Serratia Follow-up

Updated: Oct 25, 2021
  • Author: Payal K Patel, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Further Inpatient Care

Remove or change catheters suspected of being contaminated with Serratia bacteria.



Avoid reusing single-use vials, and reject possibly contaminated intravenous fluids.

Avoid using soaps or disinfectants that may be contaminated.

Avoid using tap water for administration of medication orally or via a nasogastric tube in critically ill patients. [31]

Use disposable ECG leads.

Emphasize standard precautions. Hospital employees should wash their hands [40] before and after contact with patients. The most common mechanism of Serratia transmission in nosocomial outbreaks is through soiled hands. Long-term carriage of an epidemic strain of S marcescens on the hands of a health care worker has been described. [41]

Intravenous lines should be removed as soon as possible.



Severe Serratia infection (bacteremia) carries a mortality rate of 26%. Among survivors, the prognosis for complete recovery is good.

S marcescens endophthalmitis carries a poor prognosis in terms of maintaining vision.