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Policies that promote conversion of antibiotics from intravenous to oral route administration are considered “low hanging fruit” for hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs. We developed a simple metric based on digestive days of therapy divided by total days of therapy for targeted agents and a method for hospital comparisons. External comparisons may help identify opportunities for improving prospective implementation.
Background:Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast that is transmitted in healthcare facilities and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Environmental contamination is suspected to play an important role in transmission but additional information is needed to inform environmental cleaning recommendations to prevent spread. Methods: We conducted a multiregional (Chicago, IL; Irvine, CA) prospective study of environmental contamination associated with C. auris colonization of patients and residents of 4 long-term care facilities and 1 acute-care hospital. Participants were identified by screening or clinical cultures. Samples were collected from participants’ body sites (eg, nares, axillae, inguinal creases, palms and fingertips, and perianal skin) and their environment before room cleaning. Daily room cleaning and disinfection by facility environmental service workers was followed by targeted cleaning of high-touch surfaces by research staff using hydrogen peroxide wipes (see EPA-approved product for C. auris, List P). Samples were collected immediately after cleaning from high-touch surfaces and repeated at 4-hour intervals up to 12 hours. A pilot phase (n = 12 patients) was conducted to identify the value of testing specific high-touch surfaces to assess environmental contamination. High-yield surfaces were included in the full evaluation phase (n = 20 patients) (Fig. 1). Samples were submitted for semiquantitative culture of C. auris and other multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacterales (ESBLs), and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). Times to room surface contamination with C. auris and other MDROs after effective cleaning were analyzed. Results:Candida auris colonization was most frequently detected in the nares (72%) and palms and fingertips (72%). Cocolonization of body sites with other MDROs was common (Fig. 2). Surfaces located close to the patient were commonly recontaminated with C. auris by 4 hours after cleaning, including the overbed table (24%), bed handrail (24%), and TV remote or call button (19%). Environmental cocontamination was more common with resistant gram-positive organisms (MRSA and, VRE) than resistant gram-negative organisms (Fig. 3). C. auris was rarely detected on surfaces located outside a patient’s room (1 of 120 swabs; <1%). Conclusions: Environmental surfaces near C. auris–colonized patients were rapidly recontaminated after cleaning and disinfection. Cocolonization of skin and environment with other MDROs was common, with resistant gram-positive organisms predominating over gram-negative organisms on environmental surfaces. Limitations include lack of organism sequencing or typing to confirm environmental contamination was from the room resident. Rapid recontamination of environmental surfaces after manual cleaning and disinfection suggests that alternate mitigation strategies should be evaluated.
We performed a cross-sectional survey of infection preventionists in 60 US community hospitals between April 22 and May 8, 2020. Several differences in hospital preparedness for SARS-CoV-2 emerged with respect to personal protective equipment conservation strategies, protocols related to testing, universal masking, and restarting elective procedures.
We tested 9 disinfectants against Candida auris using the quantitative disk carrier method EPA-MB-35-00: 5 products with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based chemistries were effective and 4 quaternary ammonium compound-based products were not. This work supported a FIFRA Section 18 emergency exemption granted by the US Environmental Protection Agency to expand disinfectant guidance for C. auris.
With concerns for presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 and increasing burden of contact tracing and employee furloughs, several hospitals have supplemented pre-existing infection prevention measures with universal masking of all personnel in hospitals. Other hospitals are currently faced with the dilemma of whether or not to proceed with universal masking in a time of critical mask shortages. We summarize the rationale behind a universal masking policy in healthcare settings, important considerations before implementing such a policy and the challenges with universal masking. We also discusses proposed solutions such as universal face shields.
To determine whether antimicrobial-impregnated textiles decrease the acquisition of pathogens by healthcare provider (HCP) clothing.
We completed a 3-arm randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of 2 types of antimicrobial-impregnated clothing compared to standard HCP clothing. Cultures were obtained from each nurse participant, the healthcare environment, and patients during each shift. The primary outcome was the change in total contamination on nurse scrubs, measured as the sum of colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING
Nurses working in medical and surgical ICUs in a 936-bed tertiary-care hospital.
Nurse subjects wore standard cotton-polyester surgical scrubs (control), scrubs that contained a complex element compound with a silver-alloy embedded in its fibers (Scrub 1), or scrubs impregnated with an organosilane-based quaternary ammonium and a hydrophobic fluoroacrylate copolymer emulsion (Scrub 2). Nurse participants were blinded to scrub type and randomly participated in all 3 arms during 3 consecutive 12-hour shifts in the intensive care unit.
In total, 40 nurses were enrolled and completed 3 shifts. Analyses of 2,919 cultures from the environment and 2,185 from HCP clothing showed that scrub type was not associated with a change in HCP clothing contamination (P=.70). Mean difference estimates were 0.118 for the Scrub 1 arm (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.206 to 0.441; P=.48) and 0.009 for the Scrub 2 rm (95% CI, −0.323 to 0.342; P=.96) compared to the control. HCP became newly contaminated with important pathogens during 19 of the 120 shifts (16%).
Antimicrobial-impregnated scrubs were not effective at reducing HCP contamination. However, the environment is an important source of HCP clothing contamination.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
(See the commentary by Pfeiffer and Beldavs, on pages 984–986.)
Describe the epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and examine the effect of lower carbapenem breakpoints on CRE detection.
Inpatient care at community hospitals.
All patients with CRE-positive cultures were included.
CRE isolated from 25 community hospitals were prospectively entered into a centralized database from January 2008 through December 2012. Microbiology laboratory practices were assessed using questionnaires.
A total of 305 CRE isolates were detected at 16 hospitals (64%). Patients with CRE had symptomatic infection in 180 cases (59%) and asymptomatic colonization in the remainder (125 cases; 41%). Klebsiella pneumoniae (277 isolates; 91%) was the most prevalent species. The majority of cases were healthcare associated (288 cases; 94%). The rate of CRE detection increased more than fivefold from 2008 (0.26 cases per 100,000 patient-days) to 2012 (1.4 cases per 100,000 patient-days; incidence rate ratio (IRR), 5.3 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22–22.7]; P = .01). Only 5 hospitals (20%) had adopted the 2010 Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) carbapenem breakpoints. The 5 hospitals that adopted the lower carbapenem breakpoints were more likely to detect CRE after implementation of breakpoints than before (4.1 vs 0.5 cases per 100,000 patient-days; P < .001; IRR, 8.1 [95% CI, 2.7–24.6]). Hospitals that implemented the lower carbapenem breakpoints were more likely to detect CRE than were hospitals that did not (3.3 vs 1.1 cases per 100,000 patient-days; P = .01).
The rate of CRE detection increased fivefold in community hospitals in the southeastern United States from 2008 to 2012. Despite this, our estimates are likely underestimates of the true rate of CRE detection, given the low adoption of the carbapenem breakpoints recommended in the 2010 CLSI guidelines.
To determine the epidemiological characteristics of postoperative invasive Staphylococcus aureus infection following 4 types of major surgical procedures.
Retrospective cohort study.
Eleven hospitals (9 community hospitals and 2 tertiary care hospitals) in North Carolina and Virginia.
Adults undergoing orthopedic, neurosurgical, cardiothoracic, and plastic surgical procedures.
We used previously validated, prospectively collected surgical surveillance data for surgical site infection and microbiological data for bloodstream infection. The study period was 2003 through 2006. We defined invasive S. aureus infection as either nonsuperficial incisional surgical site infection or bloodstream infection. Nonparametric bootstrapping was used to generate 95% confidence intervals (CIs). P values were generated using the Pearson x2 test, Student t test, or Wilcoxon rank-sum test, as appropriate.
In total, 81,267 patients underwent 96,455 procedures during the study period. The overall incidence of invasive S. aureus infection was 0.47 infections per 100 procedures (95% CI, 0.43–0.52); 227 (51%) of 446 infections were due to methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Invasive S. aureus infection was more common after cardiothoracic procedures (incidence, 0.79 infections per 100 procedures [95% CI, 0.62–0.97]) than after orthopedic procedures (0.37 infections per 100 procedures [95% CI, 0.32–0.42]), neurosurgical procedures (0.62 infections per 100 procedures [95% CI, 0.53–0.72]), or plastic surgical procedures (0.32 infections per 100 procedures [95% CI, 0.17¬0.47]) (P < .001). Similarly, S. aureus bloodstream infection was most common after cardiothoracic procedures (incidence, 0.57 infections per 100 procedures [95% CI, 0.43–0.72]; P < .001, compared with other procedure types), comprising almost three-quarters of the invasive S. aureus infections after these procedures. The highest rate of surgical site infection was observed after neurosurgical procedures (incidence, 0.50 infections per 100 procedures [95% CI, 0.42–0.59]; P < .001, compared with other procedure types), comprising 80% of invasive S. aureus infections after these procedures.
The frequency and type of postoperative invasive S. aureus infection varied significantly across procedure types. The highest risk procedures, such as cardiothoracic procedures, should be targeted for ongoing preventative interventions.
Cyrtobagous singularis Hust. was recorded from Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina in association with six species of Salvinia (aquatic ferns). Field observations and laboratory studies in Brazil and Australia showed that C. singularis severely damaged S. molesta and that the weevil is suitable as a control agent for this weed in tropical and subtropical areas in Australia. In host-specificity studies using 46 plant species that occur in Australia, development of the immature stages took place only on S. molesta. Minor leaf scarring occurred on sweet potato when in contact with water, but starvation tests excluded this plant as a possible terrestrial host. Adults fed, but were unable to reproduce, on water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes). The high degree of host specificity indicated that establishment of this weevil in Australia is without risk to non-target plants. C. singularis was first released and became established in Australia in 1980.
Over the past 20 years, the value of expressive writing has made the transition from anecdotal folk wisdom to a large and growing body of scientific research. Specifically, expressing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event can improve one's mental and physical health (Frattaroli, 2006; Pennebaker, 1997; Smyth, 1998). As social and health psychologists, we give an overview of this line of research that began in the 1980s and has continued to proliferate up to the present. We now know that writing can have an impact on a broad range of physiological, physical, and mental states across many types of people. Non-health-related benefits have also been uncovered, and these are discussed as well. After describing the standard expressive writing paradigm and its application to creative writers, we discuss the role that language plays in this picture, including how language use can predict health benefits.
THE EXPRESSIVE WRITING PARADIGM
The procedure is simple and straightforward: Participants are asked to reflect on their deepest thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event. In the original studies, participants were randomly assigned to write about either an emotional topic or a control topic for 15 to 20 minutes each session for three to five sessions completed over the course of several days or weeks. One writing session was completed per day, and participants were often given the freedom to decide what time of day to write.
Objective: To investigate the efficacy of intralesional cidofovir in the treatment of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) in children.
Methods: Prospective observational study of four consecutive children with RRP treated at an academic tertiary children's hospital. Laryngo-bronchoscopy was performed at three- to five-weekly intervals. Photodocumentation was obtained and disease severity assessed using an anatomical RRP severity score. Surgical debulking of large papillomas was then performed, and cidofovir (5 mg/ml) injected into any remaining papillomas as well as submucosally at the sites of resected papillomas. The efficacy of cidofovir was assessed by the change in papilloma severity score over the course of the treatment.
Results: Complete disease remission was obtained in one patient, with a partial response seen in two others. One patient showed no significant response. The greatest beneficial effect was seen after the fourth cidofovir injection; however, two patients demonstrated a deterioration in severity scores after treatment was withheld at this point. Both responded well to further cidofovir injections. However, a clear plateau in the response to cidofovir was seen in all patients by the eighth injection.
Conclusion: Intralesional cidofovir may help control papilloma regrowth and reduce disease severity in many children with RRP. In most cases, cidofovir would appear to be less efficacious in causing disease eradication. There appears to be little evidence to support prolonged treatment regimes (i.e. more than eight treatments).
We investigate the behaviour of a reaction described by Michaelis-Menten kinetics in an immobilised enzyme reactor (IER). The IER is treated as a well-stirred flow reactor, with the restriction that bounded and unbounded enzyme species are constrained to remain within the reaction vessel. Our aim is to identify the best operating conditions for the reactor.
The cases in which an iminobilised enzyme reactor is used to either reduce pollutant emissions or to synthesise a product are considered. For the former we deduce that the reactor should be operated using low flow rates whereas for the latter high flow rates are optimal. It is also shown that periodic behaviour is impossible.