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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed significant burden on healthcare systems. We compared Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) epidemiology before and during the pandemic across 71 hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program. Using an interrupted time series analysis, we showed that CDI rates significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: Bloodstream infections (BSIs) due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are important causes of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. Long-term national MRSA BSI surveillance establishes rates for internal and external comparison and provide insight into epidemiologic, molecular, and resistance trends. Here, we present and discuss National MRSA BSI incidence rates and trends over time in Canadian acute-care hospitals from 2008 to 2018. Methods: The Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Programme (CNISP) is a collaborative effort of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Since 1995, the CNISP has conducted hospital-based sentinel surveillance of MRSA BSIs. Data were collected using standardized definitions and forms from hospitals that participate in the CNISP (48 hospitals in 2008 to 62 hospitals in 2018). For each MRSA BSI identiﬁed, the medical record was reviewed for clinical and demographic information and when possible, 1 blood-culture isolate per patient was submitted to a central laboratory for further molecular characterization and susceptibility testing. Results: From 2008 to 2013, MRSA BSI rates per 10,000 patient days were relatively stable (0.60–0.56). Since 2014, MRSA BSI rates have gradually increased from 0.66 to 1.05 in 2018. Although healthcare-associated (HA) MRSA BSI has shown a minimal increase (0.40 in 2014 to 0.51 in 2018), community-acquired (CA) MRSA BSI has increased by 150%, from 0.20 in 2014 to 0.50 in 2018 (Fig. 1). Laboratory characterization revealed that the proportion of isolates identified as CMRSA 2 (USA 100) decreased each year, from 39% in 2015 to 28% in 2018, while CMRSA 10 (USA 300) has increased from 41% to 47%. Susceptibility testing shows a decrease in clindamycin resistance from 82% in 2013 to 41% in 2018. Conclusions: Over the last decade, ongoing prospective MRSA BSI surveillance has shown relatively stable HA-MRSA rates, while CA-MRSA BSI rates have risen substantially. The proportion of isolates most commonly associated with HA-MRSA BSI (CMRSA2/USA 100) are decreasing and, given that resistance trends are tied to the prevalence of specific epidemic types, a large decrease in clindamycin resistance has been observed. MRSA BSI surveillance has shown a changing pattern in the epidemiology and laboratory characterization of MRSA BSI. The addition of hospitals in later years that may have had higher rates of CA-MRSA BSI could be a confounding factor. Continued comprehensive national surveillance will provide valuable information to address the challenges of infection prevention and control of MRSA BSI in hospitals.
Background: The association between antimicrobial use (AMU) and emergence of antimicrobial resistance is well documented. The Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) has conducted sentinel surveillance of AMU at participating Canadian hospitals since 2009 resulting in the largest pan-Canadian hospital database of dispensed antimicrobials. Objectives: Describe interhospital variability of AMU across Canada. Methods: Hospitals submit annual AMU data based on patient days (PD). Antimicrobials were measured in defined daily doses (DDD) for adults using the WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) system. The AMU data among pediatric patients have been available since 2017 using days of therapy (DOT). Surveillance includes systemic antibacterial agents (J01 ATC codes), oral metronidazole, and oral vancomycin. AMU was assessed using quintiles, interquartile ranges (IQR), and relative IQRs (upper- and lower-quartile values divided by the median). Results: Between 2009 and 2018, 20–26 hospitals participated in adult surveillance each year (35 teaching hospitals and 3 nonteaching hospitals participated in ≥1 year). Over this period, overall AMU decreased by 13% at participating adult hospitals from 645 to 560 DDD per 1,000 PD. AMU varied substantially between hospitals, but this variability decreased over time (Fig. 1). In 2009, the IQRs for overall AMU spanned 309 DDD per 1,000 PD, and in 2018 it spanned only 103 DDD per 1,000 PD. This decrease in variability was due to large decreases in use among hospitals with high use in 2009–2010. Among hospitals in the highest use quintile in 2009–2010, AMU decreased, on average, 44 DDD per 1,000 PD each year. Among hospitals in the lowest use quintile in 2009–2010, AMU increased, on average, 6 DDD per 1,000 PD each year. In 2018, antibiotics with the largest absolute IQR variability were cefazolin (61–113 DDD per 1,000 PD), piperacillin-tazobactam (32–64 DDD per 1,000 PD), and vancomycin (24–49 DDD per 1,000 PD). Among antibiotics with ≥1 DDD per 1,000 PD, antibiotics with the largest relative IQR variability were tobramycin (0.3–6 DDD per 1,000 PD), cefadroxil (0.08–9 DDD per 1,000 PD), and linezolid (0.2–3 DDD per 1,000 PD). In 2018, the IQR for overall pediatric AMU (n = 7 teaching hospitals) was 426–581 DOT per 1,000 PD. Antibiotics with the largest IQRs were vancomycin (0.6–58 DOT per 1,000 PD), cefazolin (33–88 DOT per 1,000 PD), and tobramycin (3–57 DOT per 1,000 PD). Among antibiotics with ≥1 DOT per 1,000 PD in 2018, antibiotics with the largest relative IQRs were tobramycin (3–57 DOT per 1,000 PD), cefuroxime (1–6 DOT per 1,000 PD), and amoxicillin (8–42 DOT per 1,000 PD). Conclusions: There is wide variation in overall antibiotic use across hospitals. Variation between AMU at adult hospitals has decreased between 2009 and 2018; in 2018, antibiotics with the largest IQRs were cefazolin and piperacillin-tazobactam. Benchmarking AMU is crucial for informing antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
Funding: CNISP is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Disclosures: Allison McGeer reports funds to her institution from Pfizer and Merck for projects for which she is the principal investigator. She also reports consulting fees from Sanofi-Pasteur, Sunovion, GSK, Pfizer, and Cidara.
Background: Healthcare services are increasingly shifting from inpatient to outpatient settings. Outpatient settings such as emergency departments (EDs), oncology clinics, dialysis clinics, and day surgery often involve invasive procedures with the risk of acquiring healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). As a leading cause of HAI, Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in outpatient settings has not been sufficiently described in Canada. The Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) aims to describe the epidemiology, molecular characterization, and antimicrobial susceptibility of outpatient CDI across Canada. Methods: Epidemiologic data were collected from patients diagnosed with CDI from a network of 47 adult and pediatric CNISP hospitals. Patients presenting to an outpatient setting such as the ED or outpatient clinics were considered as outpatient CDI. Cases were considered HAIs if the patient had had a healthcare intervention within the previous 4 weeks, and they were considered community-associated if there was no history of hospitalization within the previous 12 weeks. Clostridioides difficile isolates were submitted to the National Microbiology Laboratory for testing during an annual 2-month targeted surveillance period. National and regional rates of CDI were stratified by outpatient location. Results: Between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2019, 2,691 cases of outpatient-CDI were reported, and 348 isolates were available for testing. Most cases (1,475 of 2,691, 54.8%) were identified in outpatient clinics, and 72.8% (1,960 of 2,691) were classified as community associated. CDI cases per 100,000 ED visits were highest in 2015, at 10.3, and decreased to 8.1 in 2018. Rates from outpatient clinics decreased from 3.5 in 2016 to 2.7 in 2018 (Fig. 1). Regionally, CDI rates in the ED declined in Central Canada and increased in the West after 2016. Rates in outpatient clinics were >2 times higher in the West compared to other regions. RT027 associated with NAP1 was most common among ED patients (26 of 195, 13.3%), whereas RT106 associated with NAP11 was predominant in outpatient clinics (22 of 189, 11.6%). Overall, 10.4% of isolates were resistant to moxifloxacin, 0.5% were resistant to rifampin, and 24.2% were resistant to clindamycin. No resistance was observed for metronidazole, vancomycin, or tigecycline. Compared to CNISP inpatient CDI data, outpatients with CDI were younger (51.8 ± 23.3 vs 64.2 ± 21.6; P < .001), included more females (56.4% vs 50.9%; P < .001), and were more often treated with metronidazole (63.0% vs 56.1%; P < .001). Conclusions: For the first time, CDI cases identified in outpatient settings were characterized in a Canadian context. Outpatient CDI rates are decreasing overall, but they vary by region. Predominant ribotypes vary based on outpatient location. Outpatients with CDI are younger and are more likely female than inpatients with CDI.
Disclosures: Susy Hota reports contract research for Finch Therapeutics.
To better understand barriers and facilitators that contribute to antibiotic overuse in long-term care and to use this information to inform an evidence and theory-informed program.
Information on barriers and facilitators associated with the assessment and management of urinary tract infections were identified from a mixed-methods survey and from focus groups with stakeholders working in long-term care. Each barrier or facilitator was mapped to corresponding determinants of behavior change, as described by the theoretical domains framework (TDF). The Rx for Change database was used to identify strategies to address the key determinants of behavior change.
In total, 19 distinct barriers and facilitators were mapped to 8 domains from the TDF: knowledge, skills, environmental context and resources, professional role or identity, beliefs about consequences, social influences, emotions, and reinforcements. The assessment of barriers and facilitators informed the need for a multifaceted approach with the inclusion of strategies (1) to establish buy-in for the changes; (2) to align organizational policies and procedures; (3) to provide education and ongoing coaching support to staff; (4) to provide information and education to residents and families; (5) to establish process surveillance with feedback to staff; and (6) to deliver reminders.
The use of a stepped approach was valuable to ensure that locally relevant barriers and facilitators to practice change were addressed in the development of a regional program to help long-term care facilities minimize antibiotic prescribing for asymptomatic bacteriuria. This stepped approach provides considerable opportunity to advance the design and impact of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L. # LEPLA) is a serious weed of meadows and riparian habitats in the intermountain area of the western United States. Germination of seeds of this species was tested at 55 constant- and alternating-temperature regimes. No significant differences were found in mean germination at a range of temperatures varying from 0 to 40 C for seedlots collected at the same site in different years or at different locations in the same year. Optimum germination not significantly (P = 0.01) lower than the maximum observed occurred most frequently at 5/40 C (5 C for 16 h and 40 C for 8 h), and 10/40 and 15/40 C. Germination was enhanced by alternating regimes with low night temperatures (0, 2, or 5 C) and high day temperatures (35 and 40 C), in comparison with more moderate constant-temperature regimes.
To assess clinically relevant outcomes after complete cessation of control measures for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).
Quasi-experimental ecological study over 3.5 years.
All VRE screening and isolation practices at 4 large academic hospitals in Ontario, Canada, were stopped on July 1, 2012. In total, 618 anonymized abstracted charts of patients with VRE-positive clinical isolates identified between July 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013, were reviewed to determine whether the case was a true VRE infection, a VRE colonization or contaminant, or a true VRE bacteremia. All deaths within 30 days of the last VRE infection were also reviewed to determine whether the death was fully or partially attributable to VRE. All-cause mortality was evaluated over the study period. Generalized estimating equation methods were used to cluster outcome rates within hospitals, and negative binomial models were created for each outcome.
The incidence rate ratio (IRR) for VRE infections was 0.59 and the associated P value was .34. For VRE bacteremias, the IRR was 0.54 and P=.38; for all-cause mortality the IRR was 0.70 and P=.66; and for VRE attributable death, the IRR was 0.35 and P=.49. VRE control measures were not significantly associated with any of the outcomes. Rates of all outcomes appeared to increase during the 18-month period after cessation of VRE control measures, but none reached statistical significance.
Clinically significant VRE outcomes remain rare. Cessation of all control measures for VRE had no significant attributable adverse clinical impact.
There has been limited research on the perspectives and needs of national caregivers when confronted with large-scale societal violence. In Iraq, although the security situation has improved from its nadir in 2006-2007, intermittent bombings, and other hostilities continue. National workers remain the primary health resource for the affected populace.
To assess the status and challenges of national physicians working in the Emergency Departments of an active conflict area.
This study was a survey of civilian Iraqi doctors working in Emergency Departments (EDs) across Iraq, via a convenience sample of physicians taking the International Medical Corps (IMC) Doctor Course in Emergency Medicine, given in Baghdad from December 2008 through August 2009.
The 148 physician respondents came from 11 provinces and over 50 hospitals in Iraq. They described cardiovascular disease, road traffic injuries, and blast and bullet injuries as the main causes of death and reasons for ED utilization. Eighty percent reported having been assaulted by a patient or their family member at least once within the last year; 38% reported they were threatened with a gun. Doctors reported seeing a median of 7.5 patients per hour, with only 19% indicating that their EDs had adequate physician staffing. Only 19% of respondents were aware of an established triage system for their hospital, and only a minority had taken courses covering ACLS- (16%) or ATLS-related (24%) material. Respondents reported a wide diversity of prior training, with only 3% having some type of specialized emergency medicine degree.
The results of this study describe some of the challenges faced by national health workers providing emergency care to a violence-stricken populace. Study findings demonstrate high levels of violent behavior directed toward doctors in Iraqi Emergency Departments, as well as staffing shortages and a lack of formal training in emergency medical care.
Donaldson RI, Shanovich P, Shetty P, Clark E, Aziz S, Morton M, Hasoon T, Evans G. A survey of national physicians working in an active conflict zone: the challenges of emergency medical care in Iraq. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(2):1-9.
The authors describe an energy harvester circuit fabricated with integrated thin ferroelectric film capacitors on a silicon substrate. The harvesting mechanism is a folded double-beam cantilever with proof masses at both end points. Interdigitated electrode capacitors are located at the three points on the folded cantilever that are expected to experience maximum bending moment and should produce up to 5V as a function of external vibration. The die has the dimensions of 1.6mm on a side and is designed to be mounted in a TO-18 package transistor-style package. Due to its small size, the self-contained piezoelectric MEMs device should produce 50 picowatts in a 1g vibration environment while occupying little space.