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Oral, nasopharyngeal, and gut decontamination in the ICU 

Oral, nasopharyngeal, and gut decontamination in the ICU
Oral, nasopharyngeal, and gut decontamination in the ICU

Evelien Oostdijk

and Marc Bonten

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date: 19 February 2020

Many infections are caused by enteric bacilli, presumably from endogenous origin. Selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) was developed to selectively eliminate the aerobic Gram-negative bacilli from the digestive tract, leaving the anaerobic flora unaffected. As an alternative to SDD, investigators have evaluated the effects of selective oropharyngeal decontamination (SOpD) alone. Most detailed data on the effects of SDD and SOpD in ICU-patients come from two studies performed in Dutch ICUs. The Dutch studies provide strong evidence that SDD and SOpD reduce ICUmortality, ICU-acquired bacteraemia with Gram-negative bacteria, and systemic antibiotic use. Although successful application has been reported from several solitary ICUs across Europe, it is currently unknown to what extent these effects can be achieved in settings with different bacterial ecology. More studies are needed on the use of SDD or SOpD as a measure to control outbreaks with multidrug resistant bacteria.

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