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Background: Despite the severity and frequency of streptococcal bloodstream infections (BSIs), the effectiveness of oral definitive therapy remains unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of step-down oral antibiotics for the treatment of uncomplicated streptococcal BSIs.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, adult patients admitted with uncomplicated streptococcal BSI between June 2015 and June 2017 were included. Patients were excluded if they received <48 h of antibiotic therapy; therapy was started >48 h after first positive culture; had complicated infections of endocarditis, bone and joint infections, or central nervous system infections; Pitt bacteremia score (PBS) ⩾ 4; or failed to respond to effective therapy necessitating continued intravenous (IV) therapy. Patients were grouped by receipt of step-down oral antibiotic therapy (PO group) versus continued IV therapy (IV group). Outcomes included hospital length of stay (LOS), 30-day recurrence of BSI, 30-day readmission, 30-day all-cause mortality, and catheter-related or drug-related adverse events (AEs).

Results: Of 244 patients included, 40% received step-down oral therapy (n = 98). Overall, the most common source of BSI was pneumonia (22%), followed by skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) (18%). Severity of illness measured by intensive care unit (ICU) admission and PBS was similar. The IV group had significantly longer LOS [median 10 (interquartile range [IQR] = 5– 21) versus 5 (4–6) days, p < 0.01] compared with the PO group. BSI recurrence, readmission, all-cause mortality within 30 days, and AEs were similar between the groups (p = ns).

Conclusion: In uncomplicated streptococcal BSI, patients treated with step-down oral antibiotic therapy had significantly shorter LOS compared with continued IV therapy without compromise of clinical outcomes.


This article was originally published in Therapeutic Advances in Infectious Disease, volume 9, in 2022.


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