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From April to June 2001, an outbreak of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Klebsiella pneumoniae infections was investigated in our neonatal intensive care unit.
Cultures of the gastrointestinal tracts of patients, the hands of healthcare workers (HCWs), and the environment were performed to detect potential reservoirs for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae. Strains of K. pneumoniae were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis using Xbal. A case–control study was performed to determine risk factors for acquisition of the outbreak clone (clone A); cases were infants infected or colonized with clone A and controls (3 per case) were infants with negative surveillance cultures.
During the study period, 19 case-infants, of whom 13 were detected by surveillance cultures, harbored clone A. The overall attack rate for the outbreak strain was 45%; 9 of 19 infants presented with invasive disease (n = 6) or developed invasive disease (n = 3) after colonization was detected. Clone A was found on the hands of 2 HCWs, 1 of whom wore artificial nails, and on the designated stethoscope of a case-infant. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that length of stay per day (odds ratio [OR], 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 1.02 to 1.09) and exposure to the HCW wearing artificial fingernails (OR, 7.87; CI95, 1.75 to 35.36) were associated with infection or colonization with clone A.
Short, well-groomed, natural nails should be mandatory for HCWs with direct patient contact.
To determine the prevalence of positive tuberculin skin tests (TSTs), incidence of TST conversion, risk factors for positive TSTs, and history of active TB among HCWs in microbiology laboratories in New York City.
Two-year survey from May 1999 to June 2001.
Nineteen microbiology laboratories.
During the first year, interviews were conducted with 345 laboratory HCWs (mean, 18 HCWs per site; range, 2 to 51) to assess the prevalence of positive TSTs, but 3 (1%) could not recall their result and were excluded from further analyses. The mean age of the remaining 342 HCWs was 48 years; 68% (n = 233) were female, 54% (n = 183) received bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination, and 71% (n = 244) were foreign born. The prevalence of a positive TST was 57% (n = 196), but only 20% (n = 39) of the HCWs received isoniazid. The incidence of TST conversion in the second year of the study was 1% (1 of 108). Multivariate analysis identified age (odds ratio [OR] per year, 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 1.02–1.08), foreign birth (OR, 3.80; CI95, 1.98–7.28), BCG immunization (OR, 4.89; CI95, 2.72–8.80), and employment in a mycobacteriology laboratory (OR, 2.14; CI95, 1.25–3.68) as risk factors for a positive TST. Only one HCW had been treated for active TB.
The prevalence of positive TSTs was high among laboratory HCWs, but the TST conversion rate was low. Higher rates of treatment for latent TB infection are desirable.
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