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The true incidence and risk factors for secondary bacterial infections in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains poorly understood. Knowledge of risk factors for secondary infections in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is necessary to optimally guide selective use of empiric antimicrobial therapy.
Single-center retrospective cohort study of symptomatic inpatients admitted for COVID-19 from April 15, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
Academic quaternary-care referral center in Portland, Oregon.
The study included patients who were 18 years or older with a positive severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR test up to 10 days prior to admission.
Secondary infections were identified based on clinical, radiographic, and microbiologic data. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for secondary infection. We also assessed mortality, length of stay, and empiric antibiotics among those with and without secondary infections.
We identified 118 patients for inclusion; 31 (26.3%) had either culture-proven or possible secondary infections among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Mortality was higher among patients with secondary infections (35.5%) compared to those without secondary infection (4.6%). Empiric antibiotic use on admission was high in both the secondary and no secondary infection groups at 71.0% and 48.3%, respectively.
The incidence of secondary bacterial infection was moderate among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. However, a higher proportion of patients received empiric antibiotics regardless of an identifiable secondary infection. Transfer from an outside hospital, baseline immunosuppressant use, and corticosteroid treatment were independent risk factors for secondary infection. Additional studies are needed to validate risk factors and best guide antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
To determine whether a structured OPAT program supervised by an infectious disease physician and led by an OPAT nurse decreased hospital readmission rates and OPAT-related complications and whether it affected clinical cure. We also evaluated predictors of readmission while receiving OPAT.
A convenience sample of 428 patients admitted to a tertiary-care hospital in Chicago, Illinois, with infections requiring intravenous antibiotic therapy after hospital discharge.
In this retrospective, quasi-experimental study, we compared patients discharged on intravenous antimicrobials from an OPAT program before and after implementation of a structured ID physician and nurse-led OPAT program. The preintervention group consisted of patients discharged on OPAT managed by individual physicians without central program oversight or nurse care coordination. All-cause and OPAT-related readmissions were compared using the χ2 test. Factors associated with readmission for OPAT-related problems at a significance level of P < .10 in univariate analysis were eligible for testing in a forward, stepwise, multinomial, logistic regression to identify independent predictors of readmission.
In total, 428 patients were included in the study. Unplanned OPAT-related hospital readmissions decreased significantly after implementation of the structured OPAT program (17.8% vs 7%; P = .003). OPAT-related readmission reasons included infection recurrence or progression (53%), adverse drug reaction (26%), or line-associated issues (21%). Independent predictors of hospital readmission due to OPAT-related events included vancomycin administration and longer length of outpatient therapy. Clinical cure increased from 69.8% before the intervention to 94.9% after the intervention (P < .001).
A structured ID physician and nurse-led OPAT program was associated with a decrease in OPAT-related readmissions and improved clinical cure.
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has significant implications for hospital infection prevention and control, discharge management, and public health. We reviewed available literature to reach an evidenced-based consensus on the expected duration of viral shedding.
We queried 4 scholarly repositories and search engines for studies reporting SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding dynamics by PCR and/or culture available through September 8, 2020. We calculated the pooled median duration of viral RNA shedding from respiratory and fecal sources.
The review included 77 studies on SARS-CoV-2. All studies reported PCR-based testing and 12 also included viral culture data. Among 28 studies, the overall pooled median duration of RNA shedding from respiratory sources was 18.4 days (95% CI, 15.5–21.3; I2 = 98.87%; P < .01). When stratified by disease severity, the pooled median duration of viral RNA shedding from respiratory sources was 19.8 days (95% CI, 16.2–23.5; I2 = 96.42%; P < .01) among severely ill patients and 17.2 days (95% CI, 14.0–20.5; I2 = 95.64%; P < .01) in mild-to-moderate illness. Viral RNA was detected up to 92 days after symptom onset. Viable virus was isolated by culture from −6 to 20 days relative to symptom onset.
SARS-COV-2 RNA shedding can be prolonged, yet high heterogeneity exists. Detection of viral RNA may not correlate with infectivity since available viral culture data suggests shorter durations of shedding of viable virus. Additional data are needed to determine the duration of shedding of viable virus and the implications for risk of transmission.
To characterize nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) associated with case clusters at 3 medical facilities.
Retrospective cohort study using molecular typing of patient and water isolates.
Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs).
Isolation and identification of NTM from clinical and water samples using culture, MALDI-TOF, and gene population sequencing to determine species and genetic relatedness. Clinical data were abstracted from electronic health records.
An identical strain of Mycobacterium conceptionense was isolated from 41 patients at VA Medical Centers (VAMCs A, B, and D), and from VAMC A’s ICU ice machine. Isolates were initially identified as other NTM species within the M. fortuitum clade. Sequencing analyses revealed that they were identical M. conceptionense strains. Overall, 7 patients (17%) met the criteria for pulmonary or nonpulmonary infection with NTM, and 13 of 41 (32%) were treated with effective antimicrobials regardless of infection or colonization status. Separately, a M. mucogenicum patient strain from VAMC A matched a strain isolated from a VAMC B ICU ice machine. VAMC C, in a different state, had a 4-patient cluster with Mycobacterium porcinum. Strains were identical to those isolated from sink-water samples at this facility.
NTM from hospital water systems are found in hospitalized patients, often during workup for other infections, making attribution of NTM infection problematic. Variable NTM identification methods and changing taxonomy create challenges for epidemiologic investigation and linkage to environmental sources.
To determine the impact of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI) on patient behaviors following illness.
Using a computer algorithm, we searched the electronic medical records of 7 Chicago-area hospitals to identify patients with RCDI (2 episodes of CDI within 15 to 56 days of each other). RCDI was validated by medical record review. Patients were asked to complete a telephone survey. The survey included questions regarding general health, social isolation, symptom severity, emotional distress, and prevention behaviors.
In total, 119 patients completed the survey (32%). On average, respondents were 57.4 years old (standard deviation, 16.8); 57% were white, and ~50% reported hospitalization for CDI. At the time of their most recent illness, patients rated their diarrhea as high severity (58.5%) and their exhaustion as extreme (30.7%). Respondents indicated that they were very worried about getting sick again (41.5%) and about infecting others (31%). Almost 50% said that they have washed their hands more frequently (47%) and have increased their use of soap and water (45%) since their illness. Some of these patients (22%–32%) reported eating out less, avoiding certain medications and public areas, and increasing probiotic use. Most behavioral changes were unrelated to disease severity.
Having had RCDI appears to increase prevention-related behaviors in some patients. While some behaviors are appropriate (eg, handwashing), others are not supported by evidence of decreased risk and may negatively impact patient quality of life. Providers should discuss appropriate prevention behaviors with their patients and should clarify that other behaviors (eg, eating out less) will not affect their risk of future illness.
To identify differences in organizational culture and better understand motivators to implementation of abundle intervention to control Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (KPC).
Four long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) in Chicago.
LTACH staff across 3 strata of employees (administration, midlevel management, and frontline clinical workers).
Qualitative interviews or focus groups and completion of a quantitative questionnaire.
Eighty employees (frontline, 72.5%; midlevel, 17.5%; administration, 10%) completed surveys and participated in qualitative discussions in August 2012. Although 82.3% of respondents felt that quality improvement was a priority at their LTACH, there were statistically significant differences in organizational culture between staff strata, with administrative-level having higher organizational culture scores (ie, more favorable responses) than midlevel or frontline staff. When asked to rank the success of the KPC control program, mean response was 8.0 (95% confidence interval, 7.6–8.5), indicating a high level of agreement with the perception that the program was a success. Patient safety and personal safety were reported most often as personal motivators for intervention adherence. The most convergent theme related to prevention across groups was that proper hand hygiene is vital to prevention of KPC transmission.
Despite differences in organizational culture across 3 strata of LTACH employees, the high degree of convergence in motivation, understanding, and beliefs related to implementation of a KPC control bundle suggests that all levels of staff may be able to align perspectives when faced with a key infection control problem and quality improvement initiative.
We describe 22 patients from a multistate outbreak of Serraría marcescens bacteremia that was linked to contaminated prefilled syringes of heparin and saline supplied by 1 manufacturer. Contents of unused syringes were cultured in pools samples from 25 (5.3%) of 472 syringes grew S. marcescens. Despite good clinical outcomes overall, patients had substantial morbidity.
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