVHD (GI-GVHD) (OR, 8.82; 95% CI, 3.99 to 19.5; P <.0001) as risk factors for developing PE-BSI. This finding suggested that GI-GVHD increases the risk of bacterial translocation and subsequent septicemia. Moreover, among patients with GI-GVHD, insufficient response to corticosteroids, presumably related to an intestinal dysbiosis, significantly correlated with this complication. Patients with PE-BSI presented worse outcome compared with those without (3-year overall survival, 47.0% versus 18.6%; P <.001). Close microbiologic monitoring for BSIs and minimizing intestinal dysbiosis may be crucial to break the vicious cycle between GI-GVHD and bacteremia and to improve transplant outcomes especially in patients who require additional immunosuppressants.
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