Ann Clin Case Rep | Volume 6, Issue 1 | Case Report | Open Access

Can Treatment of COVID-19 Patients with Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics Unleash Multi-Drug Resistant Bacterial Pathogens?

Henning Sommermeyer1, Malgorzata Bernatek1, Adam Lipski2, Pawel Maciukajc3 and Jacek Piatek1*

1Department of Health Sciences, Calisia University-Kalisz, Poland 2Department of Urology, PoznaƄ University of Medical Sciences, Poland 3State Hospital – Starachowice, Poland

*Correspondance to: Jacek Piatek 

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Background: Broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy is part of the pharmacological treatment of COVID-19 patients. A potential side effect of antibiotic therapy is the loss of colonization resistance provided by a diverse and balanced gut-microbiota. Case Report: A 74 year old female patient was admitted to hospital due to acute renal failure. During her stay in hospital she acquired a COVID-19 infection and was transferred to a dedicated COVID-19 clinic, where pharmaceutical therapy also comprised the administration of a broad-spectrum antibiotic (ceftriaxone). The patient suffered from diarrh, with a negative first test for fecal Clostridioides (C.) difficile toxin. Retesting after four days confirmed a C. difficile Infection (CDI) which was successfully treated with metronidazole and vancomycin. After the patient was COVID-19 symptom-free for three days she was discharged from hospital. Thirty days after the discharge, the patient was re-admitted to hospital because of diarrhea and abdominal pain. Fecal C. difficile toxin was found again but this time vancomycin and metronidazole treatment failed. A stool sample was collected for culture of pathogenic bacteria, several of which (Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecium) were found. Despite intensive treatment, the patient’s condition gradually deteriorated and she died on day 18 of her last hospital stay due to multi-organ failure resulting from infection with pathological bacteria. Conclusion: Awareness of the risk of antibiotic therapy of COVID-19 patients triggering proliferation of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria with potentially fatal consequences has to be increased.


Antibiotic therapy; Clostridioides difficile, COVID-19; Enterococcus faecium, Gut microbiome; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Multi-drug resistance


Sommermeyer H, Bernatek M, Lipski A, Maciukajc P, Piatek J. Can Treatment of COVID-19 Patients with BroadSpectrum Antibiotics Unleash MultiDrug Resistant Bacterial Pathogens?. Ann Clin Case Rep. 2021; 6: 1935..

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