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Point-prevalence surveys for infection or colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CREs), and for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) were conducted in Canadian hospitals in 2010 and 2012 to better understanding changes in the epidemiology of antimicrobial-resistant organisms (AROs), which is crucial for public health and care management.
A third survey of the same AROs in adult inpatients in Canadian hospitals with ≥50 beds was performed in February 2016. Data on participating hospitals and patient cases were obtained using standard criteria and case definitions. Associations between ARO prevalence and institutional characteristics were assessed using logistic regression models.
In total, 160 hospitals from 9 of the 10 provinces with 35,018 adult inpatients participated in the survey. Median prevalence per 100 inpatients was 4.1 for MRSA, 0.8 for VRE, 1.1 for CDI, 0.8 for ESBLs, and 0 for CREs. No significant change occurred compared to 2012. CREs were reported from 24 hospitals (15%) in 2016 compared to 10 hospitals (7%) in 2012. Routine universal or targeted admission screening for VRE decreased from 94% in 2010 to 74% in 2016. Targeted screening for MRSA on admission was associated with a lower prevalence of MRSA infection. Large hospitals (>500 beds) had higher prevalences of CDI.
This survey provides national prevalence rates for AROs in Canadian hospitals. Changes in infection control and prevention policies might lead to changes in the epidemiology of AROs and our capacity to detect them.
To determine the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Canadian hospitals.
National point prevalence survey in November 2010.
Canadian acute care hospitals with at least 50 beds.
Adult inpatients colonized or infected with MRSA or VRE or with CDI.
The prevalence (per 100 inpatients) of MRSA, VRE, and CDI was determined. Associations between prevalence and institutional characteristics and infection control policies were evaluated.
One hundred seventy-six hospitals (65% of those eligible) participated. The median (range) prevalence rates for MRSA and VRE colonization or infection and CDI were 4.2% (0%–22.1%), 0.5% (0%–13.1%), and 0.9% (0%–8.6%), respectively. Median MRSA and VRE infection rates were low (0.3% and 0%, respectively). MRSA, VRE, and CDI were thought to have been healthcare associated in 79%, 96%, and 84% of cases, respectively. In multivariable analysis, routine use of a private room for colonized/infected patients was associated with lower median MRSA infection rate (prevalence ratio [PR], 0.44 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.22–0.88]) and VRE prevalence (PR, 0.26 [95% CI, 0.12–0.57]). Lower VRE rates were also associated with enhanced environmental cleaning (PR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.36–0.75]). Higher bed occupancy rates were associated with higher rates of CDI (PR, 1.02 [95% CI, 1.01–1.03]).
These data provide the first national prevalence estimates for MRSA, VRE, and CDI in Canadian hospitals. Certain infection prevention and control policies were found to be associated with prevalence and deserve further investigation.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been increasingly recognized for its ability to cause significant hospital-associated outbreaks, particularly since the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains. Biofilm formation allows the pathogen to persist in environmental reservoirs. Thus, multiple hospital room design elements, including sink placement and design, can impact nosocomial transmission of P. aeruginosa and other pathogens.
From December 2004 through March 2006, 36 patients exposed to the intensive care unit or transplant units of a tertiary care hospital were infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of P. aeruginosa. All phenotypically similar isolates were examined for genetic relatedness by means of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Clinical characteristics of the affected patients were collected, and a detailed epidemiological and environmental investigation of potential sources was carried out.
Seventeen of the infected patients died within 3 months; for 12 (71%) of these patients, infection with the outbreak organism contributed to or directly caused death. The source of the outbreak was traced to hand hygiene sink drains, where biofilms containing viable organisms were found. Testing by use of a commercial fluorescent marker demonstrated that when the sink was used for handwashing, drain contents splashed at least 1 meter from the sink. Various attempts were made to disinfect the drains, but it was only when the sinks were renovated to prevent splashing onto surrounding areas that the outbreak was terminated.
This report highlights the importance of biofilms and of sink and patient room design in the propagation of an outbreak and suggests some strategies to reduce the risks associated with hospital sinks.
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