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In a tertiary-care hospital and affiliated long-term care facility, a stewardship intervention focused on patients with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) was associated with a significant reduction in unnecessary non-CDI antibiotic therapy. However, there was no significant reduction in total non-CDI therapy or in the frequency of CDI recurrence.
Sink drainage systems are not amenable to standard methods of cleaning and disinfection. Disinfectants applied as a foam might enhance efficacy of drain decontamination due to greater persistence and increased penetration into sites harboring microorganisms.
To examine the efficacy and persistence of foam-based products in reducing sink drain colonization with gram-negative bacilli.
During a 5-month period, different methods for sink drain disinfection in patient rooms were evaluated in a hospital and its affiliated long-term care facility. We compared the efficacy of a single treatment with 4 different foam products in reducing the burden of gram-negative bacilli in the sink drain to a depth of 2.4 cm (1 inch) below the strainer. For the most effective product, the effectiveness of foam versus liquid-pouring applications, and the effectiveness of repeated foam treatments were evaluated.
A foam product containing 3.13% hydrogen peroxide and 0.05% peracetic acid was significantly more effective than the other 3 foam products. In comparison to pouring the hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid disinfectant, the foam application resulted in significantly reduced recovery of gram-negative bacilli on days 1, 2, and 3 after treatment with a return to baseline by day 7. With repeated treatments every 3 days, a progressive decrease in the bacterial load recovered from sink drains was achieved.
An easy-to-use foaming application of a hydrogen peroxide- and peracetic acid-based disinfectant suppressed sink-drain colonization for at least 3 days. Intermittent application of the foaming disinfectant could potentially reduce the risk for dissemination of pathogens from sink drains.
In a crossover trial, a gown designed to increase skin coverage at the hands and wrists significantly reduced contamination of personnel during personal protective equipment (PPE) removal, and education on donning and doffing technique further reduced contamination. Simple modifications of PPE and education can reduce contamination during PPE removal.
Ongoing challenges in maintaining optimum manual cleaning and disinfection of hospital rooms have created increased interest in “no-touch” decontamination technologies including the use of ultraviolet light (UV). Trials have shown that some UV devices can decrease surface contamination and reduce healthcare-associated infections. Despite substantial marketing of these devices for use in healthcare settings, few data are available regarding the doses of UV-C necessary to yield desired reductions in healthcare pathogens and the ability of mobile devices to deliver adequate doses to various surfaces in patient rooms. This review summarizes the physical aspects of UV that affect the doses delivered to surfaces, the UV-C doses needed to yield 3 log10 reductions of several important healthcare-associated pathogens, the doses of UV-C that can be achieved in various locations in patient rooms using mobile UV-C devices, and methods for measuring UV doses delivered to surfaces.
Medical procedures and patient care activities may facilitate environmental dissemination of healthcare-associated pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Observational cohort study of MRSA-colonized patients to determine the frequency of and risk factors for environmental shedding of MRSA during procedures and care activities in carriers with positive nares and/or wound cultures. Bivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with environmental shedding.
A Veterans Affairs hospital.
This study included 75 patients in contact precautions for MRSA colonization or infection.
Of 75 patients in contact precautions for MRSA, 55 (73%) had MRSA in nares and/or wounds and 25 (33%) had positive skin cultures. For the 52 patients with MRSA in nares and/or wounds and at least 1 observed procedure, environmental shedding of MRSA occurred more frequently during procedures and care activities than in the absence of a procedure (59 of 138, 43% vs 8 of 83, 10%; P < .001). During procedures, increased shedding occurred ≤0.9 m versus >0.9 m from the patient (52 of 138, 38% vs 25 of 138, 18%; P = .0004). Contamination occurred frequently on surfaces touched by personnel (12 of 38, 32%) and on portable equipment used for procedures (25 of 101, 25%). By bivariate analysis, the presence of a wound with MRSA was associated with shedding (17 of 29, 59% versus 6 of 23, 26%; P = .04).
Environmental shedding of MRSA occurs frequently during medical procedures and patient care activities. There is a need for effective strategies to disinfect surfaces and equipment after procedures.
To evaluate the efficacy of multiple ultraviolet (UV) light decontamination devices in a radiology procedure room.
We compared the efficacy of 8 UV decontamination devices with a 4-minute UV exposure time in reducing recovery of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and Clostridium difficile spores on steel disk carriers placed at 5 sites on a computed tomography patient table. Analysis of variance was used to compare reductions for the different devices. A spectrometer was used to obtain irradiance measurements for the devices.
Four standard vertical tower low-pressure mercury devices achieved 2 log10CFU or greater reductions in VRE and MRSA and ~1 log10CFU reductions in C. difficile spores, whereas a pulsed-xenon device resulted in less reduction in the pathogens (P<.001). In comparison to the vertical tower low-pressure mercury devices, equal or greater reductions in the pathogens were achieved by 3 nonstandard low-pressure mercury devices that included either adjustable bulbs that could be oriented directly over the exam table, a robotic base allowing movement along the side of the table during operation, or 3 vertical towers operated simultaneously. The low-pressure mercury devices produced primarily UV-C light, whereas the pulsed-xenon device produced primarily UV-A and UV-B light. The time required to move the devices from the corner of the room and set up for operation varied from 18 to 59 seconds.
Many currently available UV devices could provide an effective and efficient adjunct to manual cleaning and disinfection in radiology procedure rooms.
In 4 hospitals, we demonstrated frequent dispersal of fluorescent tracer and fluoroquinolone-resistant gram-negative bacilli from sink drains to sink bowls and to surfaces outside the bowl. Fluorescent tracer dispersal correlated inversely with the depth of the sink bowl. Modifications in sink design could substantially reduce the risk for pathogen dissemination.
To test the hypothesis that long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic strains are an important source of transmission in the LTCF and in the hospital during acute-care admissions.
A 6-month cohort study with identification of transmission events was conducted based on tracking of patient movement combined with restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
Veterans Affairs hospital and affiliated LTCF.
The study included 29 LTCF residents identified as asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile based on every other week perirectal screening and 37 healthcare facility-associated CDI cases (ie, diagnosis >3 days after admission or within 4 weeks of discharge to the community), including 26 hospital-associated and 11 LTCF-associated cases.
Of the 37 CDI cases, 7 (18·9%) were linked to LTCF residents with LTCF-associated CDI or asymptomatic carriage, including 3 of 26 hospital-associated CDI cases (11·5%) and 4 of 11 LTCF-associated cases (36·4%). Of the 7 transmissions linked to LTCF residents, 5 (71·4%) were linked to asymptomatic carriers versus 2 (28·6%) to CDI cases, and all involved transmission of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 strains. No incident hospital-associated CDI cases were linked to other hospital-associated CDI cases.
Our findings suggest that LTCF residents with asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile or CDI contribute to transmission both in the LTCF and in the affiliated hospital during acute-care admissions. Greater emphasis on infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs is needed, and these efforts should focus on LTCF residents during hospital admissions.
The study uses interval regression to investigate factors affecting farmers’ willingness to pay for soil testing services in Northern Haiti. The model reveals that factors such as the type of crops grown, group membership, farmers’ educational level, access to credit, gender, contact with extension services or any institution, type of soils, income level, participation in soil testing program and farm size affect the amount to be paid for soil testing services. These results imply that the training module on soil testing and financial support in form of subsidies or access to credit should be provided to farmers.
n-3 Fatty acids are associated with better cardiovascular and cognitive health. However, the concentration of EPA, DPA and DHA in different plasma lipid pools differs and factors influencing this heterogeneity are poorly understood. Our aim was to evaluate the association of oily fish intake, sex, age, BMI and APOE genotype with concentrations of EPA, DPA and DHA in plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC), NEFA, cholesteryl esters (CE) and TAG. Healthy adults (148 male, 158 female, age 20–71 years) were recruited according to APOE genotype, sex and age. The fatty acid composition was determined by GC. Oily fish intake was positively associated with EPA in PC, CE and TAG, DPA in TAG, and DHA in all fractions (P≤0·008). There was a positive association between age and EPA in PC, CE and TAG, DPA in NEFA and CE, and DHA in PC and CE (P≤0·034). DPA was higher in TAG in males than females (P<0·001). There was a positive association between BMI and DPA and DHA in TAG (P<0·006 and 0·02, respectively). APOE genotype×sex interactions were observed: the APOE4 allele associated with higher EPA in males (P=0·002), and there was also evidence for higher DPA and DHA (P≤0·032). In conclusion, EPA, DPA and DHA in plasma lipids are associated with oily fish intake, sex, age, BMI and APOE genotype. Such insights may be used to better understand the link between plasma fatty acid profiles and dietary exposure and may influence intake recommendations across population subgroups.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic C. difficile are common in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). However, whether C. difficile is frequently acquired in the LTCF versus during acute-care admissions remains unknown.
To test the hypothesis that LTCF residents often acquire C. difficile colonization and infection in the LTCF
This 5-month cohort study was conducted to determine the incidence of acquisition of C. difficile colonization and infection in asymptomatic patients transferred from a Veterans Affairs hospital to an affiliated LTCF.
Rectal swabs were cultured for toxigenic C. difficile at the time of transfer to the LTCF and weekly for up to 6 weeks. We calculated the proportion of LTCF-onset CDI cases within 1 month of transfer that occurred in residents colonized on admission versus those with new acquisition in the LTCF.
Of 110 patients transferred to the LTCF, 12 (11%) were asymptomatically colonized with toxigenic C. difficile upon admission, and 4 of these 12 patients (33%) developed CDI within 1 month, including 3 recurrent and 1 initial CDI episode. Of 82 patients with negative cultures on transfer and at least 1 follow-up culture, 22 (27%) acquired toxigenic C. difficile colonization, and 4 developed CDI within 1 month, including 1 recurrent and 3 initial CDI episodes.
LTCF residents frequently acquired colonization with toxigenic C. difficile after transfer from the hospital, and 3 of 4 initial CDI cases with onset within 1 month of transfer occurred in residents who acquired colonization in the LTCF.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) has been employed as one of several orthogonal means of screening materials to prevent counterfeit and adulterated products from entering the product stream. We document the use of principal component analysis (PCA) of XRF data on compositionally similar and dissimilar stainless steels for the purpose of testing the feasibility of employing XRF spectra to parse and bin these alloys as the same or significantly different alloy materials. The results indicate that XRF spectra can separate and assign alloys via PCA, but that important corrections for detector drift and scaling must be performed in order to achieve valid results.
To determine the impact of an environmental disinfection intervention on the incidence of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
A multicenter randomized trial.
In total,16 acute-care hospitals in northeastern Ohio participated in the study.
We conducted a 12-month randomized trial to compare standard cleaning to enhanced cleaning that included monitoring of environmental services (EVS) personnel performance with feedback to EVS and infection control staff. We assessed the thoroughness of cleaning based on fluorescent marker removal from high-touch surfaces and the effectiveness of disinfection based on environmental cultures for C. difficile. A linear mixed model was used to compare CDI rates in the intervention and postintervention periods for control and intervention hospitals. The primary outcome was the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
Overall, 7 intervention hospitals and 8 control hospitals completed the study. The intervention resulted in significantly increased fluorescent marker removal in CDI and non-CDI rooms and decreased recovery of C. difficile from high-touch surfaces in CDI rooms. However, no reduction was observed in the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI in the intervention hospitals during the intervention and postintervention periods. Moreover, there was no correlation between the percentage of positive cultures after cleaning of CDI or non-CDI rooms and the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
An environmental disinfection intervention improved the thoroughness and effectiveness of cleaning but did not reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI. Thus, interventions that focus only on improving cleaning may not be sufficient to control healthcare-associated CDI.
We investigated an increase in the incidence of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) that occurred following a change from a bleach disinfectant to a peracetic acid–based disinfectant.
To evaluate the efficacy of the peracetic acid–based disinfectant.
Laboratory-based product evaluation.
The commercial peracetic acid–based product is activated on site by mixing a small volume of concentrated hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid present in a “SmartCap” reservoir with the remaining contents of the container. We measured concentrations of peracetic acid in newly activated and in-use product and determined the stability of nonactivated and activated product. We tested the efficacy of the product against C. difficile spores using the American Society for Testing and Materials standard quantitative carrier disk test method.
Measured concentrations of peracetic acid (50–800 parts per million [ppm]) were significantly lower than the level stated on the product label (1,500 ppm), and similar results were obtained for containers from multiple lot numbers and from another hospital. Product with peracetic acid levels below 600 ppm had significantly reduced activity against C. difficile spores. Peracetic acid concentrations were reduced markedly after storage of either activated or nonactivated product for several weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed the finding of low disinfectant levels and ordered discontinuation of sale of the product.
Use of a defective peracetic acid–based surface disinfectant may have contributed to an increase in healthcare-associated CDI. Our findings highlight the importance of evaluating the efficacy of liquid disinfectants in healthcare settings.
Recent studies point to overlap between neuropsychiatric disorders in symptomatology and genetic aetiology.
To systematically investigate genomics overlap between childhood and adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and major depressive disorder (MDD).
Analysis of whole-genome blood gene expression and genetic risk scores of 318 individuals. Participants included individuals affected with adult ADHD (n = 93), childhood ADHD (n = 17), MDD (n = 63), ASD (n = 51), childhood dual diagnosis of ADHD–ASD (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 78).
Weighted gene co-expression analysis results reveal disorder-specific signatures for childhood ADHD and MDD, and also highlight two immune-related gene co-expression modules correlating inversely with MDD and adult ADHD disease status. We find no significant relationship between polygenic risk scores and gene expression signatures.
Our results reveal disorder overlap and specificity at the genetic and gene expression level. They suggest new pathways contributing to distinct pathophysiology in psychiatric disorders and shed light on potential shared genomic risk factors.
Anxiety disorders are common, and cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is a first-line treatment. Candidate gene studies have suggested a genetic basis to treatment response, but findings have been inconsistent.
To perform the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of psychological treatment response in children with anxiety disorders (n = 980).
Presence and severity of anxiety was assessed using semi-structured interview at baseline, on completion of treatment (post-treatment), and 3 to 12 months after treatment completion (follow-up). DNA was genotyped using the Illumina Human Core Exome-12v1.0 array. Linear mixed models were used to test associations between genetic variants and response (change in symptom severity) immediately post-treatment and at 6-month follow-up.
No variants passed a genome-wide significance threshold (P=5×10–8) in either analysis. Four variants met criteria for suggestive significance (P<5×10–6) in association with response post-treatment, and three variants in the 6-month follow-up analysis.
This is the first genome-wide therapygenetic study. It suggests no common variants of very high effect underlie response to CBT. Future investigations should maximise power to detect single-variant and polygenic effects by using larger, more homogeneous cohorts.
Implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program bundle for urinary tract infections among 92 patients led to a higher rate of discontinuation of therapy for asymptomatic bacteriuria (52.4% vs 12.5%; P =.004), more appropriate durations of therapy (88.7% vs 63.6%; P =.001), and significantly higher overall bundle compliance (75% vs 38.2%; P < .001).
The nutrient choline is necessary for membrane synthesis and methyl donation, with increased requirements during lactation. The majority of immune development occurs postnatally, but the importance of choline supply for immune development during this critical period is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of maternal supply of choline during suckling on immune function in their offspring among rodents. At parturition, Sprague–Dawley dams were randomised to either a choline-devoid (ChD; n 7) or choline-sufficient (ChS, 1 g/kg choline; n 10) diet with their offspring euthanised at 3 weeks of age. In a second experiment, offspring were weaned to a ChS diet until 10 weeks of age (ChD-ChS, n 5 and ChS-ChS, n 9). Splenocytes were isolated, and parameters of immune function were measured. The ChD offspring received less choline in breast milk and had lower final body and organ weight compared with ChS offspring (P<0·05), but this effect disappeared by week 10 with choline supplementation from weaning. ChD offspring had a higher proportion of T cells expressing activation markers (CD71 or CD28) and a lower proportion of total B cells (CD45RA+) and responded less to T cell stimulation (lower stimulation index and less IFN-γ production) ex vivo (P<0·05). ChD-ChS offspring had a lower proportion of total and activated CD4+ T cells, and produced less IL-6 after mitogen stimulation compared with cells from ChS-ChS (P<0·05). Our study suggests that choline is required in the suckling diet to facilitate immune development, and choline deprivation during this critical period has lasting effects on T cell function later in life.