Document Type



Internal Medicine


Introduction Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is the most common life-threatening infection in patients with ascites due to liver cirrhosis. The infection is most commonly caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli, commonly referred to as E. coli. Over the past few years, the incidence of antimicrobial resistance against E. coli has risen drastically, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the pattern of resistance using variations of antibiotics against E. coli, to prevent its empirical usage and initiate an appropriate target antibiotic therapy. The data were collected from May 2017 to October 2017 and included a total of 184 patients. The patients had previously been diagnosed with chronic liver disease and had presented with E. coli-induced SBP in the medicine wards at Civil Hospital, Karachi, which is the largest tertiary care hospital in the city. All participants underwent diagnostic paracentesis, and the ascitic fluid samples were sent to labs for culture and sensitivity to antibiotics. Results The sample population consisted of 184 participants, of which two-thirds (63.6%; n=117/184) of the population consisted of males. The mean age of the participants was 47.6±10.7 years. More than half of the patients had hepatitis C (54.9%; n=101/184) while the remaining were diagnosed with hepatitis B (45.1%; n=83/184). The ascitic fluid showed varying percentages of resistance for drugs, with no resistance to imipenem and meropenem while ciprofloxacin showed the highest resistance in eradicating the bacterium, E. coli. Additionally, a statistical correlation was tested between drug resistance and factors like age, gender, duration of liver disease, and duration of ascites. Ciprofloxacin and tetracycline showed a positive correlation between the resistance of these drugs and the age, gender, and duration of chronic liver disease in the participants while trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, and piperacillin/tazobactam showed a positive association with the duration of ascites. Conclusion A rapid diligent intervention of cirrhotic patients with complicated ascites is crucial to alleviate patient mortality. Due to the rising bacterial resistance, primarily, epidemiological patterns should be assessed and analyzed in our regional hospitals, and then, antibiotics should be prescribed meticulously.


Pagination not provided by Author/Publication.

Publication (Name of Journal)


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.