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To investigate an outbreak of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA); infections in a neonatal clinic.
Prospective chart review, environmental sampling, and genotyping by two independent methods: pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). A case-control study was performed with 31 controls from the same clinic.
A German 1,350-bed tertiary-care teaching university hospital.
There was a significant increase in the incidence of pyodermas with MSSA 10 neonates in good physical condition with no infection immediately after birth developed pyodermas. A shared spatula and ultrasound gel were the only identified infection sources. The gel contained MSSA and was used for hip-joint sonographies in all neonates. PFGE and RAPD-PCR patterns from 6 neonates and from the gel were indistinguishable and thus genetically related clones. The case-control study revealed no significant risk factor with the exception of cesarean section (P=.006). The attack rate by days of hip-joint sonography between April 15 and April 27, 1994, was 11.8% to 40%.
Inappropriate hygienic measures in connection with lubricants during routine ultrasound scanning may lead to nosocomial S aureus infections of the skin. To our knowledge this source of S aureus infections has not previously been described.
To estimate the frequency of, and assess risk factors for, percutaneous, mucous membrane, and cutaneous blood contacts sustained by healthcare workers (HCWs) during the delivery of infusion therapy and the performance of procedures involving sharp instruments in the home setting.
Prospective surveillance of percutaneous, mucous membrane, and cutaneous blood contacts.
Eleven home healthcare agencies in the United States and Canada from August 1996 through June 1997.
HCWs who provided home infusion therapy or performed procedures using hollow-bore needles and other sharp instruments in the home setting.
Each participating worker recorded information about the procedures performed and blood contacts experienced during each of his or her home visits for a 2- to 4-week period using standard questionnaires. HCWs also completed questionnaires regarding job duties, reporting of previous occupational blood contacts, and their use of protective barriers in the home setting.
Participating HCWs provided information about 33,606 home visits. A total of 19,164 procedures were performed during 14,744 procedure visits. Fifty-three blood contacts occurred during these visits, for a blood-contact rate of 2.8 blood contacts per 1,000 procedures and 0.6 percutaneous injuries per 1,000 procedures with needles or lancets. Gloves were worn for 52%, masks for 5%, gowns for 3%, and protective glasses or goggles for 2% of all procedure visits. HCWs used barriers for 53% of visits during which at least 1 procedure was performed and for 27% of other visits.
HCWs involved in home health care are at risk for blood contact. Infection control barrier use was low in our study. The majority of skin contacts could have been prevented by glove use.
To identify risk factors associated with an unexpected outbreak of pyrogenic reactions (PR) following intravenous gentamicin.
We conducted two cohort studies. PRs were defined as chills, rigors, or shaking within 3 hours after initiating the gentamicin infusion during the preepidemic (December 1, 1997-January 15,1998) or epidemic (May 1-June 15,1998) periods. We tested gentamicin vials for endotoxin using the limulus amebocyte lysate assay.
Inpatient services of a large community hospital in Los Angeles, California.
During the epidemic period, 22 (15%) of 152 patients developed documented PRs following intravenous gentamicin. PRs were more likely among patients receiving single daily dosing (SDD) than multiple daily dosing gentamicin (20/73 [27%] vs 2/79 [3%]; relative risk, 10.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.644.7). Laboratory analysis of gentamicin vials found endotoxin levels that were higher among Fujisawa-brand gentamicin (implicated brand) than gentamicin used after the outbreak terminated (non-implicated brand). Although endotoxin levels in the vials did not exceed US Pharmacopeia limits (1.7 endotoxin units/mg gentamicin), the use of SDD gentamicin may place patients at greater risk of receiving doses of endotoxin above the threshold for PRs in humans.
Reassessment of the acceptable amounts of endotoxin in gentamicin and other parenteral products should be considered when dosing intervals used in clinical practice change.
To establish an efficient and sensitive technique for recovering vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) from perianal and environmental samples collected during implementation of control measures for an outbreak of VRE.
Perianal and environmental samples were collected in triplicate on sterile swabs. One swab was used to inoculate a selective broth medium containing 6 μg of vancomycin and 8 μg of ciprofloxacin per mL, one to inoculate Campylobacter agar containing 10 μg/mL of vancomycin, and one to inoculate Enterococcosel agar containing 8 μg/mL of vancomycin.
Samples were collected in the intensive care units of a 600-bed university hospital over a period of 2 months.
Patients and their immediate environment were sampled if they resided in a ward with a patient known to be colonized or infected with VRE.
Of the 88 perianal samples obtained from 63 patients, 37 were positive for VRE by broth culture, with 36 also recovered on both types of solid media (sensitivity, 97.3%; negative predictive value, 98.1%). Of the initial samples collected from each of the 63 patients, 20 were positive for VRE by all methods. Of the 500 environmental samples cultured, 139 were positive for VRE in broth, with only 33 recovered on Campylobacter agar (sensitivity, 23.7%; negative predictive value, 77.2%) and 22 on Enterococcosel agar (sensitivity, 15.8%; negative predictive value, 75.2%).
Our data indicate that, when performing surveillance cultures during an outbreak of VRE, use of an enrichment broth medium is required to recover VRE contaminating environmental surfaces; however, direct inoculation to selective solid medium is adequate to recover VRE in patient perianal specimens.
To collect information about the safety of taking antiretroviral drugs for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) postexposure prophylaxis (PEP).
A voluntary, confidential registry.
Hospital occupational health clinics, emergency departments, private physician offices, and health departments in the United States.
492 healthcare workers (HCWs) who had occupational exposures to HIV, were prescribed HIV PEP, and agreed to be enrolled in the registry by their healthcare providers were prospectively enrolled in the registry. Three hundred eight (63%) of 492 of the PEP regimens prescribed for these HCWs consisted of at least three antiretroviral agents. Of the 449 HCWs for whom 6-week follow-up was available, 195 (43%) completed the PEP regimen as initially prescribed. Forty-four percent (n=197) of HCWs discontinued all PEP drugs and did not complete a PEP regimen. Thirteen percent (n=57) discontinued ≥1 drug or modified drug dosage or added a drug but did complete a course of PEP. Among the 254 HCWs who modified or discontinued the PEP regimen, the two most common reasons for doing so were because of adverse effects attributed to PEP (54%) and because the source-patient turned out to be HIV-negative (38%). Overall, 340 (76%) HCWs with 6-week follow-up reported some symptoms while on PEP: nausea (57%), fatigue or malaise (38%), headache (18%), vomiting (16%), diarrhea (14%), and myalgias or arthralgias (6%). The median time from start of PEP to onset of each of the five most frequently reported symptoms was 3 to 4 days. Only 37 (8%) HCWs with 6-week follow-up were reported to have laboratory abnormalities; review of the reported abnormalities revealed that most were unremarkable. Serious adverse events were reported to the registry for 6 HCWs; all but one event resolved by the 6-month follow-up visit. Fewer side effects were reported by HCWs taking two-drug PEP regimens than by HCWs taking three-drug PEP regimens.
Side effects from HIV PEP were very common but were rarely severe or serious. The nature and frequency of HIV PEP toxicity were consistent with information already available on the use of these antiretroviral agents. Clinicians prescribing HIV PEP need to counsel HCWs about PEP side effects and should know how to manage PEP toxicity when it arises.
Among 145 Enterococcus faecalis isolates recovered during a 15-month period (April 1997-June 1998) in AHEPA University Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece, 94 (65%) exhibited high-level resistance to gentamicin or streptomycin and 61 (42%) to both aminoglycosides; 73% of the high-level aminoglycoside-resistant E faecalis isolates belonged to a single clone carrying the gene aac(6')-Ie-aph(2”)-Ia. These findings differ from those of other regions, where high-level aminoglycoside-resistance genes are dispersed into genetically unrelated strains.
A time-series prospective study of patients admitted to the hospital for treatment of community-acquired pneumonia was undertaken to determine vancomycin-resistant enterococcal perianal colonization rates among patients who received ceftriaxone with or without erythromycin versus those who received levofloxacin. A colonization rate of 16% (8/51) was found in the ceftriaxone-erythromycin group versus 0% (0/52) in the levofloxacin group.
The infectious diseases community shares a wide consensus about the need for control of antimicrobial use. However, current practices toward this goal remain controversial. This “Reality Check” session assessed attendees of the 4th Decennial Conference regarding their knowledge and practices about control of antimicrobial use in hospitals.
The excessive use of antibiotics in the United States has been well documented and is a result of the knowledge base and behaviors of not only prescribing physicians but also patients and caregivers. An antibiotic-use screening evaluation (ABUSE) was developed for each group to promote better awareness among all parties as to ways that they may be overusing antibiotics. The ABUSE questionnaires also serve as tools for confidential self-scoring evaluation of the extent of personal antibiotic misuse.