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Background:Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast that is transmitted in healthcare facilities and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Environmental contamination is suspected to play an important role in transmission but additional information is needed to inform environmental cleaning recommendations to prevent spread. Methods: We conducted a multiregional (Chicago, IL; Irvine, CA) prospective study of environmental contamination associated with C. auris colonization of patients and residents of 4 long-term care facilities and 1 acute-care hospital. Participants were identified by screening or clinical cultures. Samples were collected from participants’ body sites (eg, nares, axillae, inguinal creases, palms and fingertips, and perianal skin) and their environment before room cleaning. Daily room cleaning and disinfection by facility environmental service workers was followed by targeted cleaning of high-touch surfaces by research staff using hydrogen peroxide wipes (see EPA-approved product for C. auris, List P). Samples were collected immediately after cleaning from high-touch surfaces and repeated at 4-hour intervals up to 12 hours. A pilot phase (n = 12 patients) was conducted to identify the value of testing specific high-touch surfaces to assess environmental contamination. High-yield surfaces were included in the full evaluation phase (n = 20 patients) (Fig. 1). Samples were submitted for semiquantitative culture of C. auris and other multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacterales (ESBLs), and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). Times to room surface contamination with C. auris and other MDROs after effective cleaning were analyzed. Results:Candida auris colonization was most frequently detected in the nares (72%) and palms and fingertips (72%). Cocolonization of body sites with other MDROs was common (Fig. 2). Surfaces located close to the patient were commonly recontaminated with C. auris by 4 hours after cleaning, including the overbed table (24%), bed handrail (24%), and TV remote or call button (19%). Environmental cocontamination was more common with resistant gram-positive organisms (MRSA and, VRE) than resistant gram-negative organisms (Fig. 3). C. auris was rarely detected on surfaces located outside a patient’s room (1 of 120 swabs; <1%). Conclusions: Environmental surfaces near C. auris–colonized patients were rapidly recontaminated after cleaning and disinfection. Cocolonization of skin and environment with other MDROs was common, with resistant gram-positive organisms predominating over gram-negative organisms on environmental surfaces. Limitations include lack of organism sequencing or typing to confirm environmental contamination was from the room resident. Rapid recontamination of environmental surfaces after manual cleaning and disinfection suggests that alternate mitigation strategies should be evaluated.
Ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs) are critical to the epidemiology and control of antibiotic-resistant organisms. During an infection prevention intervention to control carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), we conducted a qualitative study to characterize vSNF healthcare personnel beliefs and experiences regarding infection control measures.
A qualitative study involving semistructured interviews.
One vSNF in the Chicago, Illinois, metropolitan region.
The study included 17 healthcare personnel representing management, nursing, and nursing assistants.
We used face-to-face, semistructured interviews to measure healthcare personnel experiences with infection control measures at the midpoint of a 2-year quality improvement project.
Healthcare personnel characterized their facility as a home-like environment, yet they recognized that it is a setting where germs were ‘invisible’ and potentially ‘threatening.’ Healthcare personnel described elaborate self-protection measures to avoid acquisition or transfer of germs to their own household. Healthcare personnel were motivated to implement infection control measures to protect residents, but many identified structural barriers such as understaffing and time constraints, and some reported persistent preference for soap and water.
Healthcare personnel in vSNFs, from management to frontline staff, understood germ theory and the significance of multidrug-resistant organism transmission. However, their ability to implement infection control measures was hampered by resource limitations and mixed beliefs regarding the effectiveness of infection control measures. Self-protection from acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms was a strong motivator for healthcare personnel both outside and inside the workplace, and it could explain variation in adherence to infection control measures such as a higher hand hygiene adherence after resident care than before resident care.
Background: During a 2017–2019 intervention in Chicago-area vSNFs to control carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, healthcare worker adherence to hand hygiene and personal protective equipment was stubbornly inadequate (hand hygiene adherence, ~16% and 56% on entry and exit), despite educational and monitoring efforts. Little is known about vSNF staff understanding of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) transmission. We conducted a qualitative analysis of staff members at a vSNF that included assessment of staff perceptions of personal MDRO acquisition risk and associated personal hygiene routines transitioning from work to home. Methods: Between September 2018 and November 2018, a PhD-candidate medical anthropologist conducted semistructured interviews with management (N = 5), nursing staff (N = 6), and certified nursing assistants (N = 6) at a vSNF in the Chicago region (Illinois) who had already received 1 year of MDRO staff education and hand hygiene adherence monitoring. More than 11 hours of semistructured interviews were collected and transcribed. Data collection and analysis included identifying how staff members related to their own risk of MDRO acquisition/infection and what personal hygiene routines they followed. Transcriptions of the data were analyzed using thematic coding aided by MAXQDA qualitative analysis software. Results: Staff members at all levels were able to describe their perceptions related to the risk of acquiring an MDRO and personal hygiene in great detail. The risk of acquiring an MDRO was perceived as a constant threat by staff members, who described germs as bad and everywhere (Table 1). The perceived threat of MDRO acquisition was connected to individual personal hygiene routines (eg, changing shoes before leaving work), which were considered important by staff members (Table 2). Nursing staff and certified nursing assistants noted that personal hygiene was a critical factor keeping their residents, themselves, and their families free from MDROs. Conclusions: In the context of a quality improvement campaign, vSNF healthcare workers are aware of the transmissibility of microscopic MDROs and are highly motivated in preventing transmission of MDROs to themselves. Such perceptions may explain actions such as why workers may be differentially adherent with infection control interventions (eg, more likely to perform hand hygiene leaving a room rather than going into a room, or less likely to change gowns in between residents in multibed rooms if they believe they are already personally protected with a gown). Our findings suggest that interventions to improve staff adherence to infection control measures may need to address other factors related to adherence besides knowledge deficit (eg, understaffing) and may need to acknowledge self-protection as a driving motivator for staff adherence.
Background: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are endemic in the Chicago region. We assessed the regional impact of a CRE control intervention targeting high-prevalence facilities; that is, long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) and ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs). Methods: In July 2017, an academic–public health partnership launched a regional CRE prevention bundle: (1) identifying patient CRE status by querying Illinois’ XDRO registry and periodic point-prevalence surveys reported to public health, (2) cohorting or private rooms with contact precautions for CRE patients, (3) combining hand hygiene adherence, monitoring with general infection control education, and guidance by project coordinators and public health, and (4) daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing. Informed by epidemiology and modeling, we targeted LTACHs and vSNFs in a 13-mile radius from the coordinating center. Illinois mandates CRE reporting to the XDRO registry, which can also be manually queried or generate automated alerts to facilitate interfacility communication. The regional intervention promoted increased automation of alerts to hospitals. The prespecified primary outcome was incident clinical CRE culture reported to the XDRO registry in Cook County by month, analyzed by segmented regression modeling. A secondary outcome was colonization prevalence measured by serial point-prevalence surveys for carbapenemase-producing organism colonization in LTACHs and vSNFs. Results: All eligible LTACHs (n = 6) and vSNFs (n = 9) participated in the intervention. One vSNF declined CHG bathing. vSNFs that implemented CHG bathing typically bathed residents 2–3 times per week instead of daily. Overall, there were significant gaps in infection control practices, especially in vSNFs. Also, 75 Illinois hospitals adopted automated alerts (56 during the intervention period). Mean CRE incidence in Cook County decreased from 59.0 cases per month during baseline to 40.6 cases per month during intervention (P < .001). In a segmented regression model, there was an average reduction of 10.56 cases per month during the 24-month intervention period (P = .02) (Fig. 1), and an estimated 253 incident CRE cases were averted. Mean CRE incidence also decreased among the stratum of vSNF/LTACH intervention facilities (P = .03). However, evidence of ongoing CRE transmission, particularly in vSNFs, persisted, and CRE colonization prevalence remained high at intervention facilities (Table 1). Conclusions: A resource-intensive public health regional CRE intervention was implemented that included enhanced interfacility communication and targeted infection prevention. There was a significant decline in incident CRE clinical cases in Cook County, despite high persistent CRE colonization prevalence in intervention facilities. vSNFs, where understaffing or underresourcing were common and lengths of stay range from months to years, had a major prevalence challenge, underscoring the need for aggressive infection control improvements in these facilities.
Funding: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (SHEPheRD Contract No. 200-2011-42037)
Disclosures: M.Y.L. has received research support in the form of contributed product from OpGen and Sage Products (now part of Stryker Corporation), and has received an investigator-initiated grant from CareFusion Foundation (now part of BD).
Background: During 2017–2019 in the Chicago region, several ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs) participated in a quality improvement project to control the spread of highly prevalent carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). With guidance from regional project coordinators and public health departments that involved education, assistance with implementation, and adherence monitoring, the facilities implemented a CRE prevention bundle that included a hand hygiene campaign that promoted alcohol-based hand rub, contact precautions (personal protective equipment with glove/gown) for care of CRE-colonized residents, and 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) wipes for routine resident bathing. We conducted a qualitative study to better understand the ways that vSNF employees engage with the implementation of such infection control measures. Methods: A PhD-candidate medical anthropologist conducted semistructured interviews with management (N = 5), nursing staff (N = 6), and certified nursing assistants (N = 6) at a vSNF in the Chicago region (Illinois) between September 2018 and November 2018. More than 11 hours of semistructured interviews were collected and transcribed. Data collection and analysis focused on identifying healthcare worker experiences during an infection control intervention. Transcriptions of the data were analyzed using thematic coding aided by MAXQDA qualitative analysis software. Results: Healthcare workers described the facility using language associated with a family environment (Table 1). Furthermore, healthcare workers demonstrated motivation to implement infection control policies (Table 2). However, healthcare workers expressed cultural and structural challenges encountered during implementation, such as their belief that some infection control measures discouraged maintenance of a home-like environment, lack of time, and understaffing. Some healthcare workers perceived that alcohol-based hand rub was ineffective over time and left unpleasant textures on the skin. Additionally, some workers did not trust the available gown and gloves used to prevent transmission. Lastly, healthcare workers typically did not prefer 2% CHG wipes over soap and water, citing residual resident postbathing smell as one indicator of CHG ineffectiveness. Conclusions: In a vSNF we found both considerable support and challenges implementing a CRE prevention bundle from the healthcare worker perspective. Healthcare workers were dedicated to recreating a home-like environment for their residents, which sometimes felt at odds with infection control interventions. Residual misconceptions (eg, alcohol-based hand rub is not effective) and negative worker perceptions (eg, permeability of contact precaution gowns and/or residue from alcohol-based hand rub) suggest that ongoing education and participation by healthcare workers in evaluating infection control products for interventions is critical.
Anxiety symptoms gradually emerge during childhood and adolescence. Individual differences in behavioral inhibition (BI), an early-childhood temperament, may shape developmental paths through which these symptoms arise. Cross-sectional research suggests that level of early-childhood BI moderates associations between later anxiety symptoms and threat-related amygdala–prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuitry function. However, no study has characterized these associations longitudinally. Here, we tested whether level of early-childhood BI predicts distinct evolving associations between amygdala–PFC function and anxiety symptoms across development.
Eighty-seven children previously assessed for BI level in early childhood provided data at ages 10 and/or 13 years, consisting of assessments of anxiety and an fMRI-based dot-probe task (including threat, happy, and neutral stimuli). Using linear-mixed-effects models, we investigated longitudinal changes in associations between anxiety symptoms and threat-related amygdala–PFC connectivity, as a function of early-childhood BI.
In children with a history of high early-childhood BI, anxiety symptoms became, with age, more negatively associated with right amygdala–left dorsolateral-PFC connectivity when attention was to be maintained on threat. In contrast, with age, low-BI children showed an increasingly positive anxiety–connectivity association during the same task condition. Behaviorally, at age 10, anxiety symptoms did not relate to fluctuations in attention bias (attention bias variability, ABV) in either group; by age 13, low-BI children showed a negative anxiety–ABV association, whereas high-BI children showed a positive anxiety–ABV association.
Early-childhood BI levels predict distinct neurodevelopmental pathways to pediatric anxiety symptoms. These pathways involve distinct relations among brain function, behavior, and anxiety symptoms, which may inform diagnosis and treatment.
To investigate an increase in reports of legionnaires' disease by multiple hospitals in San Antonio, Texas, and to study risk factors for nosocomial transmission of legionnaires' disease and determinants for Legionella colonization of hospital hot-water systems.
The 16 largest hospitals in the cities of San Antonio, Temple, and Austin, Texas.
Review of laboratory databases to identify patients with legionnaires' disease in the 3 years prior to the investigation and to determine the number of diagnostic tests for Legionella performed; measurement of hot-water temperature and chlorine concentration and culture of potable water for Legionella. Exact univariate calculations, Poisson regression, and linear regression were used to determine factors associated with water-system colonization and transmission of Legionella.
Twelve cases of nosocomial legionnaires' disease were identified; eight of these occurred in 1996. The rise in cases occurred shortly after physicians started requesting Legionella urinary antigen tests. Hospitals that frequently used Legionella urinary antigen tests tended to detect more cases of legionnaires' disease. Legionella was isolated from the water systems of 11 of 12 hospitals in San Antonio; the 12th had just experienced an outbreak of legionnaires' disease and had implemented control measures. Nosocomial legionellosis cases probably occurred in 5 hospitals. The number of nosocomial legionnaires' disease cases in each hospital correlated better with the proportion of water-system sites that tested positive for Legionella (P=.07) than with the concentration of Legionella bacteria in water samples (P=.23). Hospitals in municipalities where the water treatment plant used monochloramine as a residual disinfectant (n=4) and the hospital that had implemented control measures were Legionella-free. The hot-water systems of all other hospitals (n=11) were colonized with Legionella. These were all supplied with municipal drinking water that contained free chlorine as a residual disinfectant. In these contaminated hospitals, the proportion of sites testing positive was inversely correlated with free residual chlorine concentration (P=.01). In all hospitals, hot-water temperatures were too low to inhibit Legionella growth.
The increase in reporting of nosocomial legionnaires' disease was attributable to increased use of urinary antigen tests; prior cases may have gone unrecognized. Risk of legionnaires' disease in hospital patients was better predicted by the proportion of water-system sites testing positive for Legionella than by the measured concentration of Legionella bacteria. Use of monochloramine by municipalities for residual drinking water disinfection may help prevent legionnaires' disease.
To investigate a cluster of cases of legionnaires' disease among patients at a hospital.
A university hospital that is a regional transplant center.
Retrospective review of microbiology and serology data from the hospital laboratories and prospective surveillance via the radiology department; a case-control study and environmental sampling within the hospital and from nearby cooling towers.
Diagnosis of seven cases of legionnaires' disease in the first 9 months of 1996 led to recognition of a nosocomial outbreak that may have begun as early as 1979. Review of charts from 1987 through September 1996 identified 25 culture-confirmed cases of nosocomial or possibly nosocomial legionnaires' disease, including 18 in bone marrow and heart transplant patients. Twelve patients (48%) died. During the first 9 months of 1996, the attack rate was 6% among cardiac and bone marrow transplant patients. For cases that occurred before 1996, intubation was associated with increased risk for disease. High-dose corticosteroid medication was strongly associated with the risk for disease, but other immunosuppressive therapy or cancer chemotherapy was not. Several species and serogroups of Legionella were isolated from numerous sites in the hospital's potable water system. Six of seven available clinical isolates were identical and were indistinguishable from environmental isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Initial infection control measures failed to interrupt nosocomial acquisition of infection. After extensive modifications to the water system, closely monitored repeated hyperchlorinations, and reduction of patient exposures to aerosols, transmission was interrupted. No cases have been identified since September 1996.
Legionella can colonize hospital potable water systems for long periods of time, resulting in an ongoing risk for patients, especially those who are immunocompromised. In this hospital, nosocomial transmission possibly occurred for more than 17 years and was interrupted in 1996, after a sudden increase in incidence led to its recognition. Hospitals specializing in the care of immunocompromised patients (eg, transplant centers) should prioritize surveillance for cases of legionnaires' disease. Aggressive control measures can interrupt transmission of this disease successfully.
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