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Background: The gold standard for diagnosis of COVID-19 has been SARS-CoV-2 detection by reverse-transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), which provides a semiquantitative indicator of viral load (cycle threshold, Ct). Our research group previously described how African American race and poverty were associated with an increased likelihood of hospitalization due to COVID-19. We sought to characterize the relationship between Ct values and clinical outcomes while controlling for sociodemographic factors. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of SARS-CoV-2–positive patients admitted to Froedtert Health between March 16 and June 1, 2020. Ct values were obtained by direct interrogation of either cobas SARS-CoV-2 or Cepheid Xpert Xpress platforms. Patient demographics, comorbidities, symptoms at admission, health insurance, and hospital course were collected using electronic medical records. A proxy for socioeconomic disadvantage, area-deprivation index (ADI), was assigned using ZIP codes. Multivariate models were performed to assess associations between Ct values and clinical outcomes while controlling for ADI, race, and type of insurance. Results: Overall, 302 patients were included. The mean age was 60.89 years (SD, 18.2); 161 (53%) were men, 177 (58%) were African Americans; and 156 (51%) had Medicaid or were uninsured. Of the 302 inpatients, 158 (52%) required admission to the ICU, 199 (65.9%) were discharged to home, 49 (16.2%) were discharged to a nursing home, and 54 (17.9%) died. Lower Ct values (higher viral load) were associated with Medicaid or lack of insurance (coefficient, −2.88, 95% confidence interval [CI], −4.96 to −0.79, P = .007) and age >60 years old (coefficient, −2.98, 95% CI −4.87 to −1.08, P = .002). Contrary to what was expected, higher CT values (lower viral load) were associated with higher ADI scores (coefficient, 2.62, 95% CI, 0.52–4.85; P = .017). However, when patients were stratified into low, medium, and high ADI, those with Medicaid or no insurance had the lowest mean Ct values (23.3, 25.9, and 27.6, respectively) compared to Medicare or other insurance (Figure 1). Body mass index (odds ratio [OR], 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02–1.07; P = .001) and male sex (OR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.28–3.60; P = .004) were independently associated with ICU admission. Every increase of a CT point (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85–0.95; p <0.001) and age >60 years old (OR 2.62, 95% CI; 1.14-6.04; p=0.023) was associated with death. Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study of adults tested for COVID-19 in a large midwestern academic health system, lower Ct values were independently associated with poverty and age >60 years old.
The primary aim of this study was to assess the epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) for 9 months following a regional outbreak with this organism. We also aimed to determine the differential positivity rate from different body sites and characterize the longitudinal changes of surveillance test results among CRAB patients.
A 607-bed tertiary-care teaching hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Any patient admitted from postacute care facilities and any patient housed in the same inpatient unit as a positive CRAB patient.
Participants underwent CRAB surveillance cultures from tracheostomy secretions, skin, and stool from December 5, 2018, to September 6, 2019. Cultures were performed using a validated, qualitative culture method, and final bacterial identification was performed using mass spectrometry.
In total, 682 patients were tested for CRAB, of whom 16 (2.3%) were positive. Of the 16 CRAB-positive patients, 14 (87.5%) were residents from postacute care facilities and 11 (68.8%) were African American. Among positive patients, the positivity rates by body site were 38% (6 of 16) for tracheal aspirations, 56% (9 of 16) for skin, and 82% (13 of 16) for stool.
Residents from postacute care facilities were more frequently colonized by CRAB than patients admitted from home. Stool had the highest yield for identification of CRAB.
The household setting has some of the highest coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) secondary-attack rates. We compared the air contamination in hospital rooms versus households of COVID-19 patients. Inpatient air samples were only positive at 0.3 m from patients. Household air samples were positive even without a COVID-19 patient in the proximity to the air sampler.
The association between Clostridioides difficile colonization and C. difficile infection (CDI) is unknown in solid-organ transplant (SOT) patients. We examined C. difficile colonization and healthcare-associated exposures as risk factors for development of CDI in SOT patients.
The retrospective study cohort included all consecutive SOT patients with at least 1 screening test between May 2017 and April 2018. CDI was defined as the presence of diarrhea (without laxatives), a positive C. difficile clinical test, and the use of C. difficile-directed antimicrobial therapy as ordered by managing clinicians. In addition to demographic variables, exposures to antimicrobials, immunosuppressants, and gastric acid suppressants were evaluated from the time of first screening test to the time of CDI, death, or final discharge.
Of the 348 SOT patients included in our study, 33 (9.5%) were colonized with toxigenic C. difficile. In total, 11 patients (3.2%) developed CDI. Only C. difficile colonization (odds ratio [OR], 13.52; 95% CI, 3.46–52.83; P = .0002), age (OR, 1.09; CI, 1.02–1.17; P = .0135), and hospital days (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02–1.08; P = .0017) were independently associated with CDI.
Although CDI was more frequent in C. difficile colonized SOT patients, the overall incidence of CDI was low in this cohort.
Describe the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing organisms and the novel use of a cohorting unit for its control.
A 566-room academic teaching facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Solid-organ transplant recipients.
Infection control bundles were used throughout the time of observation. All KPC cases were intermittently housed in a cohorting unit with dedicated nurses and nursing aids. The rooms used in the cohorting unit had anterooms where clean supplies and linens were placed. Spread of KPC-producing organisms was determined using rectal surveillance cultures on admission and weekly thereafter among all consecutive patients admitted to the involved units. KPC-positive strains underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing.
A total of 8 KPC cases (5 identified by surveillance) were identified from April 2016 to April 2017. After the index patient, 3 patients acquired KPC-producing organisms despite implementation of an infection control bundle. This prompted the use of a cohorting unit, which immediately halted transmission, and the single remaining KPC case was transferred out of the cohorting unit. However, additional KPC cases were identified within 2 months. Once the cohorting unit was reopened, no additional KPC cases occurred. The KPC-positive species identified during this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Escherichia coli. blaKPC was identified on at least 2 plasmid backbones.
A complex KPC outbreak involving both clonal and plasmid-mediated dissemination was controlled using weekly surveillances and a cohorting unit.
In 2018, the Clostridium difficile LabID event methodology changed so that hospitals doing 2-step tests, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) plus enzyme immunofluorescence assay (EIA), had their adjustment modified to EIA-based tests, and only positive final tests (eg, EIA) were counted in the numerator. We report the immediate impact of this methodological change at 3 Milwaukee hospitals.