Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection


Other Names for this Disease
  • S. maltophilia
  • S. maltophilia infection
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

Please tell me something about this. Is it life threatening? My nephew has been diagnosed with this. He works in a nursing home. Had 2 ear infections, pus in his eyes, a cough, orange urine, and fatigue.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection?

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) infection is a healthcare-associated bacterial infection caused by S. maltophilia bacteria. These bacteria typically colonize (live in or on) areas of the body without causing infection. However, people who are hospitalized and receiving treatment for other conditions may be susceptible to infection, especially those with severely impaired immune systems. Factors that increase the risk for S. maltophilia infection include admission to an intensive care unit, prolonged hospitalization, HIV infection, cancer, cystic fibrosis, neutropenia, recent surgery, trauma, mechanical ventilation, and previous therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics (medications that target a wide range of bacteria). S. maltophilia bacteria are resistant to many types of antibiotics; however, most strains can be treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole treatment.[1][2]
Last updated: 3/9/2015

What are the signs and symptoms of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection?

S. maltophilia bacteria usually colonize (live in or on) areas of the body without causing infection. In these cases, people have no signs or symptoms of a bacterial infection.[2]

When present, the features of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) infections are generally related to the organ system(s) involved.[1] The most common manifestations are pneumonia and bacteremia. Less commonly, people infected by S. maltophilia may experience endocarditis, mastoiditis, peritonitis, meningitis, soft tissue infections, wound infections, urinary tract infections, and/or eye infections.[2]

Last updated: 3/9/2015

What causes Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection?

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) infections are caused by the S. maltophilia bacteria. These bacteria live in various aquatic (water-based) environments. In a hospital setting, they are able to survive and multiply in fluids such as respiratory secretions, urine, and intravenous (IV) fluids.[1][2]

Most healthy people do not get S. maltophilia infections. However, people who are hospitalized and receiving treatment for other conditions may be susceptible to these infections, especially those with severely impaired immune systems. Factors that increase the risk for S. maltophilia infection include admission to an intensive care unit, prolonged hospitalization, HIV infection, cancer, cystic fibrosis, neutropenia, recent surgery, trauma, mechanical ventilation, and previous therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics (medications that target a wide range of bacteria).[1][2]
Last updated: 3/9/2015

How might Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection be treated?

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) bacteria are usually resistant to many antibiotics. The recommended therapy is trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (also called co-trimoxazole, or TMP-SMX). If this medication can not be used, a variety of other antibiotics may be considered. Combination therapy may be necessary in life-threatening cases. The duration of therapy largely depends on the site of infection.[1][2]

More detailed information about medications used to treat S. maltophilia infection is available in Medscape Reference and can be viewed by clicking here.

This information is intended for informational purposes only. People seeking treatment for S. maltophilia infection should consult with their health care provider.
Last updated: 3/9/2015

What is the long-term prognosis for people with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection?

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) bacteria typically colonize (live in or on) areas of the body without causing infection. However, people who are hospitalized and receiving treatment for other conditions may be susceptible to infection, especially those with severely impaired immune systems. In these cases, S. maltophilia infections can be life-threatening. Estimates of mortality (death) associated with infection range from 21 to 69 percent. However, these may overestimate the mortality of S. maltophilia infections since affected people likely have other factors (such as reasons for hospitalization or underlying illness) that may increase their risk of mortality.[2]
Last updated: 3/9/2015

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • S. maltophilia
  • S. maltophilia infection
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.