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Potential Role of Active Surveillance in the Control of a Hospital-Wide Outbreak of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Infection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Debby Ben-David*
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Yasmin Maor
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Nathan Keller
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Gili Regev-Yochay
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Ilana Tal
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Dalit Shachar
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Amir Zlotkin
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Gill Smollan
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Galia Rahav
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer 52621, Israel (Debby.BenDavid@



The recent emergence of carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae is a major threat for hospitalized patients, and effective strategies are needed.


To assess the effect of an intensified intervention, which included active surveillance, on the incidence of infection with carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae.


Sheba Medical Center, a 1,600-bed tertiary care teaching hospital in Tel Hashomer, Israel.


Quasi-experimental study.


The medical records of all the patients who acquired a carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection during 2006 were reviewed. An intensified intervention was initiated in May 2007. In addition to contact precautions, active surveillance was initiated in high-risk units. The incidence of clinical carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection over time was measured, and interrupted time-series analysis was performed.


The incidence of clinical carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection increased 6.42-fold from the first quarter of 2006 up to the initiation of the intervention. In 2006, of the 120 patients whose clinical microbiologic culture results were positive for carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae, 67 (56%) developed a nosocomial infection. During the intervention period, the rate of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae rectal colonization was 9%. Of the 390 patients with carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae colonization or infection, 204 (52%) were identified by screening cultures. There were a total of 12,391 days of contact precautions, and of these, 4,713 (38%) were added as a result of active surveillance. After initiation of infection control measures, we observed a significant decrease in the incidence of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection.


The use of active surveillance and contact precautions, as part of a multifactorial intervention, may be an effective strategy to decrease rates of nosocomial transmission of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae colonization or infection.

Original Articles
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2010

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