Unrelated Bacterial Strains Can Transfer Antibiotic Resistance Genes To Each Other

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

CRE bacteria - CDC image

CRE bacteria – CDC image

Richard Stanton, PhD
Health Scientist, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We used whole genome sequencing (WGS) to investigate an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that occurred in an acute care hospital in Kentucky over a six month period in late 2016. The outbreak included 18 cases of CRE.

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Parent Skin Cleansing Prior to Infant Contact in NICU Important to Reduce Staph Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Bart Infant” by Bart Everson is licensed under CC BY 2.0Gwen M. Westerling, BSN, RN, CIC
Infection Preventionist
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The setting of this study is a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with 106 beds.

In 2016, an increase in Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) was noted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) caused by Staphylococcus aureus (SA) through diligent Infection Prevention Surveillance. When we reviewed the literature we found the SA is a common skin colonizer and can be a problem for neonates with immature skin and immune systems.

Staphylococcus aureus is easily transmitted through direct contact with skin, the contaminated hands of health care workers, the environment and equipment. We also found one study that listed skin to skin care as a risk factor for acquisition of SA. Before we saw the increase in infections some process changes occurred in our NICU that included increased skin to skin care, meaningful touch between neonates and parents, and two person staff care. We hypothesized that the process changes were exposing neonates to increased amounts of Staphylococcus aureus and contributing to the increase in infections.

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Hospital Floors May Be Underappreciated Source Of Hospital Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Curtis J. Donskey, MD Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center Cleveland, OH 44106

Dr. Curtis J. Donskey

Curtis J. Donskey, MD
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center
Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Cleveland, OH 44106

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? 

Response: Many hospitals are making efforts to improve cleaning to reduce the risk for transmission of infection from contaminated environmental surfaces. Most of these efforts focus on surfaces like bed rails that are frequently touched by staff and patients. Despite the fact that floors have consistently been the most heavily contaminated surfaces in hospitals, they have not been a focus of cleaning interventions because they are rarely touched. However, it is plausible that bacteria on floors could picked up by shoes and socks and then transferred onto hands. In a recent study, we found that when a nonpathogenic virus was inoculated onto floors in hospital rooms, it did spread to the hands of patients and to surfaces inside and outside the room. Based on those results, we assessed the frequency of floor contamination in 5 hospitals and examined the potential for transfer of bacteria from the floor to hands.

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How Well Do Packaging Systems Preserve Sterility of Hospital Instruments?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Peggy Luebbert, MS, MT, CIC, CHSP, CBSPD; Infection Preventionist at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital; Owner and Consultant at Healthcare Interventions, Inc.; and
Brian Heimbuch, MS, Associate Division Manager/Sr. Bioaerosol Scientist, Applied Research Associates

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Mr. Heimbuch: The purpose of the study was to examine the ability of sterilization packaging systems to maintain sterility of surgical instruments and devices from the time of sterilization until use.

Ms. Luebbert: Maintaining a sterile environment in the operating room is essential for preventing the estimated 300,000 surgical site infections (SSIs) that occur annually in U.S. hospitals and result in approximately 9,000 deaths.[i]-iii

Sterilization packaging systems are designed to maintain the sterility of surgical instruments and devices from the time of sterilization until use in the operating room. The two primary types of sterilization packaging systems include trays covered in sterilization wrap and rigid containers. Sterilization wrap is composed of polypropylene or cloth and is disposed of after use. Rigid containers are reusable and come in a variety of materials (including metals, aluminum and polymers) and sizes.

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Genomic Testing Confirms Contaminated Soap Did Not Impact Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Laurence Senn, médecin associée
Service de médecine préventive hospitalière
Mont Paisible
Lausanne

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Senn: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium that can cause infection in patients severely ill, and is thus a major cause of nosocomial infections in intensive care units. During an environmental investigation on potential reservoirs of P. aeruginosa, the liquid hand soap was found highly contaminated with this pathogen. The fact that unopened soap containers were found contaminated with P. aeruginosa proved that the contamination occurred during product manufacturing. Contaminated batches had been used in our hospital over the previous 5 months.

In order to evaluate the burden of this contamination on patients, our infection control team conducted an epidemiological investigation combining two molecular methods. First, we analyzed with a classical molecular typing method all P. aeruginosa isolated from patients during the period of exposition to the contaminated soap. Secondly, we targeted the analysis on some isolates sharing the same genotype that the one found in the soap with a modern, recently developed tool which consists in sequencing the whole genome of the bacteria. This method allowed us to have the “fingerprint” of each isolate. Our investigation ruled out any impact of the contaminated soap on patients.

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Standardized Model Empowers Nurses To Decrease Urinary Catheter Use

Jerome A. Leis, MD MSc FRCPC Staff physician, General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Physician Lead, Antimicrobial Stewardship Team Staff member, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Jerome Leis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jerome A. Leis, MD MSc FRCPC

Staff physician, General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases
Physician Lead, Antimicrobial Stewardship Team
Staff member, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Leis: Overuse of urinary catheters leads to significant morbidity among hospitalized patients.  In most hospitals, discontinuation of urinary catheters relies on individual providers remembering to re-assess whether patients have an ongoing reason for a urinary catheter.  We engaged all of the attending physicians to agree on the appropriate reasons for leaving a urinary catheter in place and developed a medical directive for nurses to remove all urinary catheters lacking these indications.  This nurse-led intervention resulted in a significant reduction in urinary catheter use and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, compared with wards that continued to rely on usual practice.

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Arterial Catheters Remain Source of Hospital Associated Infections

Leonard Mermel, DO, ScM, AM (Hon), FSHEA, FIDSA, FACP Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Medical Director, Dept. of Epidemiology & Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Leonard Mermel, DO, ScM, AM (Hon), FSHEA, FIDSA, FACP 
Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Medical Director, Dept. of Epidemiology & Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital
Adjunct Clinical Professor, University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy

 

 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Mermel: Arterial catheters are an under recognized source of hospital-associated bloodstream infection. As a result, arterial catheter infection prevention strategies are less well studied than with central lines.  We did a national survey and our findings reaffirmed the fact that physicians using these catheters underestimate the risk of infection.  Additionally and not surprisingly, infection prevention strategies are variable particularly concerning barrier precautions at insertion.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Mermel: Arterial catheters can cause catheter-related bloodstream infections.  These devices should be aseptically inserted and managed post-insertion and removed as soon as no longer required for patient care.  We are also in need of better studies to clearly delineate the ideal infection prevention strategies with these catheters based on our understanding of the pathogenesis of such infections.  Continue reading

Non-Toxic Spores May Prevent C. difficile infection

Dale N. Gerding, MD Research Physician, Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Professor, Department of Medicine of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dale N. Gerding, MD
Research Physician, Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital
Professor, Department of Medicine of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Gerding: Naturally occurring strains of C. difficile lack the genes for production of the toxins that cause C. difficile infection (CDI) and are known as non-toxigenic C. difficile (NTCD). These strains when ingested by patients whose normal microbiota is disrupted by antibiotic treatment will harmlessly colonize the colon and remain in the gut for weeks to months. Specific strains of NTCD found in patients were shown to colonize the gut and prevent C. difficile infection when challenged with toxigenic C. difficile strains in animal models. One such NTCD strain, NTCD-M3, was shown to be safe and well tolerated in human volunteer trials and was used in the present study to determine if it would prevent recurrence of C. difficile infection in patients who had just completed treatment with vancomycin or metronidazole of either their first CDI episode or first recurrence of
C. difficile infection. 168 patients were randomized to receive by mouth in a liquid form, either 10,000 spores/day of NTCD-M3 for 7 days, 10 million spores/day for 7 days, 10 million spores/day for 14 days, or an identical placebo for 14 days.  Primary outcome was safety, and secondary outcomes were the percent who colonized the gut with NTCD-M3 in the time period from end of treatment to week 6, and the rate of recurrent CDI in the patients at week 6. The results showed that NTCD-M3 was safe and well tolerated, and colonized the gut of 69% of patients who received it. The C. difficile infection recurrence rate was 30% in the placebo patients and 11% in patients who received any of the NTCD-M3 doses (P<.006). The best dose tested was 10 million spores/day for 7 days which resulted in a recurrence rate of only 5% (p<.01 vs placebo). Colonization of the gut was not permanent, but lasted a maximum of 22 weeks. The summary conclusion is that NTCD-M3 is safe, colonized the gut, and when it colonized the gut, reduced recurrence of C. difficile infection to 2% (p<.001 vs patients who were not colonized).

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Antibacterial Gloves May Reduce Cross Contamination In ICU Setting

Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH Professor for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention School of Human & Health Sciences University of Huddersfield Queensgate, Huddersfield UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH
Professor for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention
Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention
School of Human & Health Sciences
University of Huddersfield
Queensgate, Huddersfield UK

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Assadian: Although medical gloves serve as an important mechanical barrier to prevent healthcare workers’ hands from getting contaminated with potentially pathogenic microorganisms, their inappropriate and incorrect use may support microbial transmission, eventually resulting in indirect horizontal cross-contamination of other patients.

We conducted a clinical study designed to determine the efficacy of a newly developed synthetic antibacterial nitrile medical glove coated with an antiseptic, polyhexamethylen-biguanid hydrochloride (PHMB), on its external surface, and compared this antibacterial glove to an identical non-antibacterial glove in reducing surface contamination after common patient care measures in an intensive care unit.

We found significantly lower numbers of bacteria on surfaces after performing typical clinical activities such as intravenous fluid handling, oral toilet, or physiotherapy, if touched with antibacterial gloves.

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One Case Of Hepatitis C Transmitted From Shared Kidney Perfusion Machine

Gwen Borlaug, CIC, MPH Coordinator, HAI Prevention Program Wisconsin Division of Public Health Madison, WI 53702MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gwen Borlaug, CIC, MPH

Coordinator, HAI Prevention Program
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
Madison, WI 53702

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Healthcare-associated transmission of blood borne pathogens such as hepatitis C and B viruses is previously documented.

A single incident of HCV transmission likely occurred in an operating room where two kidneys were attached to the same perfusion machine at the same time, the two kidneys and the perfusion machine were shared between two operating rooms when patients were present in each operating room, and the two kidneys housed in the same perfusion machine were ultimately transplanted into two different recipients.

No additional healthcare-associated cases of hepatitis C virus transmission were identified among patients receiving hospital care at the same time and in the same locations as these transplant patients.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Observing basic infection control practices is paramount to preventing transmission of blood borne pathogens in the healthcare setting.  Healthcare personnel should ensure strict adherence to protocols for cleaning and disinfecting used medical equipment and for safe injection practices.

 Citation:

Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus Associated with Surgical Procedures — New Jersey 2010 and Wisconsin 2011

 MMWR Weekly February 27, 2015 / 64(07);165-17

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gwen Borlaug, CIC, MPH (2015). One Case Of Hepatitis C Transmitted From Shared Kidney Perfusion Machine 

Hospital Acquired C. diff Infections Increase Both Length of Stay and Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Esther van Kleef
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,
London, UK

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Response:  Existing evidence reveals a wide variation in estimated excess length of hospital stay (LoS) associated with healthcare-acquired C. difficile infection (HA-CDI), ranging from 2.8 to 16.1 days. Few studies considered the time-dependent nature of healthcare-acquired C. difficile (i.e. patients that spent a longer time in hospital have an increased risk of infection), and none have considered the impact of severity of healthcare-acquired C. difficile on expected delayed discharge. Using a method that adjusted for this so-called time-dependent bias, we found that compared to non-infected patients, the excess length of stay of severe patients (defined by increased white blood cell count, serum creatinine, or temperature, or presence of colitis) was on average, twice (11.6 days; 95% CI: 3.6-19.6) that of non-severe cases (5.3 days; 95% CI: 1.1-9.5). However, severely infected patients did not have a higher daily risk of in-hospital death than non-severe patients. Overall, we estimated that healthcare-acquired C. difficile prolonged hospital stay with an average of ~7 days (95% CI: 3.5-10.9) and increased in-hospital daily death rate with 75% (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.75; 95% CI: 1. 16 – 2.62).

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Clostridium difficile Infections In US Hospitals Doubled over Decade

Kelly R. Reveles, PharmD, PhD The University of Texas College of PharmacyMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kelly R. Reveles, PharmD, PhD
The University of Texas College of Pharmacy

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Reveles: Our study utilized data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Hospital Discharge Surveys. Patients were selected for this study if they were at least 18 years of age and had an International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) (ICD-9-CM code 008.45). We found that Clostridium difficile infection incidence increased from 4.5 CDI discharges/1,000 total discharges in 2001 to 8.2 CDI discharges/1,000 total discharges in 2010. Mortality varied over the study period with peak mortality occurring in 2003 (8.7%) and the lowest rate occurring in 2009 (5.6%). Median hospital length of stay (LOS) was 8 days and remained stable over the study period. In summary, the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection in U.S. hospitals nearly doubled from 2001 to 2010, with little evidence of recent decline. Additionally, there does not appear to be a significant decline in mortality or hospital LOS among patients with Clostridium difficile infection.

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Decreasing Bacterial Contamination from Surgical Gloves, Gowns

William G Ward, Sr. MD Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief of Musculoskeletal Service Line - Guthrie Clinic One Guthrie Square Sayre, Pennsylvania 18840 (Professor Emeritus - Wake Forest University Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery)MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
William G Ward, Sr. MD
Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief of Musculoskeletal Service Line – Guthrie Clinic
Sayre, Pennsylvania 18840
(Professor Emeritus – Wake Forest University Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery)

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of this study?

Dr. Ward: The main findings of the study include:

  1. The use of disposable spun-lace “paper” gowns was associated with a dramatic decrease in the likelihood of culture-detected bacterial contamination on the surgeon’s gloved hand and gown sleeve.
  2. For a double-gloved surgeon, changing the outer glove just prior to implant handling should decrease bacterial contamination from the surgeon by about 50%.
  3. Bacteria suspended in saline solution transgressed the material of standard reusable scrub attire in 96% (26/27) of tested gowns and in 0% (0/27) of spun-lace disposable “paper” gowns. Continue reading

Hospital Infection Control Adherence Variable

Patricia W. Stone, PhD, FAAN Columbia University School of Nursing New York, NY 10032.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Patricia W. Stone, PhD, FAAN
Columbia University School of Nursing
New York, NY 10032.


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Stone: Our study found variation in the presence of infection control policies directed at central-line bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Even when present, the policies were adhered to only about half of the time.
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Urinary Catheter Infections: Clinical Assessment vs National Safety Network Definition

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mohamad Fakih, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control
St John Hospital and Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Fakih: Urinary catheters are commonly used in the hospital.  Although they help in the management of the sickest patients, they also present a risk for infection and other harms to the patient. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) have made catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) publicly reportable, and no longer reimburse hospitals for these infections if they occur in hospital setting. The definition of CAUTI is based on the surveillance definition of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We looked at clinician practice, including the Infectious Diseases specialist’s impression and compared them to the NHSN definition. We found a significant difference between what clinicians think is a urinary catheter infection and give antibiotics for it compared to the NHSN definition. The NHSN definition predicted clinical infection by the Infectious Diseases specialist in only about a third of the cases. We also found that Infectious Disease specialists considered patients to have true CAUTI in only half of what clinicians treated as CAUTI.
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How Hospital Infections Spread from One Hospital to Another

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bruce Y. Lee, MD MBA Associate Professor of International Health Director of Operations Research International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 855 N. Wolfe Street Suite 600 Baltimore, MD 21205Bruce Y. Lee, MD MBA
Associate Professor of International Health
Director of Operations Research
International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC)
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
855 N. Wolfe Street Suite 600
Baltimore, MD 21205

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Lee: Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) is every hospital’s problem.  A VRE outbreak in one hospital, even if the hospital is relatively small or distant, can readily spread to other hospitals in a region because patients leaving one hospital often will go to other hospitals either directly or after an intervening stay at home.  These patients can then carry VRE with them to other hospitals.  Therefore, as long a single hospital has a problem with VRE or any other healthcare associated infection, all other hospitals are at risk.  Conquering VRE then requires cooperation among hospitals.
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BI C. difficile strain found common in Chicago hospitals

An outbreak strain of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes diarrhea and sometimes life-threatening inflammation of the colon, is common in Chicago-area acute care hospitals, an investigation published in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology suggests.

In response to Illinois Department of Public Health reports of rising rates of C. difficile infection as a hospital discharge diagnosis, the Chicago and Cook County health departments surveyed 25 Chicago-area hospitals over one month in 2009. They identified 263 total cases of C. difficile illness. Of 129 C. difficile isolates cultured from these patients, 61 percent were the outbreak C. difficile strain known as BI/NAP1.

The BI strain, which is known to cause more serious illness, is usually associated with large acute outbreaks of C. difficile. However this investigation suggests that BI is endemic in the Chicago area and patients could be at risk for severe disease even in the absence of a large acute outbreak.

“Our findings highlight the need for effective interventions aimed at reducing the risk of C. difficile infection,” said Stephanie Black, MD with the Chicago Department of Public Health and the investigation’s lead author.

The investigation suggests that the transfer of patients from one facility to another has helped to spread the BI strain. Dr. Black and her team found that half of the patients with the BI strain were transferred from one healthcare facility to another. “Inter-facility transfer of recently infected patients is a plausible mechanism for the spread of the BI group and may explain in part how BI became the dominant [strain] in this region,” the authors write.

C. difficile is most common in elderly patients and those receiving treatment with antibiotics. It is considered to be one of the most important health care-related infections in the U.S.

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America recommends that patients take the following steps to reduce the spread of C. difficile:

  • Make sure that all doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers clean their hands with soap and water.
  • Only take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Be sure to clean your own hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
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Stephanie R. Black, Kingsley N. Weaver, Roderick C. Jones, Kathleen A. Ritger, Laurica A. Petrella, Susan P. Sambol, Michael Vernon, Stephanie Burton, Sylvia Garcia-Houchins, Stephen G. Weber, Mary Alice Lavin, Dale Gerding, Stuart Johnson, Susan I. Gerber, “Clostridium difficile Outbreak Strain BI Is Highly Endemic in Chicago Area Hospitals.” Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 32:9 (September 2011)