Bacterial Infection in Patients with Cirrhosis: Don’t Get Bugged to Death

Mary D. Cannon, Paul Martin, Andres F. Carrion

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bacterial infection remains a leading cause of mortality and morbidity for patients with cirrhosis, with hospitalization, alterations in the intestinal microbiota, and therapeutic drugs all implicated in its development. Bacterial infections also remain the most common precipitant of acute-on-chronic liver failure, with infection occurring as a direct consequence of the progression of this syndrome. Furthermore, recent epidemiological analyses have demonstrated that infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria are occurring with increasing frequency in patients with cirrhosis. Despite significant advances in the understanding of the pathophysiological processes triggered by an infection in patients with cirrhosis, a demonstrable survival benefit for the sickest patients who require ICU admission has not yet occurred. Early diagnosis of infection and appropriate antimicrobial treatment is essential to ensuring optimal outcomes for these patients. This review provides an evidence-based analysis of both the current strategies for prevention and the recommended management of common bacterial infections in patients with cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Cirrhosis
  • Infection
  • Multidrug-resistant
  • Prophylactic antibiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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