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With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, rates of in-hospital antimicrobial use increased due to perceived bacterial and fungal coinfections along with COVID-19. We describe the incidence of these coinfections and antimicrobial use in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 to help guide effective antimicrobial use in this population.
This study was conducted in 3 tertiary-care referral university teaching hospitals in New York City.
This multicenter retrospective observational cohort study involved all patients admitted with COVID-19 from January 1, 2020, to February 1, 2021. Variables of interest were extracted from a de-identified data set of all COVID-19 infections across the health system. Population statistics are presented as median with interquartile range (IQR) or proportions with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as indicated.
Among 7,209 of patients admitted with COVID-19, 663 (9.2%) had a positive culture from the respiratory tract or blood sometime during their initial hospital admission. Positive respiratory cultures occurred found in 449 (6.2%) patients, and 20% were collected within 48 hours of admission. Blood culture positivity occurred in 334 patients (4.6%), with 33.5% identified within 48 hours of admission. A higher proportion of patients received antimicrobials in the first wave than in the later pandemic period (82.4% vs 52.0%). Antimicrobials were prescribed to 70.1% of inpatients, with a median of 6 antimicrobial days per patient. Infection-free survival decreased over the course of hospitalization.
We detected a very low incidence of coinfection with COVID-19 at admission. A longer duration of hospitalization was associated with an increased risk of coinfection. Antimicrobial use far exceeded the true incidence and detection of coinfections in these patients.
The data regarding the effectiveness of chemical prophylaxis against recurrent C. difficile infection (CDI) remain conflicting.
Retrospective cohort study on the effectiveness of oral vancomycin for prevention of recurrent CDI.
Two academic centers in New York.
Two participating hospitals implemented an automated alert recommending oral vancomycin 125 mg twice daily in patients with CDI history scheduled to receive systemic antimicrobials. Measured outcomes included breakthrough and recurrent CDI rates, defined as CDI during and 1 month after initiation of prophylaxis, respectively. A self-controlled, before-and-after study design was employed to examine the effect of vancomycin prophylaxis on the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp (VRE) colonization and infection.
We included 264 patients in the analysis. Breakthrough CDI was identified in 17 patients (6.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.8%–10.1%) and recurrent in 22 patients (8.3%; 95% CI, 5.3%–12.3%). Among the 102 patients with a history of CDI within the 3 months preceding prophylaxis, 4 patients (3.9%; 95% CIs, 1.1%–9.7%) had breakthrough CDI and 9 had recurrent disease (8.8%; 95% CIs, 4.1%–16.1%). In the 3-month period following vancomycin prophylaxis, we detected a statistically significant increase in both the absolute number of VRE (χ2, 0.003) and the ratio of VRE to VSE isolates (χ2, 0.003) compared to the combined period of 1.5 months preceding and the 3–4.5 months following prophylaxis. This effect persisted 6 months following prophylaxis.
Prophylactic vancomycin is an effective strategy to prevent CDI recurrence, but it increases the risk of VRE colonization. Thus, a careful selection of patients with high benefit-to-risk ratio is needed for the implementation of this preventive policy.