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We sought to determine incidence of common hospital-acquired bacteria among coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in Israeli general hospitals during the first year of the pandemic.
We analyzed routinely collected incidence data to determine hospital acquisition of the following sentinel bacteria: Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Clostridioides difficile. We examined 3 acquisition measures: (1) sentinel bacteria, (2) sentinel bacteremia, and (3) antimicrobial-resistant sentinel bacteremia. The study period was March 1, 2020, through January 31, 2021.
Analysis of pooled data from the 26 hospitals surveyed revealed that rates were higher for all 3 acquisition measures among COVID-19 patients than they were among patients on general medical wards in 2019, but lower than those among patients in intensive care units in 2019. The incidence rate was highest during the first COVID-19 wave, despite a lower proportion of severe COVID-19 cases among total hospitalized during this wave. Wide variation in incidence was evident between hospitals.
Hospitalized COVID-19 patients experienced nosocomial bacterial infection at rates higher than those of patients on pre-pandemic general medical wards, adding to the complexity of their care. Lower rates of nosocomial infection after the first wave, despite higher proportions of severely ill patients, suggest that healthcare worker practices, rather than patient-related factors, were responsible for most of these infections.
In June 2018, the Ministry of Health received notification from 2 hospitals about 2 patients who presented with overwhelming Enterobacter kobei sepsis that developed within 24 hours after a dental procedure. We describe the investigation of this outbreak.
The epidemiologic investigation included site visits in 2 dental clinics and interviews with all involved healthcare workers. Chart reviews were conducted for case and control subjects. Samples were taken from medications and antiseptics, environmental surfaces, dental water systems, and from the involved healthcare professionals. Isolate similarity was assessed using repetitive element sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (REP-PCR).
The 2 procedures were conducted in different dental clinics by different surgeons and dental technicians. A single anesthesiologist administered the systemic anesthetic in both cases. Cultures from medications, fluids and healthcare workers’ hands were negative, but E. kobei was detected from the anesthesiologist’s portable medication cart. The 2 human isolates and the environmental isolate shared the same REP-PCR fingerprinting profile. None of the 21 patients treated by the anesthesiologist in a general hospital during the same period, using the hospital’s medications, developed infection following surgery.
An outbreak of post–dental-procedure sepsis was linked to a contaminated medication cart, emphasizing the importance of medication storage standards and strict aseptic technique when preparing intravenous drugs during anesthesia. Immediate reporting of sepsis following these outpatient procedures enabled early identification and termination of the outbreak.
To determine the effect of 2 regulations issued by the Israel Ministry of Health on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections and quarantine among healthcare workers (HCWs) in general hospitals.
Before-and-after intervention study without a control group (interrupted time-series analysis).
All 29 Israeli general hospitals.
Two national regulations were issued on March 25, 2020: one required universal masking of HCWs, patients, and visitors in general hospitals and the second defined what constitutes HCW exposure to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and when quarantine is required.
Overall, 283 HCWs were infected at work or from an unknown source. Before the intervention, the number of HCWs infected at work increased by 0.5 per day (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.2–0.7; P < .001), peaking at 16. After the intervention, new infections declined by 0.2 per day (95% CI, −0.3 to −0.1; P < .001). Before the intervention, the number of HCWs in quarantine or isolation increased by 97 per day (95% CI, 90–104; P < .001), peaking at 2,444. After the intervention, prevalence decreased by 59 per day (95% CI, −72 to −46; P < .001). Epidemiological investigations determined that the most common source of HCW infection (58%) was a coworker.
Universal masking in general hospitals reduced the risk of hospital-acquired COVID-19 among HCWs. Universal masking combined with uniform definitions of HCW exposure and criteria for quarantine limited the absence of HCWs from the workforce.
We characterized 57 isolates from a 2-phase clonal outbreak of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase–producing Eschericha coli, involving 9 Israeli hospitals; all but 1 isolate belonged to sequence-type (ST) 410. Most isolates in the second phase harbored blaKPC-2 in addition to blaNDM-5. Genetic sequencing revealed most dual-carbapenemase–producing isolates to be monophyletically derived from a common ancestor.
Prevention of central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) represents a complex challenge for the teams involved in device insertion and maintenance. First-tier practices for CLABSI prevention are well established.
We describe second-tier prevention practices in Israeli medical-surgical ICUs and assess their association with CLABSI rates.
In June 2017, an online survey assessing infection prevention practices in general ICUs was sent to all Israeli acute-care hospitals. The survey comprised 14 prevention measures supplementary to the established measures that are standard of care for CLABSI prevention. These measures fall into 2 domains: technology and implementation. The association between the number of prevention measures and CLABSI rate during the first 6 months of 2017 was assessed using Spearman’s correlation. We used negative binomial regression to calculate the incidence rate ratio (IRR) associated with the overall number of prevention measures and with each measure individually.
The CLABSI rates in 24 general ICUs varied between 0.0 and 17.0 per 1,000 central-line days. Greater use of preventive measures was associated with lower CLABSI rates (ρ, –0.70; P < .001). For each additional measure, the incidence of CLABSI decreased by 19% (IRR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.73–0.89). Specific measures associated with lower rates were involvement of ward champions (IRR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.31–0.71), auditing of insertions by infection control staff (IRR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.19–0.64), and simulation-based training (IRR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.22–0.64).
Implementation of second-tier preventive practices was protective against CLABSI. Use of more practices was correlated with lower rates.
To compare the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and mortality of patients with bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) versus ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) and to examine the differences in clinical characteristics and outcome between BSIs caused by isolates with CTX-M versus other ESBL genotypes
As part of the INCREMENT project, 33 tertiary hospitals in 12 countries retrospectively collected data on adult patients diagnosed with ESBL-EC BSI or ESBL-KP BSI between 2004 and 2013. Risk factors for ESBL-EC versus ESBL-KP BSI and for 30-day mortality were examined by bivariate analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression.
The study included 909 patients: 687 with ESBL-EC BSI and 222 with ESBL-KP BSI. ESBL genotype by polymerase chain reaction amplification of 286 isolates was available. ESBL-KP BSI was associated with intensive care unit admission, cardiovascular and neurological comorbidities, length of stay to bacteremia >14 days from admission, and a nonurinary source. Overall, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with ESBL-KP BSI than ESBL-EC BSI (33.7% vs 17.4%; odds ratio, 1.64; P=.016). CTX-M was the most prevalent ESBL subtype identified (218 of 286 polymerase chain reaction-tested isolates, 76%). No differences in clinical characteristics or in mortality between CTX-M and non–CTX-M ESBLs were detected.
Clinical characteristics and risk of mortality differ significantly between ESBL-EC and ESBL-KP BSI. Therefore, all ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae should not be considered a homogeneous group. No differences in outcomes between genotypes were detected.
Since 2006, Israel has been confronting an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and in 2007 Israel implemented a national strategy to contain spread. The intervention was initially directed toward acute-care hospitals and later expanded to include an established reservoir of carriage in long-term-care hospitals. It included regular reporting of CRE cases to a central registry and daily oversight of management of the outbreak at the institutional level. Microbiological methodologies were standardized in clinical laboratories nationwide. Uniform requirements for carrier screening and isolation were established, and a protocol for discontinuation of carrier status was formulated. In response to the evolving epidemiology of CRE in Israel and the continued need for uniform guidelines for carrier detection and isolation, the Ministry of Health in 2016 issued a regulatory circular updating the requirements for CRE screening, laboratory diagnosis, molecular characterization, and carrier isolation, as well as reporting and discontinuation of isolation in healthcare institutions nationwide. The principal elements of the circular are contained herein.
Patients hospitalized in post-acute care hospitals (PACHs) constitute an important reservoir of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. High carriage prevalence of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has been observed among patients hospitalized in PACHs. The objective of the study is to describe the impact of a national infection control intervention on the prevalence of CRE in PACHs.
A prospective cohort interventional study.
Thirteen PACHs in Israel.
A multifaceted intervention was initiated between 2008 and 2011 as part of a national program involving all Israeli healthcare facilities. The intervention has included (1) periodic on-site assessments of infection control policies and resources, using a score comprised of 16 elements; (2) assessment of risk factors for CRE colonization; (3) development of national guidelines for CRE control in PACHs involving active surveillance and contact isolation of carriers; and (4) 3 cross-sectional surveys of rectal carriage of CRE that were conducted in representative wards.
The infection control score increased from 6.8 to 14.0 (P < .001) over the course of the study period. A total of 3,516 patients were screened in the 3 surveys. Prevalence of carriage among those not known to be carriers decreased from 12.1% to 7.9% (P = .008). Overall carrier prevalence decreased from 16.8% to 12.5% (P = .013). Availability of alcohol-based hand rub, appropriate use of gloves, and a policy of CRE surveillance at admission to the hospital were independently associated with lower new carrier prevalence.
A nationwide infection control intervention was associated with enhanced infection control measures and a reduction in the prevalence of CRE in PACHs.
To assess the prevalence of and risk factors for carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) carriage among patients in post-acute-care facilities (PACFs) in Israel.
Design, Setting, and Patients.
A cross-sectional prevalence survey was conducted in 12 PACFs. Rectal swab samples were obtained from 1,144 patients in 33 wards. Risk factors for CRKP carriage were assessed among the cohort. Next, a nested, matched case-control study was conducted to define individual risk factors for colonization. Finally, the cohort of patients with a history of CRKP carriage was characterized to determine risk factors for continuous carriage.
The prevalence of rectal carriage of CRKP among 1,004 patients without a history of CRKP carriage was 12.0%. Independent risk factors for CRKP carriage were prolonged length of stay (odds ratio [OR], 1.001; P < .001), sharing a room with a known carrier (OR, 3.09; P = .02), and increased prevalence of known carriers on the ward (OR, 1.02; P = .013). A policy of screening for carriage on admission was protective (OR, 0.41; P = .03). Risk factors identified in the nested case-control study were antibiotic exposure during the prior 3 months (OR, 1.66; P = .03) and colonization with other resistant pathogens (OR, 1.64; P = .03). Among 140 patients with a history of CRKP carriage, 47% were colonized. Independent risk factors for continued CRKP carriage were antibiotic exposure during the prior 3 months (OR, 3.05; P = .04), receipt of amoxicillin-clavulanate (OR, 4.18; P = .007), and screening within 90 days of the first culture growing CRKP (OR, 2.9; P = .012).
We found a large reservoir of CRKP in PACFs. Infection-control polices and antibiotic exposure were associated with patient colonization.
After the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, Project Medishare and the University of Miami organized, built, and staffed a 200-bed field hospital (the University of Miami Hospital in Haiti [UMHH] ) on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. We describe the operational challenges of providing a safe environment at the UMHH. Furthermore, we compared how these issues were addressed at this ad hoc hospital with how they were addressed at the field hospital of the Israel Defense Force, a fully deployable hospital with an organization fine-tuned as a result of prior disaster situations, also in Haiti.
To perform a molecular and epidemiologic investigation of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in an institution were polyclonal outbreaks have been observed and determine whether these polyclonal outbreaks had an endogenous origin or were caused by in-hospital patient-to-patient transmission.
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.
An epidemiologic and genotypic investigation of incident cases of MDR A. baumannii infection in an Israeli university tertiary care center.
Hospitalized patients with MDR A. baumannii isolated from clinical samples during a 13-week period, from April 15, 2003, through July 15, 2003.
All patients with new MDR A. baumannii infections were recruited, and isolates were typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Data on in-hospital movements and consultations were extracted from computerized databases. Quantification of transmission opportunities (TOPs), defined as encounters between an established carrier and a future carrier of MDR A. baumannii, and analysis of ward clusters were performed.
We studied 96 MDR A. baumannii isolates, which belonged to 18 different pulsed-field gel electrophoresis clones. In 65% of cases, TOPs involving patients with the same clone were demonstrated, which is significantly greater than the number of TOPs involving patients with different clones (P = .01).
Although outbreaks of MDR A. baumannii infection may be polyclonal, we believe that patient-to-patient transmission explains most cases of transmission. Polyclonal local outbreaks reflect several clonal outbreaks occurring simultaneously. The cause of polyclonal outbreaks of A. baumannii infections clustered by ward and time remains to be explained.
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