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While a direct relation between hospital construction and concomitant infection rates has been clearly established, few data are available regarding the environmental decontamination effects of renovation in which surfaces are replaced and regarding subsequent infection incidence.
Retrospective clinical study with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) molecular strain typing and environmental cultures.
A regional referral center for acute leukemia and hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation.
Overall, 536 consecutive hospital admissions for newly diagnosed acute leukemia or a first autologous or allogeneic stem-cell transplantation were reviewed.
During 2009–2010, our unit underwent complete remodeling including replacement of all surfaces. We assessed the effects of this construction on the incidence of hospital-acquired VRE colonization before, during, and after the renovation.
We observed a sharp decrease in VRE colonization rates (hazard ratio, <0.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.18–0.44; P<.0001) during the first year after the renovation, with a return to near baseline rates thereafter. The known risk factors for VRE colonization appeared to be stable over the study interval. Environmental cultures outside of patient rooms revealed several contaminated areas that are commonly touched by unit personnel. Multilocus sequence typing of VRE isolates that were cryopreserved over the study interval showed that dominant strains prior to construction disappeared and were replaced by other strains after the renovation.
Unit reconstruction interrupted endemic transmission of VRE, which resumed with novel strains upon reopening. Contamination of environmental surfaces and shared equipment may play an important role in endemic transmission of VRE.
To determine the frequency, risk factors, and outcomes for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) colonization and infection in patients with newly diagnosed acute leukemia.
Retrospective clinical study with VRE molecular strain typing.
A regional referral center for acute leukemia.
Two hundred fourteen consecutive patients with newly diagnosed acute leukemia between 2006 and 2012.
All patients had a culture of first stool and weekly surveillance for VRE. Clinical data were abstracted from the Intermountain Healthcare electronic data warehouse. VRE molecular typing was performed utilizing the semi-automated DiversiLab System.
The rate of VRE colonization was directly proportional to length of stay and was higher in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Risk factors associated with colonization include administration of corticosteroids (P=0.004) and carbapenems (P=0.009). Neither a colonized prior room occupant nor an increased unit colonization pressure affected colonization risk. Colonized patients with acute myelogenous leukemia had an increased risk of VRE bloodstream infection (BSI, P=0.002). Other risk factors for VRE BSI include severe neutropenia (P=0.04) and diarrhea (P=0.008). Fifty-eight percent of BSI isolates were identical or related by molecular typing. Eighty-nine percent of bloodstream isolates were identical or related to stool isolates identified by surveillance cultures. VRE BSI was associated with increased costs (P=0.0003) and possibly mortality.
VRE colonization has important consequences for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia undergoing induction therapy. For febrile neutropenic patients with acute myelogenous leukemia, use of empirical antibiotic regimens that avoid carbapenems and include VRE coverage may be helpful in decreasing the risks associated with VRE BSI.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;36(1): 47–53
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