Background: Multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens represent an emerging challenge in end-stage liver disease and in liver transplant recipients.

Methods: We evaluated the impact of MDR bacteria upon clinical outcomes in patients with end-stage liver disease (n = 777) at the time of enrollment on the liver transplant (LTx) waiting list, after first LTx (n = 645), and after second LTx (n = 128).

Results: Colonization/infection with MDR bacteria was present in 72/777 patients on the waiting list, in 98/645 patients at first LTx, and in 46/128 patients at second LTx. While on the LTx waiting list, the time until first hydropic decompensation (p = 0.021), hepatic encephalopathy (p < 0.001) and hepatorenal syndrome (p < 0.001) was reduced in the presence of MDR bacteria, which remained an independent risk factor of poor survival in multivariate analysis (p < 0.001). Following first and second liver transplant, MDR bacteria were associated with an increased risk of infection-related deaths (first LTx: p < 0.001; second LTx: p = 0.037) and reduced actuarial survival (first LTx: p < 0.001; second LTx: p = 0.046).

Conclusions: We showed that MDR pathogens are associated with poor outcomes before, after first and after recurrent LTx.


liver transplant, end-stage liver disease, actuarial survival free of liver transplant, multidrug-resistant pathogens