Clinical features and prognostic factors of anaerobic infections: A 7-year retrospective study

Yoonseon Park, Jun Young Choi, Dongeun Yong, Kyungwon Lee, June Myung Kim

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: Risk factors for mortality resulting from anaerobic infection are incompletely defined. The clinical significance of a broad range of pathogenic obligate anaerobic organisms was examined, and factors independently associated with mortality were identified in patients with clinically significant anaerobic infections. Methods: The medical records of 1,050 patients with anaerobic infections were retrospectively reviewed at Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea. Results: The mean age of the patients was 54.1±16.8 years, and 57.7% were men. Overall, 320 (30.5%) patients with case-defined illness experienced pain at the affected site, and 230 (21.9%) experienced pus flow from lesions. Ten (1.4%) patients presented with shock, and 80.3% of the clinically significant cases were polymicrobial anaerobic infections. The mean number of pathogens, including aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, was 3.7±1.0 (minimum 1, maximum 5), and the number of anaerobic organisms was 1.0±0.3 in each specimen. The major pathogens by rank were the Bacteroides fragilis group, which accounted for 41.8% of anaerobic infections, followed by Clostridium spp. (11.8%), Prevotella spp. (9.4%), and Peptostreptococcus spp. (8.4%). Escherichia coli (17.5%), Staphylococcus aureus (7.5%), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (7.5%) were common concomitant aerobic organisms. The overall crude mortality rate resulting from anaerobic infection was 29.7%. Among the determining factors associated with mortality, liver disease (p=0.003) and old age (p=0.005) were significant in multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Anaerobic infection is polymicrobial and has a significant role in morbidity and mortality. Underlying liver disease was associated with poor prognosis in anaerobic infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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