Variability in oral antibiotic step-down therapy in the management of Gram-negative bloodstream infections

Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG)

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1 Citation (Scopus)


There are important gaps in the literature regarding the role and timing of oral therapy for Gram-negative bloodstream infections (GN-BSIs). To better understand contemporary management practices involving oral step-down in GN-BSI, we conducted an international survey of infectious diseases (ID) specialists. We developed and disseminated an online survey to ID specialists to assess practice patterns involving oral step-down in GN-BSIs, including providers from six continents and 28 countries. χ2 tests and generalised estimating equations were used to identify factors associated with oral step-down. In total, 277 ID specialists completed the survey (64% physicians, 31% pharmacists). Relative to a line source, oral step-down was more common in abdominal [OR = 1.96 (95% CI 1.48–2.61); P < 0.001], pneumonia [2.24 (1.67–2.99); P < 0.001], skin [7.26 (4.71–11.20); P < 0.001] and urinary [9.15 (5.73–14.60); P < 0.001] sources of GN-BSI. US providers were more likely to practice oral step-down than non-US providers (OR = 4.35, 95% CI 2.57–7.36; P < 0.001). Moreover, 40% of providers practice oral step-down for some, but not all, sources of GN-BSI. Among all providers, 23–53% (depending on GN-BSI source) recommend extended (≥5 days) intravenous (IV) therapy before oral step-down or ongoing IV therapy. Most respondents (76% of all providers; 80% of ID physicians) expressed interest in enrolling patients in a trial of full IV versus early oral step-down for GN-BSI. There is extensive heterogeneity in oral step-down practices for GN-BSI. The optimal role of oral step-down in managing GN-BSIs warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106451
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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