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The burden of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is higher in low- and middle-income countries, but HAIs are often missed because surveillance is not conducted. Here, we describe the identification of and response to a cluster of Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) bloodstream infections (BSIs) associated with high mortality in a surgical ICU (SICU) that joined an HAI surveillance network.
A 780-bed, tertiary-level, public teaching hospital in northern India.
After detecting a cluster of BCC in the SICU, cases were identified by reviewing laboratory registers and automated identification and susceptibility testing outputs. Sociodemographic details, clinical records, and potential exposure histories were collected, and a self-appraisal of infection prevention and control (IPC) practices using assessment tools from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was conducted. Training and feedback were provided to hospital staff. Environmental samples were collected from high-touch surfaces, intravenous medications, saline, and mouthwash.
Between October 2017 and October 2018, 183 BCC BSI cases were identified. Case records were available for 121 case patients. Of these 121 cases, 91 (75%) were male, the median age was 35 years, and 57 (47%) died. IPC scores were low in the areas of technical guidelines, human resources, and monitoring and evaluation. Of the 30 environmental samples, 4 grew BCC. A single source of the outbreak was not identified.
Implementing standardized HAI surveillance in a low-resource setting detected an ongoing Burkholderia cepacia outbreak. The outbreak investigation and use of a multimodal approach reduced incident cases and informed changes in IPC practices.
Background: Antibiotics are the most prescribed medicines worldwide, accounting for 20%–30% of total drug expenditures in most settings. Antimicrobial stewardship activities can provide guidance for the most appropriate antibiotic use. Objective: In an effort to generate baseline data to guide antimicrobial stewardship recommendations, we conducted point-prevalence surveys at 3 hospitals in Kenya. Methods: Sites included referral hospitals located in Nairobi (2,000 beds), Eldoret (900 beds) and Mombasa (700 beds). [Results are presented in this order.] Hospital administrators, heads of infection prevention and control units, and laboratory department heads were interviewed about ongoing antimicrobial stewardship activities, existing infection prevention and control programs, and microbiology diagnostic capacities. Patient-level data were collected by a clinical or medical officer and a pharmacist. A subset of randomly selected, consenting hospital patients was enrolled, and data were abstracted from their medical records, treatment sheets, and nursing notes using a modified WHO point-prevalence survey form. Results: Overall, 1,071 consenting patients were surveyed from the 3 hospitals (n = 579, n = 263, and n = 229, respectively) of whom >60% were aged >18 years and 53% were female. Overall, 489 of 1,071 of patients (46%) received ≥1 antibiotic, of whom 254 of 489 (52%) received 1 antibiotic, 201 of 489 (41%) received 2 antibiotics, 31 of 489 (6%) received 3 antibiotics, and 3 of 489 (1%) received 4 antibiotics. Antibiotic use was higher among those aged <5 years: 150 of 244 (62%) compared with older individuals (337 of 822, 41%). Amoxicillin/clavulanate was the most commonly used antibiotic (66 of 387, 17%) at the largest hospital (in Nairobi) whereas ceftriaxone was the most common at the other 2 facilities: 57 of 184 (31%) in Eldoret and 55 of 190 (29%) in Mombasa. Metronidazole was the next most commonly prescribed antibiotic (15%–19%). Meropenem was the only carbapenem reported: 22 of 387 patients (6%) in Nairobi, 2 of 190 patients (1%) in Eldoret, and 8 of 184 patients (4%) in Mombasa. Stop dates or review dates were not indicated for 106 of 390 patients (27%) in Nairobi, 75 of 190 patients (40%) in Eldoret, and 113 of 184 patients (72%) in Mombasa receiving antibiotics. Of 761 antibiotic prescriptions, 45% had a least 1 missed dose. Culture and antibiotic susceptibility tests were limited to 50 of 246 patients (20%) in Nairobi, 17 of 124 patients (14%) in Eldoret, and 23 of 119 patients (19%) in Mombasa who received antibiotics. The largest hospital had an administratively recognized antimicrobial stewardship committee. Conclusions: The prevalence of antibiotic use found by our study was 46%, generally lower than the rates reported in 3 similar studies from other African countries, which ranged from 56% to 65%. However, these survey findings indicate that ample opportunities exist for improving antimicrobial stewardship efforts in Kenya considering the high usage of empiric therapy and low microbiologic diagnostic utilization.
Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major global threat to patient safety. Systematic surveillance is crucial for understanding HAI rates and antimicrobial resistance trends and to guide infection prevention and control (IPC) activities based on local epidemiology. In India, no standardized national HAI surveillance system was in place before 2017. Methods: Public and private hospitals from across 21 states in India were recruited to participate in an HAI surveillance network. Baseline assessments followed by trainings ensured that basic microbiology and IPC implementation capacity existed at all sites. Standardized surveillance protocols for central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) were modified from the NHSN for the Indian context. IPC nurses were trained to implement surveillance protocols. Data were reported through a locally developed web portal. Standardized external data quality checks were performed to assure data quality. Results: Between May 2017 and April 2019, 109 ICUs from 37 hospitals (29 public and 8 private) enrolled in the network, of which 33 were teaching hospitals with >500 beds. The network recorded 679,109 patient days, 212,081 central-line days, and 387,092 urinary catheter days. Overall, 4,301 bloodstream infection (BSI) events and 1,402 urinary tract infection (UTI) events were reported. The network CLABSI rate was 9.4 per 1,000 central-line days and the CAUTI rate was 3.4 per 1,000 catheter days. The central-line utilization ratio was 0.31 and the urinary catheter utilization ratio was 0.57. Moreover, 3,542 (73%) of 4,742 pathogens reported from BSIs and 868 (53%) of 1,644 pathogens reported from UTIs were gram negative. Also, 1,680 (26.3%) of all 6,386 pathogens reported were Enterobacteriaceae. Of 1,486 Enterobacteriaceae with complete antibiotic susceptibility testing data reported, 832 (57%) were carbapenem resistant. Of 951 Enterobacteriaceae subjected to colistin broth microdilution testing, 62 (7%) were colistin resistant. The surveillance platform identified 2 separate hospital-level HAI outbreaks; one caused by colistin-resistant K. pneumoniae and another due to Burkholderia cepacia. Phased expansion of surveillance to additional hospitals continues. Conclusions: HAI surveillance was successfully implemented across a national network of diverse hospitals using modified NHSN protocols. Surveillance data are being used to understand HAI burden and trends at the facility and national levels, to inform public policy, and to direct efforts to implement effective hospital IPC activities. This network approach to HAI surveillance may provide lessons to other countries or contexts with limited surveillance capacity.
Background: In July 2017, recognizing the threat that antimicrobial resistance poses to the population, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) launched the Ethiopia AMR Surveillance Network at 4 sentinel laboratories. Simultaneously, laboratory capacity building was initiated to ensure the reporting of quality laboratory data to the surveillance system. One initiative, Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) was used to virtually connect subject matter experts with participating laboratories in remote settings to provide ongoing education and telementoring and to foster peer-to-peer learning and problem solving in microbiology. The 10-month project was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
Methods: Biweekly 1-hour sessions were held by ASM for 2 sentinel sites, Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital and the EPHI Clinical Microbiology and Mycology Laboratory, using a videoconferencing platform. Each virtual session consisted of a didactic session, a case presentation by a participating laboratory, open discussion and feedback. Case presentations focused on technical challenges and problems encountered in the preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytical phases of microbiology testing. Experts from CDC and ASM provided feedback along with a summation of key learning objectives. Sessions were recorded and post session reports were shared with participants. To assess participants’ baseline knowledge, a comprehensive pretest was administered prior to the first session. The same instrument was administered as a posttest 2 weeks after the final session. Unstructured interviews were also conducted to assess participants’ perceptions of the value of ECHO to their work. Results: Mean pretest scores were 69.25% and the posttest scores were 71.04%, a difference of 1.79% (P = NS). Participant interviews revealed perceived benefits of ECHO participation to include enhanced critical thinking and problem resolution in microbiology, increased communication and improved working relationships between participating sites, and improved understanding and application of CLSI standards. As a result of Ethiopia’s participation in Project ECHO, 23 case presentations have been added to ECHO Box, a resource bank and web portal, which allows members of the ECHO community to share and access didactics, documents, and learning materials. Conclusions: Despite minimal difference between pretest and posttest scores, the Project ECHO experience of virtual case-based learning and collaborative problem solving has encouraged critical thinking, peer-to-peer learning, networking among participants, and has provided microbiologists with the resources for improved bacterial isolation, identification, and antibiotic susceptibility testing. The lessons learned could be applied as this project is expanded to additional laboratories in the AMR Surveillance Network.
Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasingly critical global public health challenge. An initial step in prevention is the understanding of resistance patterns with accurate surveillance. To improve accurate surveillance and good clinical care, we developed training materials to improve the appropriate collection of clinical culture samples in Ethiopia. Methods: Specimen-collection training materials were initially developed by a team of infectious diseases physicians, a clinical microbiologist, and a monitoring and evaluation specialist using a training of trainers (ToT) platform. Revisions after each training session were provided by Ethiopian attendees including the addition of regional and culturally relevant material. The training format involved didactic presentations, interactive practice sessions with participants providing feedback and training to each other and the entire group as well as assessments of all training activities. Results: Overall, 4 rounds of training were conducted from August 2017 to September 2019. The first 2 rounds of training were conducted by The Ohio State University (OSU) staff, and Ethiopian trainers conducted the last 2 rounds. Initial training was primarily in lecture format outlining use of microbiology laboratory findings in clinical practice and steps for collecting specimens correctly. Appropriate specimen collection was demonstrated and practiced. Essential feedback from this early audience provided input for the final development of the training manual and visual aids. The ToT for master trainers took place in July 2018 and was conducted by OSU staff. In sessions held in February and August 2019, these master trainers provided training to facility trainers, who provide training to personnel directly responsible for specimen collection. In total, 144 healthcare personnel (including physicians, nurses, and laboratory staff), from 12 representative Ethiopian public and academic hospitals participated in the trainings. Participants were satisfied with the quality of the training (typically ranked >4.5 of 5.0) and strongly agreed that the objectives were clearly defined and that the information was relevant to their work. Posttraining scores increased by 23%. Conclusions: Training materials for clinical specimen collection have been developed for use in low- and middle-resource settings and with initial pilot testing and adoption in Ethiopia. The trainings were well accepted, and Ethiopian personnel were able to successfully lead the trainings and improve their knowledge and skills regarding specimen collection. The materials are being finalized in an online format for easier open access dissemination. Further studies are planned to determine the effectiveness of the trainings in improving the quality of clinical specimen submissions to the microbiology laboratory.
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