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1.  Reviewer acknowledgement 2014 
Contributing reviewers
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control would like to thank the following colleagues for their assistance with peer review of manuscripts for the journal in 2014.
PMCID: PMC4334413
2.  Reviewer acknowledgement 2013 
Contributing reviewers
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control would like to thank the following colleagues for their assistance with peer review of manuscripts for the journal in 2013.
PMCID: PMC3896811  PMID: 24433391
3.  Reviewer acknowledgement 2012 
Contributing reviewers
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control would like to thank the following colleagues for their assistance with peer review of manuscripts for the journal in 2012.
PMCID: PMC3626655  PMID: 23369500
4.  “The Chennai declaration” - Indian doctors’ fight against antimicrobial resistance 
“The Chennai Declaration” is the result of the first ever joint meeting of medical societies in India addressing antibiotic resistance. The declaration is not a policy by itself, but a call for a national policy. The Declaration has looked into all major aspects of the problem of antimicrobial resistance, has suggested practical solutions, explained in detail the responsibility of each and every stakeholder.
PMCID: PMC3600017  PMID: 23452398
5.  Measuring the quality of infection control in Dutch nursing homes using a standardized method; the Infection prevention RIsk Scan (IRIS) 
We developed a standardised method to assess the quality of infection control in Dutch Nursing Home (NH), based on a cross-sectional survey that visualises the results. The method was called the Infection control RIsk Infection Scan (IRIS). We tested the applicability of this new tool in a multicentre surveillance executed June and July 2012.
The IRIS includes two patient outcome-variables, i.e. the prevalence of healthcare associated infections (HAI) and rectal carriage of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E); two patient-related risk factors, i.e. use of medical devices, and antimicrobial therapy; and three ward-related risk factors, i.e. environmental contamination, availability of local guidelines, and shortcomings in infection prevention preconditions. Results were categorised as low-, intermediate- and high risk, presented in an easy-to-read graphic risk spider-plot. This plot was given as feedback to management and healthcare workers of the NH.
Large differences were found among most the variables in the different NH. Common shortcomings were the availability of infection control guidelines and the level of environmental cleaning. Most striking differences were observed in the prevalence of ESBL carriage, ranged from zero to 20.6% (p < 0.001).
The IRIS provided a rapid and easy to understand assessment of the infection control situation of the participating NH. The results can be used to improve the quality of infection control based on the specific needs of a NH but needs further validation in future studies. Repeated measurement can determine the effectiveness of the interventions. This makes the IRIS a useful tool for quality systems.
PMCID: PMC4169692  PMID: 25243067
Nursing homes; Healthcare associated infections; Antimicrobial resistance; Infection control; Quality improvement; Surveillance
7.  Hand hygiene and aseptic techniques during routine anesthetic care - observations in the operating room 
More knowledge is needed about task intensity in relation to hand hygiene in the operating room during anesthetic care in order to choose effective improvement strategies. The aim of this study was to explore the indications and occurrence of hand hygiene opportunities and the adherence to hand hygiene guidelines during routine anesthetic care in the operating room.
Structured observational data on hand hygiene during anesthetic care during 94 surgical procedures was collected using the World Health Organization’s observational tool in a surgical department consisting of 16 operating rooms serving different surgical specialties such as orthopedic, gynecological, urological and general surgery.
A total of 2,393 opportunities for hand hygiene was recorded. The number of hand hygiene opportunities when measured during full-length surgeries was mean = 10.9/hour, SD 6.1 with an overall adherence of 8.1%. The corresponding numbers for the induction phase were, mean =77.5/h, SD 27.4 with an associated 3.1% adherence to hand hygiene guidelines. Lowest adherence was observed during the induction phase before an aseptic task (2.2%) and highest during full-length surgeries after body fluid exposure (15.9%).
There is compelling evidence for low adherence to hand hygiene guidelines in the operating room and thus an urgent need for effective improvement strategies. The conclusion of this study is that any such strategy should include education and practical training in terms of how to carry out hand hygiene and aseptic techniques and how to use gloves correctly. Moreover it appears to be essential to optimize the work processes in order to reduce the number of avoidable hand hygiene opportunities thereby enhancing the possibilities for adequate use of HH during anesthetic care.
PMCID: PMC4328079
8.  The costs of nosocomial resistant gram negative intensive care unit infections among patients with the systemic inflammatory response syndrome- a propensity matched case control study 
Infections due to multi-drug resistant gram negative bacilli (RGNB) in critically ill patients have been reported to be associated with increased morbidity and costs and only a few studies have been done in Asia. We examined the financial impact of nosocomial RGNB infections among critically ill patients in Singapore.
A nested case control study was done for patients at medical and surgical ICUs of a tertiary university hospital (August 2007-December 2011) matched by propensity scores. Two groups of propensity-matched controls were selected for each case patient with nosocomial drug resistant gram negative infection: at-risk patients with no gram negative infection or colonization (Control A) and patients with ICU acquired susceptible gram negative infection (SGNB) (Control B). The costs of the hospital stay, laboratory tests and antibiotics prescribed as well as length of stay were compared using the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test.
Of the 1539 patients included in the analysis, 76 and 65 patients had ICU acquired RGNB and SGNB infection respectively. The median(range) total hospital bill per day for patients with RGNB infection was 1.5 times higher than at-risk patients without GNB infection [Singapore dollars 2637.8 (458.7-20610.3) vs. 1757.4 (179.9-6107.4), p0.0001]. The same trend was observed when compared with SGNB infected patients. The median costs per day of antibiotics and laboratory investigations were also found to be significantly higher for patients with RGNB infection. The length of stay post infection was not found to be different between those infected with RGNB and SGNB.
The economic burden of RGNB infections to the patients and the hospital is considerable. Efforts need to be taken to prevent their occurrence by cost effective infection control practices.
PMCID: PMC4316763  PMID: 25653851
Resistant gram negative infection; Sensitive gram negative infection; Critically ill patient; ICU; Costs
9.  Extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in a Thai hospital: a molecular epidemiologic analysis and identification of bactericidal Polymyxin B-based combinations 
Limited knowledge of the local molecular epidemiology and the paucity of new effective antibiotics has resulted in an immense challenge in the control and treatment of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Acinetobacter baumannii infections in Thailand. Antimicrobial combination regimens may be the only feasible treatment option in such cases. We sought to characterize the local molecular epidemiology and assess the bactericidal activity of various antibiotics individually and in combination against XDR A. baumannii in a Thai hospital.
All XDR A. baumannii isolates from Thammasat University Hospital were collected between October 2010 and May 2011. Susceptibility testing was conducted according to reference broth dilution methods. Pulse-field gel electrophoresis was used to genotype the isolates. Carbapenemase genes were detected using polymerase chain reaction. In vitro testing of clinically-relevant concentrations of imipenem, meropenem, doripenem, rifampicin and tigecycline alone and in combination with polymyxin B was conducted using multiple combination bactericidal testing.
Forty-nine polymyxin B-susceptible XDR A. baumannii isolates were identified. blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-51 genes were detected in all isolates. Eight clonally related clusters were identified, resulting in the initiation of several infection control measures. Imipenem, meropenem, doripenem, rifampicin, and tigecycline in combination with PB respectively, exhibited bactericidal killing in 100%, 100%, 98.0%, 100% and 87.8% isolates respectively at 24 hours.
Molecular epidemiologic analysis can aid the early detection of infection outbreak within the institution, resulting in the rapid containment of the outbreak. Imipenem/meropenem/rifampicin in combination with polymyxin B demonstrated consistent bactericidal effect against 49 blaOXA-23-harbouring XDR A. baumannii clinical isolates, suggesting a role of combination therapy in the treatment of these infections.
PMCID: PMC4314787  PMID: 25648393
Combination therapy; Carbapenem resistance; Acinetobacter baumannii
11.  Temporal trends and risk factors for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in adults with catheter-associated urinary tract infections 
Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli cause up to 10% of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). We report changes in ESBL prevalence among CAUTIs in an adult acute care hospital from 2006-2012 and describe factors associated ESBL-production among E. coli CAUTI.
Data on patients ≥18 years discharged from a 647-bed tertiary/quaternary care hospital (2006-2012), a 221-bed community hospital (2007-2012), and a 914-bed tertiary/quaternary care hospital (2008) were obtained retrospectively from an electronic database (N = 415,430 discharges). Infections were identified using a previously validated electronic algorithm. Information on medical conditions and treatments were collected from electronic health records and discharge billing codes. A case-control design was used to determine factors associated with having a CAUTI caused by an ESBL-producing E. coli versus a non-ESBL-producing E. coli. Changes in yearly proportion of ESBL E. coli CAUTI at the 647-bed tertiary/quaternary care hospital were evaluated. ESBL increased from 4% in 2006 to 14% in 2012, peaking at 18% in 2009. Prior antibiotic treatment and urinary tract disease significantly increased odds of ESBL.
This study provides evidence that treatment with beta-lactam and non-beta-lactam antibiotics is a risk factor for acquiring ESBL-producing E. coli CAUTI, and the prevalence of this organism may be increasing in acute care hospitals.
PMCID: PMC4306238  PMID: 25625011
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections; Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli; Antimicrobial resistance
12.  The strength of coughing may forecast the likelihood of spread of multi-drug resistant microorganisms from the respiratory tract of colonized patients 
Current recommendations indicate that patients who are coughing and have multidrug resistant microorganisms (MDROs) in their sputum are considered to be shedders and should be cared for in single room isolation at least until symptoms resolve. Airborne spread and subsequent contamination of surfaces adjacent to patients may contribute to transmission. Hence, isolation measures for patients colonized or infected with MDRO at their respiratory tract are intended to interrupt such transmission. However, the potential for microbial shedding in patients with MDRO-positive microbiological reports from their respiratory tract and factors justifying the need for single room isolation are viewed controversially.
Cough aerosol produced by patients colonized with MDROs was measured for viable counts. Descriptive analysis together with logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the impact of strength of cough on growth of MDRO on culture plates.
In 18% (23/128) MDRO were transmitted. Multivariate analysis revealed that strength of cough significantly predicts the yield of MDRO on culture plates (P = 0.012).
Based on these results it can be concluded that risk stratification for decision of single room isolation of patients colonized or infected with MDROs at their respiratory tract may also take the severity of cough into consideration. However, more work is required in order to assess the severity of cough objectively.
PMCID: PMC4271473  PMID: 25530847
Multidrug resistant microorganism; Cough; Aerogene spread; Risk factors; Single room isolation; Infection Control
13.  Disposition of linezolid or daptomycin in Enterococcal bloodstream infections according to vancomycin resistant Enterococcus colonization 
Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus (VRE) colonized patients are likely to receive VRE targeted Gram-positive antibiotics and may not be de-escalated appropriately once final cultures are available. A retrospective cohort study was conducted in VRE-colonized and non-VRE colonized patients with Enterococcal bloodstream infections. Of 101 patients (n = 50 VRE-colonized; n = 51 non-colonized), empiric therapy with linezolid or daptomycin was started more often in VRE-colonized than non-colonized patients (n = 8, 15.5% vs n = 27, 54%, p < 0.01). There was no difference in de-escalation once VRE infection was ruled out (non-colonized, n = 2, 66.7% vs VRE-colonized, n = 2, 50%, p = 0.09). This study encourages continued stewardship vigilance to decrease inappropriate antibiotic use.
PMCID: PMC4322851  PMID: 25671098
VRE; Enterococcus; Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus; Linezolid; Daptomycin; De-escalation
14.  A longitudinal assessment of antimicrobial susceptibility among important pathogens collected as part of the Tigecycline Evaluation and Surveillance Trial (T.E.S.T.) in France between 2004 and 2012 
Clinically important Gram-positive and -negative isolates were collected from patients in France between 2004 and 2012 as a part of the Tigecycline Evaluation and Surveillance Trial.
MICs were determined using methodology described by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.
In total, 17,135 isolates were contributed by 29 medical centres; respiratory (25.1%) and cardiovascular (20.3%) sources predominated. High susceptibility was observed among Enterococcus spp. and Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA]) to linezolid (100%), tigecycline (≥99.8%) and vancomycin (≥94.6%). The percentage of MRSA decreased from 34.3% in 2004 to 20.0% in 2009 before increasing to 34.7% in 2012. Vancomycin, linezolid, levofloxacin and carbapenems were highly active (≥99.6%) against Streptococcus pneumoniae; 3.2% were PRSP. Escherichia coli showed peak susceptibility to the carbapenems (≥99.9%), tigecycline (99.3%) and amikacin (97.9%); significant (p < 0.01) decreases in susceptibility were observed for ampicillin, cefepime and ceftriaxone between 2004 and 2012. ESBL production among E. coli increased from 3.0% (2004) to 14.9% (2012). High susceptibility was noted among Haemophilus influenzae to levofloxacin (100%), amoxicillin-clavulanate (99.2%), carbapenems (≥98.7%) and ceftriaxone (98.5%); β-lactamase production fluctuated with no notable trend between 18.1% (2007) and 27.7% (2011). Klebsiella spp. were highly susceptible to carbapenems (≥99.6%) and amikacin (≥96.4%); significant (p < 0.01) decreases in amoxicillin-clavulanate, cefepime, ceftriaxone, levofloxacin, piperacillin-tazobactam and tigecycline susceptibility were observed among K. pneumoniae between 2004 and 2012. Only imipenem was highly active (96.5% susceptible) against Acinetobacter baumannii. Imipenem and amikacin (87.7% and 87.1% susceptible) were the most active agents against P. aeruginosa; 10.2% of isolates were categorized as multidrug resistant.
Carbapenems, linezolid, tigecycline and vancomycin conserved good in vitro activity against most pathogens (according to their spectrum of activity) in France between 2004 and 2012.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2047-2994-3-36) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4322957  PMID: 25671097
France; Antimicrobial resistance; Antimicrobial surveillance; Multidrug resistance; MDR; Tigecycline
15.  Elizabethkingia Meningoseptica Engodenous Endophthalmitis – a case report 
Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is a nosocomial non-fermenting gram-negative bacillus that has an increasing prevalence in health care settings, especially in intensive care environments. While it has long been recognized as a rare but serious cause of neonatal meningitis and sepsis, its role as a cause of ocular pathology is not well-known. We report the first case of E. meningoseptica endogenous endophthalmitis caused by bacteraemia by the same organism. In view of its aggressiveness and virulence in the eye, and the high rate of misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis of endogenous endophthalmitis especially given its low incidence, we may wish to consider screening all cases of E. menigoseptica bloodstream infections for endophthalmitis in future, similar to how it has become routine to refer all patients with Klebsiella bacteraemia to ophthalmologists for screening for endophthalmitis in our local hospitals.
PMCID: PMC4322812  PMID: 25671096
Elizabethkingia meningoseptica; Endogenous endophthalmitis; Infections of the eye
17.  Evaluation of early implementations of antibiotic stewardship program initiatives in nine Dutch hospitals 
Antibiotic resistance is a global threat to patient safety and care. In response, hospitals start antibiotic stewardship programs to optimise antibiotic use. Expert-based guidelines recommend strategies to implement such programs, but local implementations may differ per hospital. Earlier published assessments determine maturity of antibiotic stewardship programs based on expert-based structure indicators, but they disregard that there may be valid deviations from these expert-based programs.
To analyse the progress and barriers of local implementations of antibiotic stewardship programs with stakeholders in nine Dutch hospitals and to develop a toolkit that guides implementing local antibiotic stewardship programs.
An online questionnaire based on published guidelines and recommendations, conducted with seven clinical microbiologists, seven infectious disease physicians and five clinical pharmacists at nine Dutch hospitals.
Results show local differences in antibiotic stewardship programs and the uptake of interventions in hospitals. Antibiotic guidelines and antibiotic teams are the most extensively implemented interventions. Education, decision support and audit-feedback are deemed important interventions and they are either piloted in implementations at academic hospitals or in preparation for application in non-academic hospitals. Other interventions that are recommended in guidelines - benchmarking, restriction and antibiotic formulary - appear to have a lower priority. Automatic stop-order, pre-authorization, automatic substitution, antibiotic cycling are not deemed to be worthwhile according to respondents.
There are extensive local differences in the implementation of antibiotic stewardship interventions. These differences suggest a need to further explore the rationale behind the choice of interventions in antibiotic stewardship programs. Rather than reporting this rationale, this study reports where rationale can play a key role in the implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs. A one-size-fits-all solution is unfeasible as there may be barriers or valid reasons for local experts to deviate from expert-based guidelines. Local experts can be supported with a toolkit containing advice based on possible barriers and considerations. These parameters can be used to customise an implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs to local needs (while retaining its expert-based foundation).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2047-2994-3-33) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4228167  PMID: 25392736
Evaluation; Implementation; Antibiotic stewardship programs; Maturity; Hospital infections
18.  Clinical and economic consequences of hospital-acquired resistant and multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Increasing rates of resistant and multidrug-resistant (MDR) P. aeruginosa in hospitalized patients constitute a major public health threat. We present a systematic review of the clinical and economic impact of this resistant pathogen.
Studies indexed in MEDLINE and Cochrane databases between January 2000-February 2013, and reported all-cause mortality, length of stay, hospital costs, readmission, or recurrence in at least 20 hospitalized patients with laboratory confirmed resistant P. aeruginosa infection were included. We accepted individual study definitions of MDR, and assessed study methodological quality.
The most common definition of MDR was resistance to more than one agent in three or more categories of antibiotics. Twenty-three studies (7,881 patients with susceptible P. aeruginosa, 1,653 with resistant P. aeruginosa, 559 with MDR P. aeruginosa, 387 non-infected patients without P. aeruginosa) were analyzed. A random effects model meta-analysis was feasible for the endpoint of all-cause in-hospital mortality. All-cause mortality was 34% (95% confidence interval (CI) 27% – 41%) in patients with any resistant P. aeruginosa compared to 22% (95% CI 14% – 29%) with susceptible P. aeruginosa. The meta-analysis demonstrated a > 2-fold increased risk of mortality with MDR P. aeruginosa (relative risk (RR) 2.34, 95% CI 1.53 – 3.57) and a 24% increased risk with resistant P. aeruginosa (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11 – 1.38), compared to susceptible P. aeruginosa. An adjusted meta-analysis of data from seven studies demonstrated a statistically non-significant increased risk of mortality in patients with any resistant P. aeruginosa (adjusted RR 1.24, 95% CI 0.98 – 1.57). All three studies that reported infection-related mortality found a statistically significantly increased risk in patients with MDR P. aeruginosa compared to those with susceptible P. aeruginosa. Across studies, hospital length of stay (LOS) was higher in patients with resistant and MDR P. aeruginosa infections, compared to susceptible P. aeruginosa and control patients. Limitations included heterogeneity in MDR definition, restriction to nosocomial infections, and potential confounding in analyses.
Hospitalized patients with resistant and MDR P. aeruginosa infections appear to have increased all-cause mortality and LOS. The negative clinical and economic impact of these pathogens warrants in-depth evaluation of optimal infection prevention and stewardship strategies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2047-2994-3-32) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4219028  PMID: 25371812
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Resistance; All-cause mortality
19.  Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Ethiopia: efforts to expand diagnostic services, treatment and care 
The emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), particularly multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB, is a major public health problem. The purpose of this review is to describe the current status of MDR-TB and factors that increase the risk of this infection. We conducted a systematic review of the literature on MDR-TB in Ethiopia. Out of 766 articles, 23 were found to meet eligibility criteria and included in this review. Among the 23 papers, six of them reported high prevalence of MDR-TB in the range of 3.3%-46.3%. Likewise, two studies reported XDR-TB in the range of 1% - 4.4% in Ethiopia. The most powerful predictor of the emergence of MDR-TB reported in Ethiopia is previous exposure to anti-TB drug treatment. This review indicated that MDR-TB in Ethiopia is a serious public health problem that needs to be addressed urgently. Strengthening early case detection and proper treatment of drug-susceptible TB in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) treatment guidelines to ensure adequate treatment success rates is critical. Consequently, efforts have been made to a rapidly increase MDR-TB diagnosis as well as the number of treatment sites to implement a directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS) plus strategy to interrupt transmission of MDR-TB.
PMCID: PMC4328048
MDR-TB; M. tuberculosis; Risk factors; Ethiopia
20.  Surface micropattern limits bacterial contamination 
Bacterial surface contamination contributes to transmission of nosocomial infections. Chemical cleansers used to control surface contamination are often toxic and incorrectly implemented. Additional non-toxic strategies should be combined with regular cleanings to mitigate risks of human error and further decrease rates of nosocomial infections. The Sharklet micropattern (MP), inspired by shark skin, is an effective tool for reducing bacterial load on surfaces without toxic additives. The studies presented here were carried out to investigate the MP surfaces capability to reduce colonization of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) compared to smooth control surfaces.
The MP and smooth surfaces produced in acrylic film were compared for remaining bacterial contamination and colonization following inoculation. Direct sampling of surfaces was carried out after inoculation by immersion, spray, and/or touch methods. Ultimately, a combination assay was developed to assess bacterial contamination after touch transfer inoculation combined with drying (persistence) to mimic common environmental contamination scenarios in the clinic or hospital environment. The combination transfer and persistence assay was then used to test antimicrobial copper beside the MP for the ability to reduce MSSA and MRSA challenge.
The MP reduced bacterial contamination with log reductions ranging from 87-99% (LR = 0.90-2.18; p < 0.05) compared to smooth control surfaces. The MP was more effective than the 99.9% pure copper alloy C11000 at reducing surface contamination of S. aureus (MSSA and MRSA) through transfer and persistence of bacteria. The MP reduced MSSA by as much as 97% (LR = 1.54; p < 0.01) and MRSA by as much as 94% (LR = 1.26; p < 0.005) compared to smooth controls. Antimicrobial copper had no significant effect on MSSA contamination, but reduced MRSA contamination by 80% (LR = 0.70; p < 0.005).
The assays developed in this study mimic hospital environmental contamination events to demonstrate the performance of a MP to limit contamination under multiple conditions. Antimicrobial copper has been implemented in hospital room studies to evaluate its impact on nosocomial infections and a decrease in HAI rate was shown. Similar implementation of the MP has potential to reduce the incidence of HAIs although future clinical studies will be necessary to validate the MP’s true impact.
PMCID: PMC4166016  PMID: 25232470

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