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Infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are at increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) acquisition. Outbreaks may be difficult to identify due in part to limitations in current molecular genotyping available in clinical practice. Comparison of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may identify epidemiologically distinct isolates among a population sample that appears homogenous when evaluated using conventional typing methods.
To investigate a putative MRSA outbreak in a NICU utilizing whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis to identify recent transmission events.
Clinical and surveillance specimens collected during clinical care and outbreak investigation.
A total of 17 neonates hospitalized in a 43-bed level III NICU in northeastern Florida from December 2010 to October 2011 were included in this study.
We assessed epidemiological data in conjunction with 4 typing methods: antibiograms, PFGE, spa types, and phylogenetic analysis of genome-wide SNPs.
Among the 17 type USA300 isolates, 4 different spa types were identified using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Phylogenetic analysis identified 5 infants as belonging to 2 clusters of epidemiologically linked cases and excluded 10 unlinked cases from putative transmission events. The availability of these results during the initial investigation would have improved infection control interventions.
Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis are invaluable tools for epidemic investigation; they identify transmission events and exclude cases mistakenly implicated by traditional typing methods. When routinely applied to surveillance and investigation in the clinical setting, this approach may provide actionable intelligence for measured, appropriate, and effective interventions.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(7):777–785
To determine healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevalence in 9 hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida; to evaluate the performance of proxy indicators for HAIs; and to refine methodology in preparation for a multistate survey.
Point prevalence survey.
Acute care inpatients of any age.
HAIs were defined using National Healthcare Safety Network criteria. In each facility a trained primary team (PT) of infection prevention (IP) staff performed the survey on 1 day, reviewing records and collecting data on a random sample of inpatients. PTs assessed patients with one or more proxy indicators (abnormal white blood cell count, abnormal temperature, or antimicrobial therapy) for the presence of HAIs. An external IP expert team collected data from a subset of patient records reviewed by PTs to assess proxy indicator performance and PT data collection.
Of 851 patients surveyed by PTs, 51 had one or more HAIs (6.0%; 95% confidence interval, 4.5%–7.7%). Surgical site infections (n = 18), urinary tract infections (n = 9), pneumonia (n = 9), and bloodstream infections (n = 8) accounted for 75.8% of 58 HAIs detected by PTs. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common pathogen, causing 9 HAIs (15.5%). Antimicrobial therapy was the most sensitive proxy indicator, identifying 95.5% of patients with HAIs.
HAI prevalence in this pilot was similar to that reported in the 1970s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control. Antimicrobial therapy was a sensitive screening variable with which to identify those patients at higher risk for infection and reduce data collection burden. Additional work is needed on validation and feasibility to extend this methodology to a national scale.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2012;33(3):283-291
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