Clinical Significance of a Test for Slime Production in Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Infections Caused by Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci
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Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNST) are the most-common cause of ventriculoperitoneal shunt infections. Some of these strains produce a slime-like substance. We reviewed 19 episodes of ventriculoperitoneal shunt infections due to CNST in 17 patients. Eleven episodes of infection were caused by slime-producing CNST and eight by non-slime-producing CNST. Shunt obstruction and abdominal pain occurred more frequently when infectious episodes were due to slime-producing CNST than to non-slime-producing CNST (P less than .05). Despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy, the mean duration of fever was longer and the failure to eradicate the infecting organisms was more frequent when the infectious episodes were due to slime-producing CNST than to non-slime-producing CNST (P less than .025). Discriminate function analysis found, however, that only failure to eradicate the infecting organism (by antimicrobial therapy) occurred more frequently in infectious episodes due to slime-producing CNST than to non-slime-producing CNST (P = .01).
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