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Background: Data regarding the effects of the SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in Canadian acute-care hospitals are limited. We examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HAIs and antimicrobial resistant organisms in hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program. Methods: We analyzed 13,406 HAIs including adult mixed intensive care unit (ICU) central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), and healthcare-associated (HA) Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections (BSI), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) BSI, and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) infections collected using standardized case definitions and questionnaires from 29–64 hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) from January 2018 to December 2021. We used a generalized linear mixed model with quasi-Poisson distribution to assess step and slope changes in monthly HAI rates between the pre–COVID-19 pandemic period (January 1, 2018–February 29, 2020; 26 time points) and the COVID-19 pandemic period (March 1, 2020–December 31, 2021; 22 time points). Results were reported as incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and adjusted for seasonality, hospital clustering, and hospital characteristics of interest. Results: In the CNISP network, 7,352 (55%) HAIs were reported in the prepandemic period and 6,054 (45%) in the pandemic period. Median age was significantly younger during the pandemic period compared to the prepandemic period among patients with HA-CDI, HA-MRSA BSI, and adult mixed ICU CLABSIs, and more than half of cases among all reported HAIs were male (range, 52%–65%). The 30-day all-cause in-hospital mortality rate did not significantly change between the prepandemic and pandemic periods for all reported HAIs and was highest among HA-VRE BSIs (34%). Modeling results indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an immediate increase in HA-CDI and adult mixed ICU CLABSI rates whereas HA-MRSA BSI, HA-CPE and HA-VRE BSI rates immediately decreased. However, pandemic status did not have a statistically significant lasting impact on monthly rate trends for all reported HAIs after adjusting for seasonality, clustering, and hospital covariates (Fig. 1 and 2). Adjusted IRRs for all HAIs ranged from 1.00 to 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94–0.99 to 1.01–1.05).
Conclusions: Although the COVID-19 pandemic placed a significant burden on the Canadian healthcare system, the immediate impact on monthly rates of HAIs in Canadian acute-care hospitals was not sustained over time. Understanding the epidemiological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of changing patient populations, and clinical and infection control practices, are essential to inform the continued management and prevention of HAIs in Canadian acute-care settings.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed significant burden on healthcare systems. We compared Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) epidemiology before and during the pandemic across 71 hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program. Using an interrupted time series analysis, we showed that CDI rates significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cerebrospinal fluid shunt–associated surgical site infection surveillance for 3 months compared to 12 months after surgery captures 83% of cases with no significant differences in patient characteristics, surgery types, or pathogens. A shorter 3-month follow-up can reduce resource use and allow for more timely reporting of healthcare-associated infection rates for hospitals.
To analyze the spread of a novel sequence type (ST1478) of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium across Canadian hospitals.
Retrospective chart review of patients identified as having ST1478 VRE bloodstream infection.
Canadian hospitals that participate in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP).
From 2013 to 2018, VRE bloodstream isolates collected from participating CNISP hospitals were sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML). ST1478 isolates were identified using multilocus sequence typing, and whole-genome sequencing was performed. Patient characteristics and location data were collected for patients with ST1478 bloodstream infection (BSI). The sequence and patient location information were used to generate clusters of infections and assess for intrahospital and interhospital spread.
ST1478 VRE BSI occurred predominantly in a small number of hospitals in central and western Canada. Within these hospitals, infections were clustered on certain wards, and isolates often had <20 single-nucleotide variants (SNV) differences from one another, suggesting a large component of intrahospital spread. Furthermore, some patients with bloodstream infections were identified as moving from one hospital to another, potentially having led to interhospital spread. Genomic analysis of all isolates revealed close relatedness between isolates at multiple different hospitals (<20 SNV) not predicted from our epidemiologic data.
Both intrahospital and regional interhospital spread have contributed to the emergence of VRE ST1478 infections across Canada. Whole-genome sequencing provides evidence of spread that might be missed with epidemiologic investigation alone.
The Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program conducted point-prevalence surveys in acute-care hospitals in 2002, 2009, and 2017 to identify trends in antimicrobial use.
Eligible inpatients were identified from a 24-hour period in February of each survey year. Patients were eligible (1) if they were admitted for ≥48 hours or (2) if they had been admitted to the hospital within a month. Chart reviews were conducted. We calculated the prevalence of antimicrobial use as follows: patients receiving ≥1 antimicrobial during survey period per number of patients surveyed × 100%.
In each survey, 28−47 hospitals participated. In 2002, 2,460 (36.5%; 95% CI, 35.3%−37.6%) of 6,747 surveyed patients received ≥1 antimicrobial. In 2009, 3,566 (40.1%, 95% CI, 39.0%−41.1%) of 8,902 patients received ≥1 antimicrobial. In 2017, 3,936 (39.6%, 95% CI, 38.7%−40.6%) of 9,929 patients received ≥1 antimicrobial. Among patients who received ≥1 antimicrobial, penicillin use increased 36.8% between 2002 and 2017, and third-generation cephalosporin use increased from 13.9% to 18.1% (P < .0001). Between 2002 and 2017, fluoroquinolone use decreased from 25.7% to 16.3% (P < .0001) and clindamycin use decreased from 25.7% to 16.3% (P < .0001) among patients who received ≥1 antimicrobial. Aminoglycoside use decreased from 8.8% to 2.4% (P < .0001) and metronidazole use decreased from 18.1% to 9.4% (P < .0001). Carbapenem use increased from 3.9% in 2002 to 6.1% in 2009 (P < .0001) and increased by 4.8% between 2009 and 2017 (P = .60).
The prevalence of antimicrobial use increased between 2002 and 2009 and then stabilized between 2009 and 2017. These data provide important information for antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Background: Surgical site infection (SSI) after cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) shunt surgery is thought to be acquired intraoperatively. Biomaterial-associated infection can present up to 1 year after surgery, but many national systems have shortened follow-up to 90 days. We compared 3- versus 12-month follow-up periods to determine the nature of case ascertainment in the 2 periods. Methods: Participants of any age with placement of an internal CSF shunt or revision surgical manipulation of an existing internal shunt identified in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) participating hospitals between 2006 and 2018 were eligible. We excluded patients with external shunting devices or culture-positive CSF at the time of surgery. Patients were followed for 12 months after surgery for the primary outcome of a CSF infection with a positive CSF culture by review of laboratory and health records. Patients were categorized as adult (aged ≥18 years) or pediatric (aged < 18 years). The infection rate was expressed as the number of CSF shunt-associated infections divided by the number of shunt surgeries per 100 procedures. Results: In total, 325 patients (53% female) met inclusion criteria in 14 hospitals from 7 provinces were identified. Overall, 46.1% of surgeries were shunt revisions and 90.3% of shunts were ventriculoperitoneal. For pediatric patients, the median age was 0.7 years (IQR, 0.2–7.0). For adult patients, the median age was 47.9 years (IQR, 29.6–64.6). The SSI rates per 100 procedures were 3.69 for adults and 3.65 for pediatrics. The overall SSI rates per 100 procedures at 3 and 12 months were 2.74 (n = 265) and 3.48 (n = 323), respectively. By 3 months (90 days), 82% of infection cases were identified (Fig. 1). The median time from procedure to SSI detection was 30 days (IQR, 10–65). No difference was found in the microbiology of the shunt infections at 3- and 12-month follow-ups. The most common pathogens were coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (43.6 %), followed by S. aureus (24.8 %) and Propionibacterium spp (6.5 %). No differences in age distribution, gender, surgery type (new or revision), shunt type, or infecting organisms were observed when 3- and 12-month periods were compared. Conclusions: CSF-SSI surveillance for 3 versus 12 months would capture 82.0% (95% CI, 77.5–86.0) of cases, with no significant differences in the patient characteristics, surgery types, or pathogens. A 3-month follow-up can reduce resources and allow for more timely reporting of infection rates.
Background: Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) have rapidly become a global health concern and are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality due to limited treatment options. Travel to endemic areas, especially healthcare exposure in these areas, is an important risk factor for acquisition. We describe the evolving epidemiology, molecular features, and outcomes of CPE in Canada through surveillance by the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP). Methods: CNISP has conducted surveillance for CPE among inpatients and outpatients of all ages since 2010. Participating acute-care facilities submit eligible specimens to the National Microbiology Laboratory for detection of carbapenemase production, and epidemiological data are collected. Incidence rates per 10,000 patient days are calculated based on inpatient data. Results: In total, 59 CNISP hospitals in 10 Canadian provinces representing 21,789 beds and 6,785,013 patient days participated in this surveillance. From 2010 to 2018, 118 (26%) CPE-infected and 547 (74%) CPE-colonized patients were identified. Few pediatric cases were identified (n = 18). Infection incidence rates remain low and stable (0.02 per 10,000 patient days in 2010 to 0.03 per 10,000 patient days in 2018), and colonization incidence rates have increased by 89% over the surveillance period. Overall, 92% of cases were acquired in a healthcare facility: 61% (n = 278) in a Canadian healthcare facility and 31% (n = 142) in a healthcare facility outside Canada. Of the 8% of cases not acquired in a healthcare facility, 50% (16 of 32) reported travel outside of Canada in the 12 months prior to positive culture. The distribution of carbapenemases varied by region; New Delhi metallo-B-lactamase (NDM) was dominant (59%) in western Canada and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) (66%) in central Canada. NDM and class D carbapenemase OXA-48 were more commonly identified among those who traveled outside of Canada, whereas KPC was more commonly identified among patients without travel. In addition, 30-day all-cause mortality was 14% (25 of 181) among CPE infected patients and 32% (14 of 44) among those with bacteremia. Conclusions: CPE rates remain low in Canada; however, national surveillance data suggest that the increase in CPE in Canada is now being driven by local nosocomial transmission as well as travel and healthcare within endemic areas. Changes in screening practices may have contributed to the increase in colonizations; however, these data are currently lacking and will be collected moving forward. These data highlight the need to intensify surveillance and coordinate infection control measures to prevent further spread of CPE in Canadian acute-care hospitals.
Susy Hota reports contracted research for Finch Therapeutics. Allison McGeer reports funds to her institution for projects for which she is the principal investigator from Pfizer and Merck, as well as consulting fees from the following companies: Sanofi-Pasteur, Sunovion, GSK, Pfizer, and Cidara.
Dietary patterns describe the combination of foods and beverages in a diet and the frequency of habitual consumption. Better understanding of childhood dietary patterns and antenatal influences could inform intervention strategies to prevent childhood obesity. We derived empirical dietary patterns in 1142 children (average age 6·0 (sd 0·2) years) in New Zealand, whose mothers had participated in the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) cohort study and explored associations with measures of body composition. Participants (Children of SCOPE) had their diet assessed by FFQ, and dietary patterns were extracted using factor analysis. Three distinct dietary patterns were identified: ‘Healthy’, ‘Traditional’ and ‘Junk’. Associations between dietary patterns and measures of childhood body composition (waist, hip, arm circumferences, BMI, bioelectrical impedance analysis-derived body fat % and sum of skinfold thicknesses (SST)) were assessed by linear regression, with adjustment for maternal influences. Children who had higher ‘Junk’ dietary pattern scores had 0·24 (sd 0·08; 95 % CI 0·04, 0·13) cm greater arm and 0·44 (sd 0·05; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·10) cm greater hip circumferences and 1·13 (sd 0·07; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·12) cm greater SST and were more likely to be obese (OR 1·74; 95 % CI 1·07, 2·82); those with higher ‘Healthy’ pattern scores were less likely to be obese (OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·39, 1·00). In a large mother–child cohort, a dietary pattern characterised by high-sugar and -fat foods was associated with greater adiposity and obesity risk in children aged 6 years, while a ‘Healthy’ dietary pattern offered some protection against obesity. Targeting unhealthy dietary patterns could inform public health strategies to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.
We surveyed Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program hospitals to evaluate infection prevention and microbiology laboratory preparedness for Candida auris. We identified significant gaps: most hospitals were not prepared to screen patients for colonization, and only one-half of laboratories reported identifying all clinically significant Candida isolates to the species level.
The study aims to assess whether supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001) can reduce the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled parallel trial was conducted in New Zealand (NZ) (Wellington and Auckland). Pregnant women with a personal or partner history of atopic disease were randomised at 14–16 weeks’ gestation to receive HN001 (6×109 colony-forming units) (n 212) or placebo (n 211) daily. GDM at 24–30 weeks was assessed using the definition of the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) (fasting plasma glucose ≥5·1 mmol/l, or 1 h post 75 g glucose level at ≥10 mmol/l or at 2 h ≥8·5 mmol/l) and NZ definition (fasting plasma glucose ≥5·5 mmol/l or 2 h post 75 g glucose at ≥9 mmol/l). All analyses were intention-to-treat. A total of 184 (87 %) women took HN001 and 189 (90 %) women took placebo. There was a trend towards lower relative rates (RR) of GDM (IADPSG definition) in the HN001 group, 0·59 (95 % CI 0·32, 1·08) (P=0·08). HN001 was associated with lower rates of GDM in women aged ≥35 years (RR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·81, P=0·009) and women with a history of GDM (RR 0·00; 95 % CI 0·00, 0·66, P=0·004). These rates did not differ significantly from those of women without these characteristics. Using the NZ definition, GDM prevalence was significantly lower in the HN001 group, 2·1 % (95 % CI 0·6, 5·2), v. 6·5 % (95 % CI 3·5, 10·9) in the placebo group (P=0·03). HN001 supplementation from 14 to 16 weeks’ gestation may reduce GDM prevalence, particularly among older women and those with previous GDM.
Hip and knee arthroplasty infections are associated with considerable healthcare costs. The merits of reducing the postoperative surveillance period from 1 year to 90 days have been debated.
To report the first pan-Canadian hip and knee periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) rates and to describe the implications of a shorter (90-day) postoperative surveillance period.
Prospective surveillance for infection following hip and knee arthroplasty was conducted by hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) using standard surveillance definitions.
Overall hip and knee PJI rates were 1.64 and 1.52 per 100 procedures, respectively. Deep incisional and organ-space hip and knee PJI rates were 0.96 and 0.71, respectively. In total, 93% of hip PJIs and 92% of knee PJIs were identified within 90 days, with a median time to detection of 21 days. However, 11%–16% of deep incisional and organ-space infections were not detected within 90 days. This rate was reduced to 3%–4% at 180 days post procedure. Anaerobic and polymicrobial infections had the shortest median time from procedure to detection (17 and 18 days, respectively) compared with infections due to other microorganisms, including Staphylococcus aureus.
PJI rates were similar to those reported elsewhere, although differences in national surveillance systems limit direct comparisons. Our results suggest that a postoperative surveillance period of 90 days will detect the majority of PJIs; however, up to 16% of deep incisional and organ-space infections may be missed. Extending the surveillance period to 180 days could allow for a better estimate of disease burden.
To determine trends, patient characteristics, and outcome of patients with healthcare-associated influenza in Canadian hospitals.
Prospective surveillance of laboratory-confirmed influenza among hospitalized adults was conducted from 2006 to 2012. Adults with positive test results at or after admission to the hospital were assessed. Influenza was considered to be healthcare associated if symptom onset was equal to or more than 96 hours after admission to a facility or if a patient was readmitted less than 96 hours after discharge or admitted less than 96 hours after transfer from another facility. Baseline characteristics of influenza patients were collected. Patients were reassessed at 30 days to determine the outcome.
Acute care hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program.
A total of 570 (17.3%) of 3,299 influenza cases were healthcare associated; 345 (60.5%) were acquired in a long-term care facility (LTCF), and 225 (39.5%) were acquired in an acute care facility (ACF). There was year-to-year variability in the rate and proportion of cases that were healthcare associated and variability in the proportion that were acquired in a LTCF versus an ACF. Patients with LTCF-associated cases were older, had a higher proportion of chronic heart disease, and were less likely to be immunocompromised compared with patients with ACF-associated cases; there was no significant difference in 30-day all-cause and influenza-specific mortality.
Healthcare-associated influenza is a major component of the burden of disease from influenza in hospitals, but the proportion of cases that are healthcare associated varies markedly from year to year, as does the proportion of healthcare-associated infections that are acquired in an ACF versus an LTCF.
Surveillance for pandemic H1N1 influenza was conducted between June 1, 2009, and May 31, 2010, among adults at 40 participating hospitals in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program. The first wave was characterized by a higher proportion of Aboriginals and pregnant women as well as severe outcomes, compared to the second wave.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2012;33(10):1043-1046
To determine the prevalence and risk factors for bloodborne exposure and infection in correctional healthcare workers (CHCWs).
Cross-sectional risk assessment study with a confidential questionnaire and serological testing performed during 1999-2000.
Correctional systems in 3 states.
Among 310 participating CHCWs, the rate of percutaneous injury (PI) was 32 Pis per 100 person-years overall and 42 Pis per 100 person-years for CHCWs with clinical job duties. Underreporting was common, with only 25 (49%) of 51 Pis formally reported to the administration. Independent risk factors for experiencing PI included being age 45 or older (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.41 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.31-4.46]) and having job duties that involved needle contact (aOR, 3.70 [95% CI, 1.28-10.63]) or blood contact (aOR, 5.05 [95% CI, 1.45-17.54]). Overall, 222 CHCWs (72%) reported having received a primary hepatitis В vaccination series; of these, 150 (68%) tested positive for anti-hepatitis B surface antigen, with negative results significantly associated with receipt of last dose more than 5 years previously. Serologic markers of hepatitis В virus infection were identified in 31 individuals (10%), and the prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection was 2% (n = 7). The high hepatitis B vaccination rate limited the ability to identify risk factors for infection, but hepatitis C virus infection correlated with community risk factors only.
Although the wide coverage with hepatitis B vaccination and the decreasing rate of hepatitis C virus infection in the general population are encouraging, the high rate of exposure in CHCWs and the lack of exposure documentation are concerns. Continued efforts to develop interventions to reduce exposures and encourage reporting should be implemented and evaluated in correctional healthcare settings. These interventions should address infection control barriers unique to the correctional setting.
Polyfluorenes are a class of polyaromatic macromolecules that are characterized by an alternating backbone structure that consists of a 9,9-dialkylfluorene unit in combination with another aromatic group. The nature of this aromatic unit plays a key role in the electronic properties of the polymers. For example, polyfluorenes which combine chromophoric and charge transporting aromatic units have received a great deal of attention over the last several years as the emissive layer in polymeric light emitting diodes [LUMATION* Light-Emitting Polymers (LEPs)]. More recently, polyfluorenes have also been designed to perform as the organic semiconducting layer in polymeric field effect transistors (PFETs). This effort has led to a class of polymeric semiconductors with an excellent combination of charge mobility, environmental stability, and processability. One such polymer is the polyfluorene based on an alternating backbone of 9,9-dioctylfluorene and 2,2'-bithiophene units. This material has been shown to have charge mobilities as high as 0.02 cm2/V-s with current on/off ratios of up to 106. The poly(fluorene-bithiophene) is more resistant to doping by atmospheric oxygen than other polymeric semiconductors such as poly(3-hexylthiophene). Inks based on solutions of poly(fluorene-bithiophene) in xylene, mesitylene, and other solvents have also been prepared. The paper will focus on the recent advances in the synthesis, fabrication, and electrical characterization of poly(fluorene-bithiophene). *Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company
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