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To determine the incidence and risk factors associated with Clostridium difficile colonization among residents of nursing homes and to identify the ribotypes of circulating C. difficile strains.
A prospective cohort study with a follow-up duration of 22 months.
Of the 375 residents in 8 nursing homes, 300 residents (80.0%) participated in the study. A further prospective study of 4 nursing homes involving 141 residents with a minimum of 90 days of follow-up was also performed.
Baseline and 90-day stool cultures were obtained; additional stool cultures were obtained for residents who had been discharged from hospitals. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) ribotyping and slpA typing were performed for all C. difficile strains isolated.
Toxigenic C. difficile was isolated in 30 residents (10%) at baseline, and 9 residents (7.3%) had acquired toxigenic C. difficile in the nursing homes. The presence of nasogastric tube was an independent risk factor (adjusted odds ratio, 8.59; 95% confidence interval, 1.18–62.53; P=.034) for C. difficile colonization. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of median carriage duration was 13 weeks. The C. difficile ribotypes most commonly identified were 002 (40.8%), 014 (16.9%), 029 (9.9%), and 053 (8.5%).
The high incidence of C. difficile colonization and the overrepresentation of C. difficile ribotype 002 confirmed the contribution of nursing home residents to C. difficile transmission across the continuum of care. An infection control program is needed in long-term care.
To determine the prevalence, risk factors, and molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization at the time of admission to acute medical units and to develop a cost-effective screening strategy.
Nasal and groin screening cultures were performed for patients at admission to 15 acute medical units in all 7 catchment regions in Hong Kong. All MRSA isolates were subjected to spa typing.
The overall carriage rate of MRSA was 14.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.5–15.1). MRSA history within the past 12 months (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.60 [95% CI, 3.28–6.44]), old age home residence (adjusted OR, 3.32 [95% CI, 2.78–3.98]), and bedbound state (adjusted OR, 2.19 [95% CI, 1.75–2.74]) were risk factors selected as MRSA screening criteria that provided reasonable sensitivity (67.4%) and specificity (81.8%), with an affordable burden (25.2%). spa typing showed that 89.5% (848/948) of the isolates were clustered into the 4 spa clonal complexes (CCs): spa CC1081, spa CC032, spa CC002, and spa CC4677. Patients colonized with MRSA spa types t1081 (OR, 1.77 [95% CI, 1.49–2.09]) and t4677 (OR, 3.09 [95% CI, 1.54–6.02]) were more likely to be old age home residents.
MRSA carriage at admission to acute medical units was prevalent in Hong Kong. Our results suggest that targeted screening is a pragmatic approach to increase the detection of the MRSA reservoir. Molecular typing suggests that old age homes are epicenters in amplifying the MRSA burden in acute hospitals. Enhancement of infection control measures in old age homes is important for the control of MRSA in hospitals.
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