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Identifying routes of transmission among hospitalized patients during a healthcare-associated outbreak can be tedious, particularly among patients with complex hospital stays and multiple exposures. Data mining of the electronic health record (EHR) has the potential to rapidly identify common exposures among patients suspected of being part of an outbreak.
We retrospectively analyzed 9 hospital outbreaks that occurred during 2011–2016 and that had previously been characterized both according to transmission route and by molecular characterization of the bacterial isolates. We determined (1) the ability of data mining of the EHR to identify the correct route of transmission, (2) how early the correct route was identified during the timeline of the outbreak, and (3) how many cases in the outbreaks could have been prevented had the system been running in real time.
Correct routes were identified for all outbreaks at the second patient, except for one outbreak involving >1 transmission route that was detected at the eighth patient. Up to 40 or 34 infections (78% or 66% of possible preventable infections, respectively) could have been prevented if data mining had been implemented in real time, assuming the initiation of an effective intervention within 7 or 14 days of identification of the transmission route, respectively.
Data mining of the EHR was accurate for identifying routes of transmission among patients who were part of the outbreak. Prospective validation of this approach using routine whole-genome sequencing and data mining of the EHR for both outbreak detection and route attribution is ongoing.
Recovery of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae from a cluster of patients in the medical intensive care unit (MICU) prompted an epidemiologic investigation for a common exposure.
Clinical and microbiologic data from MICU patients were retrospectively reviewed, MICU bronchoscopes underwent culturing and borescopy, and bronchoscope reprocessing procedures were reviewed. Bronchoscope and clinical MDR isolates epidemiologically linked to the cluster underwent molecular typing using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) followed by whole-genome sequencing.
Of the 33 case patients, 23 (70%) were exposed to a common bronchoscope (B1). Both MDR P. aeruginosa and K. pneumonia were recovered from the bronchoscope’s lumen, and borescopy revealed a luminal defect. Molecular testing demonstrated genetic relatedness among case patient and B1 isolates, providing strong evidence for horizontal bacterial transmission. MDR organism (MDRO) recovery in 19 patients was ultimately linked to B1 exposure, and 10 of 19 patients were classified as belonging to an MDRO pseudo-outbreak.
Surveillance of bronchoscope-derived clinical culture data was important for early detection of this outbreak, and whole-genome sequencing was important for the confirmation of findings. Visualization of bronchoscope lumens to confirm integrity should be a critical component of device reprocessing.
To identify independent risk factors associated with isolation of linezolid-resistant, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).
A retrospective, case-case-control study.
A tertiary care, academic medical center.
VRE isolates from clinical cultures were retrospectively analyzed for linezolid resistance during our 18-month study period. Clinical data were obtained from electronic patient records, and the risk factors associated with isolation of linezolid-resistant VRE were determined by comparison of 2 case groups with a control group.
A total of 20% of the VRE isolates analyzed during the study period were linezolid resistant, and resistant isolates were most commonly recovered from the urine (40% of resistant isolates). Risk factors found to be associated with isolation of linezolid-resistant VRE were peripheral vascular disease and/or the receipt of a solid organ transplant, total parenteral nutrition, piperacillin-tazobactam, and/or cefepime. Only 25% of patients from whom linezolid-resistant VRE was isolated had previous linezolid exposure, and in the multivariate model this was not found to be a risk factor associated with the isolation of linezolid-resistant VRE.
The results of this analysis suggest that there is horizontal transmission of linezolid-resistant VRE in our institution and highlight the need for improved infection control measures. Furthermore, the high incidence of linezolid-resistant VRE demands a reassessment of our empirical antibiotic selection for patients infected with VRE.
Fluoroquinolones have not been frequently implicated as a cause of Clostridium difficile outbreaks. Nosocomial C. difficile infections increased from 2.7 to 6.8 cases per 1,000 discharges (P < .001). During the first 2 years of the outbreak, there were 253 nosocomial C. difficile infections; of these, 26 resulted in colectomy and 18 resulted in death. We conducted an investigation of a large C. difficile outbreak in our hospital to identify risk factors and characterize the outbreak.
A retrospective case-control study of case-patients with C. difficile infection from January 2000 through April 2001 and control-patients matched by date of hospital admission, type of medical service, and length of stay; an analysis of inpatient antibiotic use; and antibiotic susceptibility testing and molecular subtyping of isolates were performed.
On logistic regression analysis, clindamycin (odds ratio [OR], 4.8; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 1.9-12.0), ceftriaxone (OR, 5.4; CI95, 1.8-15.8), and levofloxacin (OR, 2.0; CI95, 1.2-3.3) were independently associated with infection. The etiologic fractions for these three agents were 10.0%, 6.7%, and 30.8%, respectively. Fluoroquinolone use increased before the onset of the outbreak (P < .001); 59% of case-patients and 41% of control-patients had received this antibiotic class. The outbreak was polyclonal, although 52% of isolates belonged to two highly related molecular subtypes.
Exposure to levofloxacin was an independent risk factor for C. difficile-associated diarrhea and appeared to contribute substantially to the outbreak. Restricted use of levofloxacin and the other implicated antibiotics may be required to control the outbreak.