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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Analysis of Bile Colonization and Intestinal Flora may Improve Management in Liver Transplant Recipients Undergoing ERCP

Iyad Kabar, Anna Hüsing, Vito R. Cicinnati, Laura Heitschmidt, Susanne Beckebaum, Gerold Thölking, Hartmut H. Schmidt, Helge Karch, Frank Kipp

Department of Transplant Medicine, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany

Ann Transplant 2015; 20:249-255

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.893549

Available online:

Published: 2015-05-04


Background: Immunosuppression, denervation of biliary tract, and presence of biliary strictures favor colonization of bile with microorganisms after liver transplantation. Little is known about spectrum and antibiotic susceptibility of this colonization.
Material and Methods: Bile and feces were collected prospectively from 38 patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography after liver transplantation. Samples were analyzed for colonization and antibiotic susceptibility.

Results: From the 38 tested bile samples, 86.6% tested positive. Of those, 26 (78.8%) were polymicrobial. Of isolated bile samples, 52 (64.2%) were gram-positive, 22.2% were gram-negative, and 13.6% revealed Candida albicans. Most detectable gram-positive bacteria were Enterococcus faecium. Most detectable gram-negative bacteria were E. coli and Klebsiella pneumonia. Our analyses revealed high resistance rates of the isolates. Only 55.6% of isolates were sensitive to ciprofloxacin, 54% were sensitive to piperacillin/tazobactam, and 60.3% were sensitive to imipenem. High susceptibility rates were found for linezolid and vancomycin (72.9% and 72.6%, respectively). We found a high correlation between microorganisms found in bile and those isolated from stool.

Conclusions: Bile of liver transplant recipients is frequently colonized with microorganisms. The starting point of this colonization is usually the intestine. Systematic analysis of bile colonization during endoscopic interventions on biliary tracts of liver transplant recipients might help to select effective prophylactic antibiotic regimes as well as to facilitate the choice of suitable antimicrobial therapy in case of septic complications.

Keywords: Bile Duct Diseases, Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde, Liver Transplantation