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Transmission of resistant Gram-negative bacteria to healthcare personnel gowns and gloves during care of residents in community-based nursing facilities

  • Natalia Blanco (a1), J. Kristie Johnson (a2), John D. Sorkin (a3) (a4), Alison D. Lydecker (a1), Lauren Levy (a1), Lona Mody (a5) (a6) and Mary-Claire Roghmann (a1)...



To estimate the risk of transmission of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (RGNB) to gowns and gloves worn by healthcare personnel (HCP) when providing care to residents of community-based nursing facilities to identify the types of care and resident characteristics associated with transmission.


Prospective observational study.

Settings and participants

Residents and HCP from 13 community-based nursing facilities in Maryland and Michigan.


Perianal swabs were collected from residents and cultured to detect RGNB. HCP wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities, and at the end of each interaction, these were swabbed in a standardized manner. Transmission of RGNB from a colonized resident to gowns and gloves was estimated. Odds ratios (ORs) of transmission associated with type of care or resident characteristic were calculated.


We enrolled 403 residents and their HCP in this study. Overall, 19% of enrolled residents with a perianal swab (n=399) were colonized with at least 1 RGNB. RGNB transmission to either gloves or gowns occurred during 11% of the 584 interactions. Showering the resident, hygiene or toilet assistance, and wound dressing changes were associated with a high risk of transmission. Glucose monitoring and assistance with feeding or medication were associated with a low risk of transmission. Residents with a pressure ulcer were 3 times more likely to transmit RGNB than residents without one (OR, 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–11.1).


Gown and glove use in community nursing facilities should be prioritized for certain residents and care interactions that are deemed a high risk for transmission.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Mary-Claire Roghmann, MD, MS, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 10 South Pine Street, MTSF Room 336, Baltimore, MD 21201. E-mail:


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Cite this article: Blanco N, et al. (2018). Transmission of resistant gram-negative bacteria to healthcare personnel gowns and gloves during care of residents in community-based nursing facilities. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 2018, 39, 1425–1430. doi: 10.1017/ice.2018.247



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