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To investigate the potential reservoir and mode of transmission of pandrug-resistant (PDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in a 7-day-old neonate who developed PDR A. baumannii bacteremia that was presumed to be the iceberg of a potential outbreak.
Outbreak investigation based on a program of prospective hospital-wide surveillance for nosocomial infection.
A 24-bed neonatal intensive care unit in a 2,200-bed major teaching hospital in Taiwan that provides care for critically ill neonates born in this hospital and those transferred from other hospitals.
Samples from 33 healthcare workers' hands and 40 samples from the environment were cultured. Surveillance cultures of anal swab specimens and sputum samples were performed for neonates on admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and every 2 weeks until discharge. The PDR A. baumannii isolates, defined as isolates resistant to all currently available systemic antimicrobials except polymyxin B, were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Control measures consisted of implementing contact isolation, reinforcing hand hygiene adherence, cohorting of nurses, and environmental cleaning.
One culture of an environmental sample and no cultures of samples from healthcare workers' hands grew PDR A. baumannii. The positive culture result involved a sample obtained from a ventilation tube used by the index patient. During the following 2 months, active surveillance identified PDR A. baumannii in 8 additional neonates, and isolates from 7 had the same electrokaryotype. Of the 9 neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii, 1 died from an unrelated condition. Reinforcement of infection control measures resulted in 100% adherence to proper hand hygiene protocol. The outbreak was stopped without compromising patient care.
In the absence of environmental contamination, transient hand carriage by personnel who cared for neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii was suspected to be the mode of transmission. Vigilance, prompt intervention and strict adherence to hand hygiene protocol were the key factors that led to the successful control of this outbreak. Active surveillance appears to be an effective measure to identify potential transmitters and reservoirs of PDR A. baumannii.
To rapidly establish a temporary isolation ward to handle an unexpected sudden outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and to evaluate the implementation of exposure control measures by healthcare workers (HCWs) for SARS patients.
Rapid creation of 60 relatively negative pressure isolation rooms for 196 suspected SARS patients transferred from 19 hospitals and daily temperature recordings of 180 volunteer HCWs from 6 medical centers.
A military hospital.
Of the 196 patients, 34 (17.3%) met the World Health Organization criteria for probable SARS with positive results of serologic testing for SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV), reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from nasopharyngeal or throat swabs for SARS-CoV, or both. Seventy-four patients had suspected SARS based on unprotected exposure to SARS patients; three of them had positive results on RT-PCR but negative serologic results. The remaining 88 patients did not meet the criteria for a probable or suspected SARS diagnosis. Of the 34 patients with probable SARS, 13 were transferred to medical centers to receive mechanical ventilation due to rapid deterioration of chest x-ray results, and three patients died of SARS despite intensive therapy in medical centers. During the study period, one nurse developed probable SARS due to violation of infection control measures, but there was no evidence of cross-transmission to other HCWs.
Despite the use of full personal protection equipment, the facility failed to totally prevent exposures of HCWs to SARS but minimized the risk of nosocomial transmission. Better training and improvements in infection control infrastructure may limit the impact of SARS.
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