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Epidemiology of infection in elderly populations in various settings 

Epidemiology of infection in elderly populations in various settings
Epidemiology of infection in elderly populations in various settings

Gaëtan Gavazzi

, Thibaut Fraisse

, and Benoit de Wazières



Gram-negative bacteria have increasing resistance to antibiotics, mostly in oldest old patients. It is a major public health concernto treat urinary tract infections, even in the community.

Infective endocarditis epidemiologyhas changed—patients are older, Staphy lococcusaureus has become the leading cause of infective endocarditis, and there are more prosthetic device-related infections.

Emerging diseases, such arbovirus infections, are a growing problem worldwide associated with climate change. The oldest old persons are also concerned and may present with atypical signs.

Please note that this chapter was updated before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Updated on 27 August 2020. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 26 January 2022

Age is associated with an increased risk of infection because of individual susceptibility (immunosenescence, comorbidities, malnutrition, functional status), as well as collective risk factors. Outcomes are also of concern, because for all infections, older patients exhibit higher short and long-term mortality rates. Over the last decade, subgroups of older populations (either community-dwelling, hospitalized or nursing home residents) have been distinguished, because epidemiological data regarding infections differ between these groups in terms of incidence, type, severity, and microbiology. Although urinary tract and respiratory tract infections appear to be the most frequent infections in these specific populations, skin/soft tissue and gastrointestinal infections, as well as meningitis are frequent in community-acquired infection (CAI), whereas outbreaks (respiratory and gastrointestinal) are more specific to nursing home infections, and antibiotic resistance is emerging as a major issue for both hospitalized and nursing home elder populations.

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