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In our center, previous infection prevention and control (IPC) resources were concentrated on multidrug-resistant organisms other than CRAB because the rate of CRAB was stable with no evidence of outbreaks. Triggered by an increase in the baseline rate of CRAB isolated in clinical cultures, we investigated horizontal transmission of CRAB to guide targeted IPC actions.
We prospectively collected clinical data of patients with positive CRAB cultures. We identified genetic relatedness of CRAB isolates using whole-genome sequencing. Findings were regularly presented to the IPC committee, and follow-up actions were documented.
During the study period, 66 CRAB isolates were available for WGS. Including 12 clinical isolates and 10 environmental isolates from a previous study, a total of 88 samples were subjected to WGS, of which 83 were successfully sequenced and included in the phylogenetic analysis. We identified 5 clusters involving 44 patients. Genomic transmissions were explained by spatiotemporal overlap in 12 patients and by spatial overlap only in 12 patients. The focus of transmission was deduced to be the intensive care units. One cluster was related to a retrospective environmental isolate, suggesting the environment as a possible route of transmission. Discussion of these findings at multidisciplinary IPC meetings led to implementation of measures focusing on environmental hygiene, including hydrogen peroxide vapor disinfection in addition to terminal cleaning for rooms occupied by CRAB patients.
We showed that WGS could be utilized as a “tool of persuasion” by demonstrating the presence of ongoing transmission of CRAB in an endemic setting, and by identifying actionable routes of transmission for directed IPC interventions.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018;852–860
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