Duration of antibiotic treatment for Gram-negative bacteremia – Systematic review and individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis

Adi Turjeman, Elodie von Dach, José Molina, Erica Franceschini, Fidi Koppel, Dana Yelin, Yael Dishon-Benattar, Cristina Mussini, Jesús Rodríguez-Baño, José Miguel Cisneros, Angela Huttner, Mical Paul, Leonard Leibovici, Dafna Yahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We aim to compare the effect of short versus long treatment duration in Gram-negative bacteremia on all-cause mortality in pre-specified sub-groups. Methods: Individual participant data meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing short (≤7) versus longer (>7 days) antibiotic treatment for Gram-negative bacteremia. Participants were adults (≥18 years), with Gram-negative bacteremia during hospital stay. We searched PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science to identify trials conducted up to May 2022. Primary outcome was 90-day all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality, relapse of bacteremia, length of hospital stay, readmission, local or distant infection complications, adverse events, and resistance emergence. Outcomes were assessed in pre-specified subgroups: women vs men; non-urinary vs urinary source; presence vs absence of hypotension on initial presentation; immunocompromised patients versus non-immunocompromised patients, and age (above/below 65). Fixed-effect meta-analysis model was used to estimate pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). All three trials had low risk of bias for allocation generation and concealment. Findings: Three RCTs (1186 patients) were included; 1121 with enterobacterales bacteremia. No significant difference in mortality was demonstrated between 7- and 14-days treatment (90-day mortality: OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.73–1.58; 30-day mortality: 1.08, 0.62–1.91). Relapse (1.00, 0.50–1.97); length of hospital stay (P = 0.78); readmission (0.96, 0.80–1.22); and infection complications (local: 1.62 0.76–3.47; distant: 2.00, 0.18–22.08), were without significant difference, and so were adverse events or resistance emergence. No significant difference in clinical outcomes between 7 and 14 days of antibiotics was demonstrated in the subgroups of gender, age, hemodynamic status, immune status, and source of infection. Interpretation: For patients hemodynamically stable and afebrile at 48 h prior to discontinuation, seven days of antibiotic therapy for enterobacterales bacteremia result in similar outcomes as 14 days, in terms of mortality, relapse, length of hospital stay, complications of infection, resistance emergence, and adverse events. These results apply for any adult age group, gender, source of infection, immune status, and hemodynamic status on presentation. Funding: There was no funding source for this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101750
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Antibiotics
  • Gram-negative bacteremia
  • Individual patient data meta-analysis
  • Resistance
  • Treatment duration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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