Patients with cirrhosis have a high risk of bacterial infections. Bacterial infections induce systemic inflammation that may lead to organ failure and acute‐on‐chronic liver failure (ACLF) resulting in a high risk of short term mortality. The early diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections is essential to improve the patient’s prognosis. However, in recent years, the spread of multidrug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections has reduced the efficacy of commonly used antibiotics such as third generation cephalosporins. In patients at high risk of MDR bacteria, such as those with nosocomial infections, the early administration of broad spectrum antibiotics has been shown to improve the prognosis. However, early de‐escalation of antibiotics is recommended to reduce a further increase in antibiotic resistance. Strategies to prevent acute kidney injury and other organ failures should be implemented. Although prophylaxis of bacterial infections with antibiotics improves the prognosis in selected patients, their use should be limited to patients at high risk of developing infections. In this article, we review the pathogenesis and management of bacterial infections in patients with cirrhosis.
acute‐on‐chronic liver failure, antibiotics, liver cirrhosis, sepsis, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis