Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (784663)

Clipboard (0)

Related Articles

1.  Significant Reduction of Antibiotic Use in the Community after a Nationwide Campaign in France, 2002–2007 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(6):e1000084.
Didier Guillemot and colleagues describe the evaluation of a nationwide programme in France aimed at decreasing unnecessary outpatient prescriptions for antibiotics. The campaign was successful, particularly in reducing prescriptions for children.
Overuse of antibiotics is the main force driving the emergence and dissemination of bacterial resistance in the community. France consumes more antibiotics and has the highest rate of beta-lactam resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae than any other European country. In 2001, the government initiated “Keep Antibiotics Working”; the program's main component was a campaign entitled “Les antibiotiques c'est pas automatique” (“Antibiotics are not automatic”) launched in 2002. We report the evaluation of this campaign by analyzing the evolution of outpatient antibiotic use in France 2000–2007, according to therapeutic class and geographic and age-group patterns.
Methods and Findings
This evaluation is based on 2000–2007 data, including 453,407,458 individual reimbursement data records and incidence of flu-like syndromes (FLSs). Data were obtained from the computerized French National Health Insurance database and provided by the French Sentinel Network. As compared to the preintervention period (2000–2002), the total number of antibiotic prescriptions per 100 inhabitants, adjusted for FLS frequency during the winter season, changed by −26.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] −33.5% to −19.6%) over 5 years. The decline occurred in all 22 regions of France and affected all antibiotic therapeutic classes except quinolones. The greatest decrease, −35.8% (95% CI −48.3% to −23.2%), was observed among young children aged 6–15 years. A significant change of −45% in the relationship between the incidence of flu-like syndromes and antibiotic prescriptions was observed.
The French national campaign was associated with a marked reduction of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, particularly in children. This study provides a useful method for assessing public-health strategies designed to reduce antibiotic use.
Editors' Summary
In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first antibiotic (a drug that kills bacteria). By the early 1940s, large amounts of penicillin could be made and, in the following decades, several other classes of powerful antibiotics were discovered. For a time, it looked like bacteria and the diseases that they cause had been defeated. But bacteria rapidly became resistant to these wonder drugs and nowadays, antibiotic resistance is a pressing public-health concern. Almost every type of disease-causing bacteria has developed resistance to one or more antibiotic in clinical use, and multidrug-resistant bacteria are causing outbreaks of potentially fatal diseases in hospitals and in the community. For example, multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (multidrug-resistant pneumococci or MRP) is now very common. S. pneumoniae colonize the nose and throat (the upper respiratory tract) and can cause diseases that range from mild ear infections to life-threatening pneumonia, particularly in young children and elderly people.
Why Was This Study Done?
For years, doctors have been prescribing (and patients have been demanding) antibiotics for viral respiratory infections (VRIs) such as colds and flu even though antibiotics do not cure viral infections. This overuse of antibiotics has been the main driving force in the spread of MRP. Thus, the highest rate of S. pneumoniae antibiotic resistance in Europe occurs in France, which has one of the highest rates of antibiotic consumption in the world. In 2001 France initiated “le plan national pour préserver l'efficacité des antibiotiques” to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics, particularly for the treatment of VRIs among children. The main component of the program was the “Antibiotiques c'est pas automatique” (“Antibiotics are not automatic”) campaign, which ran from 2002 to 2007 during the winter months when VRIs mainly occur. The campaign included an educational campaign for health care workers, the promotion of rapid tests for diagnosis of streptococcal infections, and a public information campaign about VRIs and about antibiotic resistance. In this study, the researchers evaluate the campaign by analyzing outpatient antibiotic use throughout France from 2000 to 2007.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers obtained information about antibiotic prescriptions and about the occurrence of flu-like illnesses during the study period from the French National Health Insurance database and national disease surveillance system, respectively. After adjusting for variations in the frequency of flu-like illnesses, compared to the preintervention period (2000–2002), the number of antibiotic prescriptions per 100 inhabitants decreased by a quarter over the five winters of the “Antibiotics are not automatic” campaign. The use of all major antibiotic classes except quinolones decreased in all 22 regions of France. Thus, whereas in 2000, more than 70 prescriptions per 100 inhabitants were issued during the winter in 15 regions, by 2006/7, no regions exceeded this prescription rate. The greatest decrease in prescription rate (a decrease of more than a third by 2006/7) was among children aged 6–15 years. Finally, although the rates of antibiotic prescriptions reflected the rates of flu-like illness throughout the campaign, by 2006/7 this relationship was much weaker, which suggests that fewer antibiotics were being prescribed for VRIs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the “Antibiotics are not automatic” campaign was associated with a reduction in antibiotic prescriptions, particularly in children. Because the whole French population was exposed to the campaign, these findings do not prove that the campaign actually caused the reduction in antibiotic prescriptions. The observed decrease might have been caused by other initiatives in France or elsewhere or by the introduction of a S. pneumoniae vaccine during the study period, for example. However, an independent survey indicated that fewer members of the public expected an antibiotic prescription for a VRI at the end of the campaign than at the start, that more people knew that antibiotics only kill bacteria, and that doctors were more confident about not prescribing antibiotics for VRIs. Thus, campaigns like “Antibiotics are not automatic” may be a promising way to reduce the overuse of antibiotics and to slow the spread of antibiotic resistance until new classes of effective antibiotics are developed.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Stephen Harbarth and Benedikt Huttner
The Bugs and Drugs Web site from the UK National electronic Library of Infection provides information about antibiotic resistance and links to other resources
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information on antimicrobial drug resistance and on pneumococcal pneumonia
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have information on antibiotic resistance (in English and Spanish)
The European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Web site provides information on antibiotic consumption in European countries
Les antibiotiques c'est pas automatique provides information about the “Antibiotics are not automatic” campaign (in French)
Information on the Plan National pour Pérserver l'efficacité des antibiotiques is also available (in French)
PMCID: PMC2683932  PMID: 19492093
2.  Characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in intensive care units in Canada: Results of the Canadian National Intensive Care Unit (CAN-ICU) study (2005–2006) 
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are important hospital pathogens in Canada and worldwide.
To genotypically and phenotypically characterize the isolates of MRSA, VRE and ESBL-producing E coli collected from patients in Canadian intensive care units (ICUs) in 2005 and 2006.
Between September 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, 19 medical centres participating in the Canadian National Intensive Care Unit (CAN-ICU) study collected 4133 unique patient isolates associated with infections in ICUs. Isolates of MRSA underwent mecA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Panton-Valentine leukocidin analysis; they were typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. All isolates of E coli with ceftriaxone minimum inhibitory concentrations greater than or equal to 1 μg/mL were tested for the presence of an ESBL using the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute double-disk diffusion method. Subsequently, PCR and sequence analysis were used to identify blaSHV, blaTEM and blaCTX-M. Isolates of VRE were tested for the presence of vanA and vanB genes by PCR.
Of the 4133 ICU isolates collected, MRSA accounted for 4.7% (193 of 4133) of all isolates. MRSA represented 21.9% (193 of 880) of all S aureus collected during the study; 90.7% were health care-associated MRSA strains and 9.3% were community-associated MRSA strains. Resistance rates for the isolates of MRSA were 91.8% to levofloxacin, 89.9% to clarithromycin, 76.1% to clindamycin and 11.7% to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole; no isolates were resistant to vancomycin, linezolid, tigecycline or daptomycin. ESBL-producing E coli accounted for 0.4% (18 of 4133) of all isolates and 3.7% (18 of 493) of E coli isolates. All 18 ESBL-producing E coli were PCR-positive for CTX-M, with blaCTX-M-15 occurring in 72% (13 of 18) of isolates. All ESBL-producing E coli displayed a multidrug-resistant phenotype (resistant to third-generation cephalosporins and one or more other classes of antimicrobials), with 77.8% of isolates resistant to ciprofloxacin, 55.6% resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 27.8% resistant to gentamicin and 26.3% resistant to doxycycline; all isolates were susceptible to ertapenem, meropenem and tigecycline. VRE accounted for 0.4% (17 of 4133) of all isolates and 6.7% (17 of 255) of enterococci isolates; 88.2% of VRE had the vanA genotype. Isolated VRE that were tested were uniformly susceptible to linezolid, tigecycline and daptomycin.
MRSA isolated in Canadian ICUs in 2005 and 2006 was predominately health care-associated (90.7%), ESBL-producing E coli were all CTX-M producers (72% blaCTX-M-15) and VRE primarily harboured a vanA genotype (88.2%). MRSA, ESBL-producing E coli and VRE were frequently multidrug resistant.
PMCID: PMC2605872  PMID: 19412382
CAN-ICU; ESBL E coli; Intensive care; MRSA; Resistance; VRE
3.  Multiresistant Bacteria Isolated from Chicken Meat in Austria 
Multidrug resistant bacteria (MDR bacteria), such as extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) Enterobacteriaceae, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), pose a challenge to the human health care system. In recent years, these MDR bacteria have been detected increasingly outside the hospital environment. Also the contamination of food with MDR bacteria, particularly of meat and meat products, is a concern. The aim of the study was to evaluate the occurrence of MDR bacteria in chicken meat on the Austrian market. For this study, 50 chicken meat samples were analysed. All samples originated from chickens slaughtered in Austrian slaughterhouses and were marked as produced in Austria. Samples were analysed for the presence of ESBL Enterobacteriaceae, methicillin resistant Staphylococci and VRE. Resistance genes of the isolated bacteria were characterised by PCR and sequencing. In the present study 26 ESBL producing E. coli, five mecA gene harbouring Staphylococci (but no MRSA), and four VRE were detected in chicken meat samples of Austrian origin. In 24 (48%) of the samples no ESBL Enterobacteriaceae, MRSA, methicillin resistant coagulase negative Staphylococcus (MRCNS) or VRE could be detected. None of the samples contained all three types of investigated multiresistant bacteria. In concordance to previous studies, CTX-M-1 and SHV-12 were the dominant ESBL genes.
PMCID: PMC4276633  PMID: 25485979
chicken meat; ESBL; mecA; Staphylococcus; VRE; CTX-M; SHV
4.  Automated Detection of Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Hospitals: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000238.
Susan Huang and colleagues describe an automated statistical software, WHONET-SaTScan, its application in a hospital, and the potential it has to identify hospital infection clusters that had escaped routine detection.
Detection of outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections is often based on simple rules, such as the occurrence of three new cases of a single pathogen in two weeks on the same ward. These rules typically focus on only a few pathogens, and they do not account for the pathogens' underlying prevalence, the normal random variation in rates, and clusters that may occur beyond a single ward, such as those associated with specialty services. Ideally, outbreak detection programs should evaluate many pathogens, using a wide array of data sources.
Methods and Findings
We applied a space-time permutation scan statistic to microbiology data from patients admitted to a 750-bed academic medical center in 2002–2006, using WHONET-SaTScan laboratory information software from the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance. We evaluated patients' first isolates for each potential pathogenic species. In order to evaluate hospital-associated infections, only pathogens first isolated >2 d after admission were included. Clusters were sought daily across the entire hospital, as well as in hospital wards, specialty services, and using similar antimicrobial susceptibility profiles. We assessed clusters that had a likelihood of occurring by chance less than once per year. For methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), WHONET-SaTScan–generated clusters were compared to those previously identified by the Infection Control program, which were based on a rule-based criterion of three occurrences in two weeks in the same ward. Two hospital epidemiologists independently classified each cluster's importance. From 2002 to 2006, WHONET-SaTScan found 59 clusters involving 2–27 patients (median 4). Clusters were identified by antimicrobial resistance profile (41%), wards (29%), service (13%), and hospital-wide assessments (17%). WHONET-SaTScan rapidly detected the two previously known gram-negative pathogen clusters. Compared to rule-based thresholds, WHONET-SaTScan considered only one of 73 previously designated MRSA clusters and 0 of 87 VRE clusters as episodes statistically unlikely to have occurred by chance. WHONET-SaTScan identified six MRSA and four VRE clusters that were previously unknown. Epidemiologists considered more than 95% of the 59 detected clusters to merit consideration, with 27% warranting active investigation or intervention.
Automated statistical software identified hospital clusters that had escaped routine detection. It also classified many previously identified clusters as events likely to occur because of normal random fluctuations. This automated method has the potential to provide valuable real-time guidance both by identifying otherwise unrecognized outbreaks and by preventing the unnecessary implementation of resource-intensive infection control measures that interfere with regular patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Admission to a hospital is often a life-saving necessity—individuals injured in a road accident, for example, may need immediate medical and surgical attention if they are to survive. Unfortunately, many patients acquire infections, some of which are life-threatening, during their stay in a hospital. The World Health Organization has estimated that, globally, 8.7% of hospital patients develop hospital-acquired infections (infections that are identified more than two days after admission to hospital). In the US alone, 2 million people develop a hospital-acquired infection every year, often an infection of a surgical wound, or a urinary tract or lung infection. Infections are common among hospital patients because increasing age or underlying illnesses can reduce immunity to infection and because many medical and surgical procedures bypass the body's natural protective barriers. In addition, poor infection control practices can facilitate the transmission of bacteria—including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)—and other infectious agents (pathogens) between patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
Sometimes, the number of cases of hospital-acquired infections increases unexpectedly or a new infection emerges. Such clusters account for relatively few health care–associated infections, but, because they may arise from the transmission of a pathogen within a hospital, they need to be rapidly identified and measures implemented (for example, isolation of affected patients) to stop transmission if an outbreak is confirmed. Currently, the detection of clusters of hospital-acquired infections is based on simple rules, such as the occurrence of three new cases of a single pathogen in two weeks on the same ward. This rule-based approach relies on the human eye to detect infection clusters within microbiology data (information collected on the pathogens isolated from patients), it focuses on a few pathogens, and it does not consider the random variation in infection rates or the possibility that clusters might be associated with shared facilities rather than with individual wards. In this study, the researchers test whether an automated statistical system can detect outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections quickly and accurately.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers combined two software packages used to track diseases in populations to create the WHONET-SaTScan cluster detection tool. They then compared the clusters of hospital-acquired infection identified by the new tool in microbiology data from a 750-bed US academic medical center with those generated by the hospital's infection control program, which was largely based on the simple rule described above. WHONET-SaTScan found 59 clusters of infection that occurred between 2002 and 2006, about three-quarters of which were identified by characteristics other than a ward-based location. Nearly half the cluster alerts were generated on the basis of shared antibiotic susceptibility patterns. Although WHONET-SaTScan identified all the clusters previously identified by the hospital's infection control program, it classified most of these clusters as likely to be the result of normal random variations in infection rates rather than the result of “true” outbreaks. By contrast, the hospital's infection control department only identified three of the 59 statistically significant clusters identified by WHONET-SaTScan. Furthermore, the new tool identified six previously unknown MRSA outbreaks and four previously unknown VRE outbreaks. Finally, two hospital epidemiologists (scientists who study diseases in populations) classified 95% of the clusters detected by WHONET-SaTScan as worthy of consideration by the hospital infection control team and a quarter of the clusters as warranting active investigation or intervention.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that automated statistical software should be able to detect clusters of hospital-acquired infections that would escape detection using routine rule-based systems. Importantly, they also suggest that an automated system would be able to discount a large number of supposed outbreaks identified by rule-based systems. These findings need to be confirmed in other settings and in prospective studies in which the outcomes of clusters detected with WHONET-SaTScan are carefully analyzed. For now, however, these findings suggest that automated statistical tools could provide hospital infection control experts with valuable real-time guidance by identifying outbreaks that would be missed by routine detection methods and by preventing the implementation of intensive and costly infection control measures in situations where they are unnecessary.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization's Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Infections, A Practical Guide contains detailed information on all aspects of hospital-acquired infections
MedlinePlus provides links to information on infection control in hospitals (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides information on infectious diseases in health care settings (in English and Spanish)
The WHONET/Baclink software and the SatScan software, the two components of WHONET-SaTScan are both available on the internet (the WHONET-SaTScan cluster detection tool is freely available as part of the version of WHONET/BacLink released June 2009)
PMCID: PMC2826381  PMID: 20186274
5.  Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens in Intensive Care Units in Canada: Results of the Canadian National Intensive Care Unit (CAN-ICU) Study, 2005-2006▿  
Between 1 September 2005 and 30 June 2006, 19 medical centers collected 4,180 isolates recovered from clinical specimens from patients in intensive care units (ICUs) in Canada. The 4,180 isolates were collected from 2,292 respiratory specimens (54.8%), 738 blood specimens (17.7%), 581 wound/tissue specimens (13.9%), and 569 urinary specimens (13.6%). The 10 most common organisms isolated from 79.5% of all clinical specimens were methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) (16.4%), Escherichia coli (12.8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (10.0%), Haemophilus influenzae (7.9%), coagulase-negative staphylococci/Staphylococcus epidermidis (6.5%), Enterococcus spp. (6.1%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (5.8%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (5.8%), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (4.7%), and Enterobacter cloacae (3.9%). MRSA made up 22.3% (197/884) of all S. aureus isolates (90.9% of MRSA were health care-associated MRSA, and 9.1% were community-associated MRSA), while vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) made up 6.7% (11/255) of all enterococcal isolates (88.2% of VRE had the vanA genotype). Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli and K. pneumoniae occurred in 3.5% (19/536) and 1.8% (4/224) of isolates, respectively. All 19 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates were PCR positive for CTX-M, with blaCTX-M-15 occurring in 74% (14/19) of isolates. For MRSA, no resistance against daptomycin, linezolid, tigecycline, and vancomycin was observed, while the resistance rates to other agents were as follows: clarithromycin, 89.9%; clindamycin, 76.1%; fluoroquinolones, 90.1 to 91.8%; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 11.7%. For E. coli, no resistance to amikacin, meropenem, and tigecycline was observed, while resistance rates to other agents were as follows: cefazolin, 20.1%; cefepime, 0.7%; ceftriaxone, 3.7%; gentamicin, 3.0%; fluoroquinolones, 21.1%; piperacillin-tazobactam, 1.9%; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 24.8%. Resistance rates for P. aeruginosa were as follows: amikacin, 2.6%; cefepime, 10.2%; gentamicin, 15.2%; fluoroquinolones, 23.8 to 25.5%; meropenem, 13.6%; and piperacillin-tazobactam, 9.3%. A multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype (resistance to three or more of the following drugs: cefepime, piperacillin-tazobactam, meropenem, amikacin or gentamicin, and ciprofloxacin) occurred frequently in P. aeruginosa (12.6%) but uncommonly in E. coli (0.2%), E. cloacae (0.6%), or K. pneumoniae (0%). In conclusion, S. aureus (MSSA and MRSA), E. coli, P. aeruginosa, H. influenzae, Enterococcus spp., S. pneumoniae, and K. pneumoniae are the most common isolates recovered from clinical specimens in Canadian ICUs. A MDR phenotype is common for P. aeruginosa isolates in Canadian ICUs.
PMCID: PMC2292546  PMID: 18285482
6.  Universal Glove and Gown Use and Acquisition of Antibiotic resistant bacteria in the ICU: A Randomized Trial 
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are associated with increased patient morbidity and mortality. It is unknown whether wearing gloves and gowns for all patient contact in the intensive care unit (ICU) decreases acquisition of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
To assess whether wearing gloves and gowns for all patient contact in the ICU decreases acquisition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) compared with usual care.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cluster-randomized trial in 20 medical and surgical ICUs in 20 US hospitals from January 4, 2012, to October 4, 2012.
In the intervention ICUs, all health care workers were required to wear gloves and gowns for all patient contact and when entering any patient room.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was acquisition of MRSA or VRE based on surveillance cultures collected on admission and discharge from the ICU. Secondary outcomes included individual VRE acquisition, MRSA acquisition, frequency of health care worker visits, hand hygiene compliance, health care–associated infections, and adverse events.
From the 26 180 patients included, 92 241 swabs were collected for the primary outcome. Intervention ICUs had a decrease in the primary outcome of MRSA or VRE from 21.35 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 17.57 to 25.94) in the baseline period to 16.91 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 14.09 to 20.28) in the study period, whereas control ICUs had a decrease in MRSA or VRE from 19.02 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 14.20 to 25.49) in the baseline period to 16.29 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 13.48 to 19.68) in the study period, a difference in changes that was not statistically significant (difference, −1.71 acquisitions per 1000 person-days, 95% CI, −6.15 to 2.73; P = .57). For key secondary outcomes, there was no difference in VRE acquisition with the intervention (difference, 0.89 acquisitions per 1000 person-days; 95% CI, −4.27 to 6.04, P = .70), whereas for MRSA, there were fewer acquisitions with the intervention (difference, −2.98 acquisitions per 1000 person-days; 95% CI, −5.58 to −0.38; P = .046). Universal glove and gown use also decreased health care worker room entry (4.28 vs 5.24 entries per hour, difference, −0.96; 95% CI, −1.71 to −0.21, P = .02), increased room-exit hand hygiene compliance (78.3% vs 62.9%, difference, 15.4%; 95% CI, 8.99% to 21.8%; P = .02) and had no statistically significant effect on rates of adverse events (58.7 events per 1000 patient days vs 74.4 events per 1000 patient days; difference, −15.7; 95% CI, −40.7 to 9.2, P = .24).
Conclusions and Relevance
The use of gloves and gowns for all patient contact compared with usual care among patients in medical and surgical ICUs did not result in a difference in the primary outcome of acquisition of MRSA or VRE. Although there was a lower risk of MRSA acquisition alone and no difference in adverse events, these secondary outcomes require replication before reaching definitive conclusions.
PMCID: PMC4026208  PMID: 24097234
7.  Ten-year decrease of acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia at a single institution: the result of a multifaceted program combining cross-transmission prevention and antimicrobial stewardship 
In France, the proportion of MRSA has been over 25% since 2000. Prevention of hospital-acquired (HA) MRSA spread is based on isolation precautions and antibiotic stewardship. At our institution, before 2000, the Infection Disease and the Infection Control teams had failed to reduce HA-MRSA rates.
Objectives and methods
We implemented a multifaceted hospital-wide prevention program and measured the effects on HA-MRSA colonization and bacteremia rates between 2000 and 2009. From 2000 to 2003, active screening and decontamination of ICU patients, hospital wide alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) use, control of specific classes of antibiotics, compliance audits, and feed-backs to the care providers were successively implemented. The efficacy of the program was assessed by HA-MRSA colonized and bacteremic patient rates per 1000 patient-days in patients hospitalized for more than twenty-four hours.
Compliance with the isolation practices increased between 2000 and 2009. Consumption of ABHR increased from 6.8 L to 27.5 L per 1000 patient-days. The use of antibiotic Defined Daily Doses (DDD) per 1000 patient-days decreased by 31%. HA-MRSA colonization decreased by 84% from 1.09 to 0.17 per 1000 patient-days and HA-MRSA bacteremia by 93%, from 0.15 to 0.01 per 1000 patient-days (p < 10−7 for each rate).
In an area highly endemic for MRSA, a multifaceted prevention program allows for sustainable reduction in HA-MRSA bacteremia rates.
PMCID: PMC3508950  PMID: 22958346
MRSA; Bacteremia; Hospital-acquired; Isolation precaution; Alcohol based hand rub; Antibiotic stewardship
8.  Epidemiology of Multidrug-Resistant Microorganisms among Nursing Home Residents in Belgium 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64908.
A national survey was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), extended-spectrum β-lactamases-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLE) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) among nursing home residents in Belgium.
A random stratified, national prevalence survey was conducted in nursing home residents who were screened for carriage of ESBLE, MRSA and VRE by multisite enriched culture. Characteristics of nursing homes and residents were collected by a questionnaire survey and were analysed by multilevel logistic regression analysis.
Of 2791 screened residents in 60 participating nursing home, the weighted prevalence of ESBLE and MRSA carriage were 6.2% (range: 0 to 20%) and 12.2% (range: 0 to 36%), respectively. No cases of VRE were found. No relationship was found between ESBLE and MRSA prevalence rates within nursing homes and the rate of co-colonization was very low (0.8%). Geographical variations in prevalence of MRSA and ESBLE and in distribution of ESBL types in nursing home residents paralleled that of acute hospitals. Risk factors of ESBLE carriage included previously known ESBLE carriage, male gender, a low level of mobility and previous antibiotic exposure. Risk factors for MRSA colonization were: previously known MRSA carriage, skin lesions, a low functional status and antacid use.
A low prevalence of ESBLE carriage was found in nursing home residents in Belgium. The prevalence of MRSA carriage decreased substantially in comparison to a similar survey conducted in 2005. A low functional status appeared as a common factor for ESBLE and MRSA carriage. Previous exposure to antibiotics was a strong predictor of ESBLE colonization while increased clustering of MRSA carriage suggested the importance of cross-transmission within nursing homes for this organism. These results emphasize the need for global coordination of the surveillance of MDRO within and between nursing homes and hospitals.
PMCID: PMC3667831  PMID: 23738011
9.  Feasibility and Cost-Effectiveness of Treating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: A Cohort Study in the Philippines 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(9):e352.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is an important global health problem, and a control strategy known as DOTS-Plus has existed since 1999. However, evidence regarding the feasibility, effectiveness, cost, and cost-effectiveness of DOTS-Plus is still limited.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We evaluated the feasibility, effectiveness, cost, and cost-effectiveness of a DOTS-Plus pilot project established at Makati Medical Center in Manila, the Philippines, in 1999. Patients with MDR-TB are treated with regimens, including first- and second-line drugs, tailored to their drug susceptibility pattern (i.e., individualised treatment). We considered the cohort enrolled between April 1999 and March 2002. During this three-year period, 118 patients were enrolled in the project; 117 were considered in the analysis. Seventy-one patients (61%) were cured, 12 (10%) failed treatment, 18 (15%) died, and 16 (14%) defaulted. The average cost per patient treated was US$3,355 from the perspective of the health system, of which US$1,557 was for drugs, and US$837 from the perspective of patients. The mean cost per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) gained by the DOTS-Plus project was US$242 (range US$85 to US$426).
Treatment of patients with MDR-TB using the DOTS-Plus strategy and individualised drug regimens can be feasible, comparatively effective, and cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.
Evaluation of 117 patients enrolled in a DOTS-Plus pilot project in the Philippines showed that in this setting the strategy is feasible.
Editors' Summary
Tuberculosis (TB) causes the death of some 2 million people each year. An estimated one in three people worldwide are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes the disease. Because single-drug treatment leads to treatment failure and antibiotic resistance, treatment for active TB is complicated, usually involving four different antibiotics, at least two of which are continued for six months or more. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a specific strategy (DOTS) for diagnosing and treating TB (see Web link below).
The DOTS approach includes standard regimens of first-line drugs which cure about 90% of patients with drug-susceptible TB, and which cost as little as US$10 per patient. Unfortunately, TB resistance to at least two of the most effective DOTS drugs has developed at sites in both industrialized and developing countries, causing approximately 460,000 cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) per year. Second-line antibiotics, which tend to be more expensive or more difficult to take, can effectively treat many cases of MDR-TB. “DOTS-Plus” programmes, which use combinations of first- and second-line drugs to treat MDR-TB, are therefore becoming increasingly important in controlling TB worldwide. A recent study found DOTS-Plus strategies to be cost-effective in Peru, but cure rates of MDR-TB were relatively low.
Why Was This Study Done?
Because the use of second-line antibiotics is costly and the treatment of MDR-TB has a higher failure rate than that of fully drug-susceptible TB, policymakers responsible for allocation of limited healthcare resources need information on how well DOTS-Plus programmes work and how much they cost to operate. This study was undertaken to assess the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of a DOTS-Plus project in the Philippines, a lower middle–income country with a high rate of TB and approximately 25,000 cases of MDR-TB.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find? 
The researchers reported on a DOTS-Plus pilot project at Makati Medical Center in Manila, analyzing information from 118 patients enrolled in the project between 1999 and 2002. The diagnosis of MDR-TB was based on laboratory culture and antibiotic resistance testing of specimens from patients who had continued symptoms of TB following DOTS treatment, or other evidence of possible MDR-TB. Patients were treated with five-drug combinations individually selected based on resistance testing results, and administered under direct observation. After cultures had remained consistently negative for six months, patients were switched to a four-drug regimen with intermittent clinic observation until cultures remained negative for at least 18 months.
Cost-effectiveness was assessed by comparing the costs and effects of the project to the costs and effects that would have applied in the absence of the project, namely, no treatment of MDR-TB (except what patients could have purchased privately), or standard first-line DOTS treatment (which would not cure the majority of patients with MDR-TB, and is associated with a high chance of relapse in those who do appear cured). Costs of the DOTS-Plus project were based on expenditure records, project records, and interviews with staff, patients, and funding agencies. Effects of the project were based on treatment outcomes observed among enrolled patients, as well as on data on long-term outcomes among patients treated for MDR-TB in the US who were followed for up to ten years. Treatment costs for the situation in which no DOTS-Plus project exists were estimated using national data reported to WHO, as well as questionnaires administered to local patients in whom DOTS treatment had failed. Treatment outcomes where DOTS-Plus is not available were estimated from studies done in other TB-affected countries.
The researchers found that the cure rate of MDR-TB in this project was 61%. The cost per patient treated was US$4,192. They also calculated that the cost-effectiveness of the DOTS-Plus strategy was US$242 per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) gained, of which US$179 was paid by the healthcare system.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The cure rate for MDR-TB in this project compares favourably to rates in other resource-limited settings where second-line TB drugs are used, and is much higher than in areas where these drugs are not available. From the standpoint of efficacy and patient well-being, then, this study supports the necessity of DOTS-Plus treatment. In purely economic terms, the cost of US$200–US$250 per DALY gained is cost-effective in comparison with other healthcare interventions. Specifically, because the gross national income per person in the Philippines is US$1,080, someone who can return to work following MDR-TB treatment costing US$250 per year gained of working life will provide work that is worth four times more, on average, than the cost of the treatment.
Although this study provides encouraging confirmation that DOTS-Plus programmes can be effective and cost-effective in a resource-limited setting, these findings are subject to several limitations. First, the data used to estimate treatment outcomes and the costs associated with chronic MDR-TB when DOTS-Plus treatment is not available were limited. Also, the pilot project in this study included only 118 of 171 eligible patients, leaving open the possibility that the other 53 patients might have had different outcomes. In addition, the long-term relapse rate in the treated patients is unknown. Finally, the conclusion that one model programme is effective does not mean that other programmes will do well under less favourable circumstances. Nonetheless, as MDR-TB continues to spread in the developing world, a good example is good news. A Perspective by Paul Garner and colleagues in this issue of PLoS Medicine (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030350) discusses the study further.
Additional Information. 
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Basic information about tuberculosis can be found on the Web site of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
The Web site of the World Health Organization's Stop TB department outlines both the DOTS and DOTS-Plus strategies
TB Alert, a UK-based charity that promotes TB awareness worldwide, has information on TB in several European, African, and Asian languages
PMCID: PMC1564168  PMID: 16968123
10.  A prospective observational study of the prevalence and risk factors for colonization by antibiotic resistant bacteria in patients at admission to hospital in Singapore 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:298.
Drug resistant organisms pose an increasing threat to the successful treatment of common infections. Understanding colonization patterns of these bacteria is important for effective antibiotic treatment and infection control guidelines.
A prospective observational study was performed to determine the prevalence of colonization with extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) among patients admitted via the emergency department to a public tertiary hospital in Singapore. Anterior nares, groin, axillary and rectal swabs were collected at admission and cultured using standard bacteriological techniques. Clinical data including healthcare contact within the past 12 months and recent antibiotic use was collected and analyzed using a logistic regression model.
1006 patients were screened. 124 (12.4%) were colonized by ESBL-E, 18 (1.8%) by MRSA while no VRE was detected. Antibiotic use within the past month was the only significant predictor for ESBL-E colonization in the regression model, with an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 2.58 (1.04 to 6.42). In participants recently prescribed antibiotics and hospitalized in the previous 3 months, 29.4% were colonized by ESBL-E. This represented 20.2% of the total ESBL-E burden, and ESBL-E was also detected in 6.3% of participants with no healthcare contact. Hospitalization and outpatient hospital visits predicted MRSA colonization in the univariate analysis. Neither was statistically significant in the logistic regression model, with AORs for MRSA colonization following hospitalization in the past 3 and 12 months of 3.81 [95% CI 0.84-17.28] and 3.48 [0.64-18.92] respectively.
A high prevalence of colonization with ESBL-E was evident among patients at admission, even in the absence of recent antibiotic use or contact with healthcare.
PMCID: PMC4057577  PMID: 24889720
Antibiotics; Colonization; ESBL; Fecal carriage; MRSA
11.  Systematic Review of Measurement and Adjustment for Colonization Pressure in Studies of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci, and Clostridium difficile Acquisition 
Colonization pressure is an important infection control metric. The aim of this study was to describe the definition and measurement of and adjustment for colonization pressure in nosocomial-acquisition risk factor studies of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile.
We performed a computerized search of studies of nosocomial MRSA, VRE, and C. difficile acquisition published before July 1, 2009, through MEDLINE. Studies were included if a study outcome was MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition; the authors identified risk factors associated with MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition; and the study measured colonization pressure.
The initial MEDLINE search yielded 505 articles. Sixty-six of these were identified as studies of nosocomial MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition; of these, 18 (27%) measured colonization pressure and were included in the final review. The definition of colonization pressure varied considerably between studies: the proportion of MRSA- or VRE-positive patients (5 studies), the proportion of MRSA- or VRE-positive patient-days (6 studies), or the total or mean number of MRSA-, VRE-, or C. difficile–positive patients or patient-days (7 studies) in the unit over periods of varying length. In 10 of 13 studies, colonization pressure was independently associated with MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition.
There is a need for a simple and consistent method to quantify colonization pressure in both research and routine clinical care to accurately assess the effect of colonization pressure on cross-transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3383663  PMID: 21515979
12.  Prevalence of multiresistant gram-negative organisms in a tertiary hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:49.
Antimicrobial resistance is fast becoming a global concern with rapid increases in multidrug-resistant Gram negative organisms. The prevalence of extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing clinical isolates increases the burden on implementing infectious disease management in low socio-economic regions. As incidence can vary widely between regions, this study was done to determine resistance patterns of Gram-negative organisms at Bugando Medical Center, a tertiary hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania.
A total of 800 clinical samples (urine, wound swab, pus, blood, aspirate, sputum etc) were processed over a period of 6 months. Gram-negative bacteria were identified using conventional in-house biochemical tests and susceptibility to common antibiotics done using disc diffusion methods. The disc approximation method was used to identify ESBL producers.
A total of 377 Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) recovered from 377 clinical specimens were analyzed of which 76.9% were Enterobacteriaceae. Among all GNB, 110/377 (29.2%) were found to be ESBL producers. Species specific ESBLs rate among Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter spp, Proteus spp and other enterobacteria were 63.7%, 24.4%, 17.7%, 6.4% and 27.9% respectively. A statistically significant higher number of inpatients 100/283 (35.3%) compared to 10/94 (10.6%) of outpatients had ESBL-producing organisms (p = 0.000023). Rates of resistances to gentamicin, tetracycline, sulphamethaxazole/trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin were significantly higher among ESBLs isolates than non-ESBL isolates (p = 0.000001).
ESBL producing organisms are common at BMC (Bugando Medical Center) and pose a challenge to antibiotic therapy. Successful implementation of a routine detection of ESBL production is essential in designing appropriate antibiotic prescribing policies and infection control intervention programmes.
PMCID: PMC2667529  PMID: 19323805
13.  Interventions to reduce colonisation and transmission of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in intensive care units: an interrupted time series study and cluster randomised trial 
The Lancet Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):31-39.
Intensive care units (ICUs) are high-risk areas for transmission of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, but no controlled study has tested the effect of rapid screening and isolation of carriers on transmission in settings with best-standard precautions. We assessed interventions to reduce colonisation and transmission of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in European ICUs.
We did this study in three phases at 13 ICUs. After a 6 month baseline period (phase 1), we did an interrupted time series study of universal chlorhexidine body-washing combined with hand hygiene improvement for 6 months (phase 2), followed by a 12–15 month cluster randomised trial (phase 3). ICUs were randomly assigned by computer generated randomisation schedule to either conventional screening (chromogenic screening for meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] and vancomycin-resistant enterococci [VRE]) or rapid screening (PCR testing for MRSA and VRE and chromogenic screening for highly resistant Enterobacteriaceae [HRE]); with contact precautions for identified carriers. The primary outcome was acquisition of resistant bacteria per 100 patient-days at risk, for which we calculated step changes and changes in trends after the introduction of each intervention. We assessed acquisition by microbiological surveillance and analysed it with a multilevel Poisson segmented regression model. We compared screening groups with a likelihood ratio test that combined step changes and changes to trend. This study is registered with, number NCT00976638.
Seven ICUs were assigned to rapid screening and six to conventional screening. Mean hand hygiene compliance improved from 52% in phase 1 to 69% in phase 2, and 77% in phase 3. Median proportions of patients receiving chlorhexidine body-washing increased from 0% to 100% at the start of phase 2. For trends in acquisition of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, weekly incidence rate ratio (IRR) was 0·976 (0·954–0·999) for phase 2 and 1·015 (0·998–1·032) for phase 3. For step changes, weekly IRR was 0·955 (0·676–1·348) for phase 2 and 0·634 (0·349–1·153) for phase 3. The decrease in trend in phase 2 was largely caused by changes in acquisition of MRSA (weekly IRR 0·925, 95% CI 0·890–0·962). Acquisition was lower in the conventional screening group than in the rapid screening group, but did not differ significantly (p=0·06).
Improved hand hygiene plus unit-wide chlorhexidine body-washing reduced acquisition of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, particularly MRSA. In the context of a sustained high level of compliance to hand hygiene and chlorhexidine bathings, screening and isolation of carriers do not reduce acquisition rates of multidrug-resistant bacteria, whether or not screening is done with rapid testing or conventional testing.
European Commission.
PMCID: PMC3895323  PMID: 24161233
14.  Daptomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis Diverts the Antibiotic Molecule from the Division Septum and Remodels Cell Membrane Phospholipids 
mBio  2013;4(4):e00281-13.
Treatment of multidrug-resistant enterococci has become a challenging clinical problem in hospitals around the world due to the lack of reliable therapeutic options. Daptomycin (DAP), a cell membrane-targeting cationic antimicrobial lipopeptide, is the only antibiotic with in vitro bactericidal activity against vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). However, the clinical use of DAP against VRE is threatened by emergence of resistance during therapy, but the mechanisms leading to DAP resistance are not fully understood. The mechanism of action of DAP involves interactions with the cell membrane in a calcium-dependent manner, mainly at the level of the bacterial septum. Previously, we demonstrated that development of DAP resistance in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis is associated with mutations in genes encoding proteins with two main functions, (i) control of the cell envelope stress response to antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides (LiaFSR system) and (ii) cell membrane phospholipid metabolism (glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase and cardiolipin synthase). In this work, we show that these VRE can resist DAP-elicited cell membrane damage by diverting the antibiotic away from its principal target (division septum) to other distinct cell membrane regions. DAP septal diversion by DAP-resistant E. faecalis is mediated by initial redistribution of cell membrane cardiolipin-rich microdomains associated with a single amino acid deletion within the transmembrane protein LiaF (a member of a three-component regulatory system [LiaFSR] involved in cell envelope homeostasis). Full expression of DAP resistance requires additional mutations in enzymes (glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase and cardiolipin synthase) that alter cell membrane phospholipid content. Our findings describe a novel mechanism of bacterial resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides.
IMPORTANCE  The emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is a threat to public health. Understanding the mechanisms of resistance is of crucial importance to develop new strategies to combat multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are one of the most recalcitrant hospital-associated pathogens against which new therapies are urgently needed. Daptomycin (DAP) is a calcium-decorated antimicrobial lipopeptide whose target is the bacterial cell membrane. A current paradigm suggests that Gram-positive bacteria become resistant to cationic antimicrobial peptides via an electrostatic repulsion of the antibiotic molecule from a more positively charged cell surface. In this work, we provide evidence that VRE use a novel strategy to avoid DAP-elicited killing. Instead of “repelling” the antibiotic from the cell surface, VRE diverts the antibiotic molecule from the septum and “traps” it in distinct membrane regions. We provide genetic and biochemical bases responsible for the mechanism of resistance and disclose new targets for potential antimicrobial development.
The emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is a threat to public health. Understanding the mechanisms of resistance is of crucial importance to develop new strategies to combat multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are one of the most recalcitrant hospital-associated pathogens against which new therapies are urgently needed. Daptomycin (DAP) is a calcium-decorated antimicrobial lipopeptide whose target is the bacterial cell membrane. A current paradigm suggests that Gram-positive bacteria become resistant to cationic antimicrobial peptides via an electrostatic repulsion of the antibiotic molecule from a more positively charged cell surface. In this work, we provide evidence that VRE use a novel strategy to avoid DAP-elicited killing. Instead of “repelling” the antibiotic from the cell surface, VRE diverts the antibiotic molecule from the septum and “traps” it in distinct membrane regions. We provide genetic and biochemical bases responsible for the mechanism of resistance and disclose new targets for potential antimicrobial development.
PMCID: PMC3735187  PMID: 23882013
15.  Agreement Assessment of Tigecycline Susceptibilities Determined by the Disk Diffusion and Broth Microdilution Methods among Commonly Encountered Resistant Bacterial Isolates: Results from the Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) Study, 2008 to 2010 
The Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) study, initiated in 2006, is a nationwide surveillance program designed to longitudinally monitor the in vitro activity of tigecycline against commonly encountered drug-resistant bacteria. This study compared the in vitro activity of tigecycline against 3,014 isolates of clinically important drug-resistant bacteria using the standard broth microdilution and disk diffusion methods. Species studied included methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA; n = 759), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE; n = 191), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (n = 602), ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 736), and Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 726) that had been collected from patients treated between 2008 and 2010 at 20 hospitals in Taiwan. MICs and inhibition zone diameters were interpreted according to the currently recommended U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criteria and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) criteria. The MIC90 values of tigecycline against MRSA, VRE, ESBL-producing E. coli, ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae, and A. baumannii were 0.5, 0.125, 0.5, 2, and 8 μg/ml, respectively. The total error rates between the two methods using the FDA criteria were high: 38.4% for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and 33.8% for A. baumannii. Using the EUCAST criteria, the total error rate was also high (54.6%) for A. baumannii isolates. The total error rates between these two methods were <5% for MRSA, VRE, and ESBL-producing E. coli. For routine susceptibility testing of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and A. baumannii against tigecycline, the broth microdilution method should be used because of the poor correlation of results between these two methods.
PMCID: PMC3294924  PMID: 22155819
16.  Geographic Distribution of Staphylococcus aureus Causing Invasive Infections in Europe: A Molecular-Epidemiological Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(1):e1000215.
Hajo Grundmann and colleagues describe the development of a new interactive mapping tool for analyzing the spatial distribution of invasive Staphylococcus aureus clones.
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important human pathogens and methicillin-resistant variants (MRSAs) are a major cause of hospital and community-acquired infection. We aimed to map the geographic distribution of the dominant clones that cause invasive infections in Europe.
Methods and Findings
In each country, staphylococcal reference laboratories secured the participation of a sufficient number of hospital laboratories to achieve national geo-demographic representation. Participating laboratories collected successive methicillin-susceptible (MSSA) and MRSA isolates from patients with invasive S. aureus infection using an agreed protocol. All isolates were sent to the respective national reference laboratories and characterised by quality-controlled sequence typing of the variable region of the staphylococcal spa gene (spa typing), and data were uploaded to a central database. Relevant genetic and phenotypic information was assembled for interactive interrogation by a purpose-built Web-based mapping application. Between September 2006 and February 2007, 357 laboratories serving 450 hospitals in 26 countries collected 2,890 MSSA and MRSA isolates from patients with invasive S. aureus infection. A wide geographical distribution of spa types was found with some prevalent in all European countries. MSSA were more diverse than MRSA. Genetic diversity of MRSA differed considerably between countries with dominant MRSA spa types forming distinctive geographical clusters. We provide evidence that a network approach consisting of decentralised typing and visualisation of aggregated data using an interactive mapping tool can provide important information on the dynamics of MRSA populations such as early signalling of emerging strains, cross border spread, and importation by travel.
In contrast to MSSA, MRSA spa types have a predominantly regional distribution in Europe. This finding is indicative of the selection and spread of a limited number of clones within health care networks, suggesting that control efforts aimed at interrupting the spread within and between health care institutions may not only be feasible but ultimately successful and should therefore be strongly encouraged.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus lives on the skin and in the nose of about a third of healthy people. Although S. aureus usually coexists peacefully with its human carriers, it is also an important disease-causing organism or pathogen. If it enters the body through a cut or during a surgical procedure, S. aureus can cause minor infections such as pimples and boils or more serious, life-threatening infections such as blood poisoning and pneumonia. Minor S. aureus infections can be treated without antibiotics—by draining a boil, for example. Invasive infections are usually treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, many of the S. aureus clones (groups of bacteria that are all genetically related and descended from a single, common ancestor) that are now circulating are resistant to methicillin and several other antibiotics. Invasive methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections are a particular problem in hospitals and other health care facilities (so-called hospital-acquired MRSA infections), but they can also occur in otherwise healthy people who have not been admitted to a hospital (community-acquired MRSA infections).
Why Was This Study Done?
The severity and outcome of an S. aureus infection in an individual depends in part on the ability of the bacterial clone with which the individual is infected to cause disease—the clone's “virulence.” Public-health officials and infectious disease experts would like to know the geographic distribution of the virulent S. aureus clones that cause invasive infections, because this information should help them understand how these pathogens spread and thus how to control them. Different clones of S. aureus can be distinguished by “molecular typing,” the determination of clone-specific sequences of nucleotides in variable regions of the bacterial genome (the bacterium's blueprint; genomes consist of DNA, long chains of nucleotides). In this study, the researchers use molecular typing to map the geographic distribution of MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) clones causing invasive infections in Europe; a MRSA clone emerges when an MSSA clone acquires antibiotic resistance from another type of bacteria so it is useful to understand the geographic distribution of both MRSA and MSSA.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between September 2006 and February 2007, 357 laboratories serving 450 hospitals in 26 European countries collected almost 3,000 MRSA and MSSA isolates from patients with invasive S. aureus infections. The isolates were sent to the relevant national staphylococcal reference laboratory (SRL) where they were characterized by quality-controlled sequence typing of the variable region of a staphylococcal gene called spa (spa typing). The spa typing data were entered into a central database and then analyzed by a public, purpose-built Web-based mapping tool (SRL-Maps), which provides interactive access and easy-to-understand illustrations of the geographical distribution of S. aureus clones. Using this mapping tool, the researchers found that there was a wide geographical distribution of spa types across Europe with some types being common in all European countries. MSSA isolates were more diverse than MRSA isolates and the genetic diversity (variability) of MRSA differed considerably between countries. Most importantly, major MRSA spa types occurred in distinct geographical clusters.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide the first representative snapshot of the genetic population structure of S. aureus across Europe. Because the researchers used spa typing, which analyzes only a small region of one gene, and characterized only 3,000 isolates, analysis of other parts of the S. aureus genome in more isolates is now needed to build a complete portrait of the geographical abundance of the S. aureus clones that cause invasive infections in Europe. However, the finding that MRSA spa types occur mainly in geographical clusters has important implications for the control of MRSA, because it indicates that a limited number of clones are spreading within health care networks, which means that MRSA is mainly spread by patients who are repeatedly admitted to different hospitals. Control efforts aimed at interrupting this spread within and between health care institutions may be feasible and ultimately successful, suggest the researchers, and should be strongly encouraged. In addition, this study shows how, by sharing typing results on a Web-based platform, an international surveillance network can provide clinicians and infection control teams with crucial information about the dynamics of pathogens such as S. aureus, including early warnings about emerging virulent clones.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Franklin D. Lowy
The UK Health Protection Agency provides information about Staphylococcus aureus
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site has pages on staphylococcal infections and on MRSA
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has information about MRSA
The US Centers for Disease Control and Infection provides information about MRSA for the public and professionals
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources on staphylococcal infections and on MRSA (in English and Spanish)
SRL-Maps can be freely accessed
PMCID: PMC2796391  PMID: 20084094
17.  Trends in the Susceptibility of Clinically Important Resistant Bacteria to Tigecycline: Results from the Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan Study, 2006 to 2010 
The Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) study, a nationwide, prospective surveillance during 2006 to 2010, collected a total of 7,793 clinical isolates, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (n = 1,834), penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP) (n = 423), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) (n = 219), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (n = 1,141), ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 1,330), Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 1,645), and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (n = 903), from different specimens from 20 different hospitals in Taiwan. MICs of tigecycline were determined following the criteria of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST-2011). Among drug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens, all of the PRSP isolates were susceptible to tigecycline (MIC90, 0.03 μg/ml), and only one MRSA isolate (MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml) and three VRE isolates (MIC90, 0.125 μg/ml) were nonsusceptible to tigecycline. Among the Gram-negative bacteria, the tigecycline susceptibility rates were 99.65% for ESBL-producing E. coli (MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml) and 96.32% for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae (MIC90, 2 μg/ml) when interpreted by FDA criteria but were 98.7% and 85.8%, respectively, when interpreted by EUCAST-2011 criteria. The susceptibility rate for A. baumannii (MIC90, 4 μg/ml) decreased from 80.9% in 2006 to 55.3% in 2009 but increased to 73.4% in 2010. A bimodal MIC distribution was found among carbapenem-susceptible A. baumannii isolates, and a unimodal MIC distribution was found among carbapenem-nonsusceptible A. baumannii isolates. In Taiwan, tigecycline continues to have excellent in vitro activity against several major clinically important drug-resistant bacteria, with the exception of A. baumannii.
PMCID: PMC3294947  PMID: 22203598
18.  Trends in Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia and impacts of infection control practices including universal MRSA admission screening in a hospital in Scotland, 2006–2010: retrospective cohort study and time-series intervention analysis 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000797.
To describe secular trends in Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) and to assess the impacts of infection control practices, including universal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) admission screening on associated clinical burdens.
Retrospective cohort study and multivariate time-series analysis linking microbiology, patient management and health intelligence databases.
Teaching hospital in North East Scotland.
All patients admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2010: n=420 452 admissions and 1 430 052 acute occupied bed days (AOBDs).
Universal admission screening programme for MRSA (August 2008) incorporating isolation and decolonisation.
Primary and secondary measures
Hospital-wide prevalence density, hospital-associated incidence density and death within 30 days of MRSA or methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteraemia.
Between 2006 and 2010, prevalence density of all SAB declined by 41%, from 0.73 to 0.50 cases/1000 AOBDs (p=0.002 for trend), and 30-day mortality from 26% to 14% (p=0.013). Significant reductions were observed in MRSA bacteraemia only. Overnight admissions screened for MRSA rose from 43% during selective screening to >90% within 4 months of universal screening. In multivariate time-series analysis (R2 0.45 to 0.68), universal screening was associated with a 19% reduction in prevalence density of MRSA bacteraemia (−0.035, 95% CI −0.049 to −0.021/1000 AOBDs; p<0.001), a 29% fall in hospital-associated incidence density (−0.029, 95% CI −0.035 to −0.023/1000 AOBDs; p<0.001) and a 46% reduction in 30-day mortality (−15.6, 95% CI −24.1% to −7.1%; p<0.001). Positive associations with fluoroquinolone and cephalosporin use suggested that antibiotic stewardship reduced prevalence density of MRSA bacteraemia by 0.027 (95% CI 0.015 to 0.039)/1000 AOBDs. Rates of MSSA bacteraemia were not significantly affected by screening or antibiotic use.
Declining clinical burdens from SAB were attributable to reductions in MRSA infections. Universal admission screening and antibiotic stewardship were associated with decreases in MRSA bacteraemia and associated early mortality. Control of MSSA bacteraemia remains a priority.
Article summary
Article focus
This study describes the changing epidemiology of MRSA and MSSA bacteraemia in a large inpatient population from Scotland over a 5-year period.
Second, it evaluates the impact of universal MRSA admission screening, and other infection control practices, on hospital-wide rates of MRSA bacteraemia.
Key messages
Recent declines in clinical burdens from SAB in North East Scotland were attributable to a reduction in invasive MRSA infections.
Compared with a strategy of targeted screening in high-risk environments, universal admission screening may significantly reduce rates of MRSA bacteraemia and associated early mortality alongside improvements in antibiotic stewardship and infection control.
Strategies to reduce clinical burdens from MSSA bacteraemia are required if progress towards national targets for all SAB is to be sustained.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Without a contemporary control, this study did not prove causality but a temporal association between universal admission screening and rates of MRSA bacteraemia.
ARIMA modelling accounted for the non-independence of data and stochastic elements in time series of infections, and the dynamic effects of changes in other aspects of care.
Findings may be limited to large public hospitals with intensive care units and endemic MRSA but low rates of MRSA infection.
PMCID: PMC3378947  PMID: 22685226
19.  The Infectiousness of Tuberculosis Patients Coinfected with HIV 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(9):e188.
The current understanding of airborne tuberculosis (TB) transmission is based on classic 1950s studies in which guinea pigs were exposed to air from a tuberculosis ward. Recently we recreated this model in Lima, Perú, and in this paper we report the use of molecular fingerprinting to investigate patient infectiousness in the current era of HIV infection and multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB.
Methods and Findings
All air from a mechanically ventilated negative-pressure HIV-TB ward was exhausted over guinea pigs housed in an airborne transmission study facility on the roof. Animals had monthly tuberculin skin tests, and positive reactors were removed for autopsy and organ culture for M. tuberculosis. Temporal exposure patterns, drug susceptibility testing, and DNA fingerprinting of patient and animal TB strains defined infectious TB patients. Relative patient infectiousness was calculated using the Wells-Riley model of airborne infection. Over 505 study days there were 118 ward admissions of 97 HIV-positive pulmonary TB patients. Of 292 exposed guinea pigs, 144 had evidence of TB disease; a further 30 were tuberculin skin test positive only. There was marked variability in patient infectiousness; only 8.5% of 118 ward admissions by TB patients were shown by DNA fingerprinting to have caused 98% of the 125 characterised cases of secondary animal TB. 90% of TB transmission occurred from inadequately treated MDR TB patients. Three highly infectious MDR TB patients produced 226, 52, and 40 airborne infectious units (quanta) per hour.
A small number of inadequately treated MDR TB patients coinfected with HIV were responsible for almost all TB transmission, and some patients were highly infectious. This result highlights the importance of rapid TB drug-susceptibility testing to allow prompt initiation of effective treatment, and environmental control measures to reduce ongoing TB transmission in crowded health care settings. TB infection control must be prioritized in order to prevent health care facilities from disseminating the drug-resistant TB that they are attempting to treat.
Using a guinea pig detection system above an HIV-tuberculosis ward, Rod Escombe and colleagues found that most transmitted tuberculosis originated from patients with inadequately treated multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
Editors' Summary
Every year, more than nine million people develop tuberculosis—a contagious infection usually of the lungs—and nearly two million people die from the disease. Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These bacteria are spread in airborne droplets when people with the disease cough or sneeze. Most people infected with M. tuberculosis never become ill—their immune system contains the infection. However, the bacteria remain dormant within the body and can cause tuberculosis years later if host immunity declines. The symptoms of tuberculosis include a persistent cough, weight loss, and night sweats. Diagnostic tests for the disease include chest X-rays, the tuberculin skin test, and sputum cultures (in which bacteriologists try to grow M. tuberculosis from mucus brought up from the lungs by coughing). Tuberculosis can usually be cured by taking several powerful antibiotics daily for several months.
Why Was This Study Done?
Scientists performed definitive experiments on airborne tuberculosis transmission in the 1950s by exposing guinea pigs to the air from a tuberculosis ward. They found that a minority of patients actually transmit tuberculosis, that the infectiousness of transmitters varies greatly, and that effective antibiotic treatment decreases infectiousness. Since the 1950s, however, multidrug-resistant (MDR) and more recently extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains of M. tuberculosis have become widespread. Treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis is much more difficult than normal tuberculosis, requiring even more antibiotics, and for long periods, up to 2 years and beyond. In addition, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) has emerged. HIV weakens the immune system so HIV-positive people are much more likely to develop active tuberculosis (and to die from the disease, which also speeds the development of HIV/AIDS) than people with a healthy immune system. Have these changes altered tuberculosis transmission between people? The answer to this question might help to optimize the control of tuberculosis infection, particularly in hospitals. In this study, the researchers investigate current patterns of tuberculosis infectiousness among HIV-positive patients by recreating the 1950s guinea pig model for tuberculosis transmission in a hospital in Lima, Perú.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers passed all the air from an HIV–tuberculosis ward over guinea pigs housed in an animal facility on the hospital's roof. The guinea pigs were tested monthly with tuberculin skin tests, and tissues from positive animals were examined for infection with M. tuberculosis. Sputum was also collected daily from the patients on the ward. The researchers then used the timing of patient admissions and guinea pig infections, together with the drug susceptibility patterns and DNA fingerprints of the M. tuberculosis strains isolated from the animals and the patients, to identify which patients had infected which guinea pigs. Finally, they used a mathematical equation to calculate the relative infectiousness of each patient in airborne infectious units (“quanta”) per hour. During the 505 study days, although 97 HIV-positive patients with tuberculosis were admitted to the ward, just ten patients were responsible for virtually all the characterized cases of tuberculosis among the guinea pigs. Six of these patients had MDR tuberculosis that had been suboptimally treated. The average patient infectiousness over the entire study period was 8.2 quanta per hour—six times greater than the average infectiousness recorded in the 1950s. Finally, the three most infectious patients (all of whom had suboptimally treated MDR tuberculosis) produced 226, 52, and 40 quanta per hour.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that a few inadequately treated HIV-positive patients with MDR tuberculosis caused nearly all the tuberculosis transmission to guinea pigs during this study. They also show for the first time that tuberculosis infectiousness among HIV-positive patients is very variable. The increase in the average patient infectiousness in this study compared to that seen in the 1950s hints at the possibility that HIV infection might increase tuberculosis infectiousness. However, studies that directly compare the tuberculosis infectiousness of HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients are needed to test this possibility. More importantly, this study demonstrates the potentially high infectiousness of inadequately treated MDR TB patients and their importance in ongoing TB transmission. These findings suggest that rapid, routine testing of antibiotic susceptibility should improve tuberculosis control by ensuring that patients with MDR TB are identified and treated effectively and quickly. Finally, they re-emphasize the importance of implementing environmental control measures (for example, adequate natural or mechanical ventilation of tuberculosis wards, or crowded waiting rooms or emergency departments where tuberculosis patients may be found) to prevent airborne tuberculosis transmission in health-care facilities, particularly in areas where many patients are HIV positive and/or where MDR tuberculosis is common.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information on all aspects of tuberculosis, including multidrug-resistance tuberculosis, and on tuberculosis and HIV
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide several fact sheets and other information resources about all aspects of tuberculosis (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization's 2008 report on global tuberculosis control—surveillance, planning, financing provides a snapshot of the current state of the global tuberculosis epidemic and links to information about all aspects of tuberculosis and its control (in several languages)
HIVInsite provides detailed information about coinfection with HIV and tuberculosis
• Avert, an international AIDS charity, also provides information about the interaction between HIV and tuberculosis
Tuberculosis Infection-Control in the Era of Expanding HIV Care and Treatment is a report from the World Health Organization
PMCID: PMC2535657  PMID: 18798687
20.  Dramatic increase of third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli in German intensive care units: secular trends in antibiotic drug use and bacterial resistance, 2001 to 2008 
Critical Care  2010;14(3):R113.
The objective of the present study was to analyse secular trends in antibiotic consumption and resistance data from a network of 53 intensive care units (ICUs).
The study involved prospective unit and laboratory-based surveillance in 53 German ICUs from 2001 through 2008. Data were calculated on the basis of proportions of nonduplicate resistant isolates, resistance densities (that is, the number of resistant isolates of a species per 1,000 patient-days) and an antimicrobial usage density (AD) expressed as daily defined doses (DDD) and normalised per 1,000 patient-days.
Total mean antibiotic use remained stable over time and amounted to 1,172 DDD/1,000 patient-days (range 531 to 2,471). Carbapenem use almost doubled to an AD of 151 in 2008. Significant increases were also calculated for quinolone (AD of 163 in 2008) and third-generation and fourth-generation cephalosporin use (AD of 117 in 2008). Aminoglycoside consumption decreased substantially (AD of 86 in 2001 and 24 in 2008). Resistance proportions were as follows in 2001 and 2008, respectively: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) 26% and 20% (P = 0.006; trend test showed a significant decrease), vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) faecium 2.3% and 8.2% (P = 0.008), third-generation cephalosporin (3GC)-resistant Escherichia. coli 1.2% and 19.7% (P < 0.001), 3GC-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae 3.8% and 25.5% (P < 0.001), imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii 1.1% and 4.5% (P = 0.002), and imipenem-resistant K. pneumoniae 0.4% and 1.1%. The resistance densities did not change for MRSA but increased significantly for VRE faecium and 3GC-resistant E. coli and K. pneumoniae. In 2008, the resistance density for MRSA was 3.73, 0.48 for VRE, 1.39 for 3GC-resistant E. coli and 0.82 for K. pneumoniae.
Although total antibiotic use did not change over time in German ICUs, carbapenem use doubled. This is probably due to the rise in 3GC-resistant E. coli and K. pneumoniae. Increased carbapenem consumption was associated with carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing bacteria and imipenem-resistant A. baumannii.
PMCID: PMC2911759  PMID: 20546564
21.  Antibacterial Efficacy Testing of a Bioelectric Wound Dressing Against Clinical Wound Pathogens 
Silver-based wound dressings have been developed for the control of bioburden in wounds. However, the popularity and extensive use of silver-based dressings has been associated with emerging microbial resistances to silver. In this study we examined in vitro antibacterial efficacy of a bioelectric dressing containing silver and zinc against various wound pathogens. Antibiotic-sensitive clinical wound isolates showed a 100% reduction in bacterial growth, except that Enterococcus faecalis isolate was shown to survive with a bacterial log10 reduction rate of less than 102 CFU. We also investigated antibacterial efficacy against the extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) bacteria, multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The bioelectric dressing was effective in killing wound pathogens including ESBL, MDR, and MRSA in vitro. Furthermore, based on the primary results against E. faecalis, we carried out extensive studies against several nosocomial Enterococcus species including vancomycin-resistant species. Overall, the vancomycin-sensitive or -resistant Enterococcus species were resistant to this dressing at up to 48 h, except for the vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus raffinosus isolate only showing a 100% bacterial reduction at 48 h, but not at 24 h. The results demonstrated the effective bactericidal activity of a bioelectric dressing against antibiotic-sensitive and MDR strains, but Enterococcus species are bacteriostatic.
PMCID: PMC3950956  PMID: 24627730
Antibacterial efficacy testing; bioelectric dressing; clinical wound isolates.
22.  Antibiotic Consumption and Healthcare-Associated Infections Caused by Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacilli at a Large Medical Center in Taiwan from 2002 to 2009: Implicating the Importance of Antibiotic Stewardship 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e65621.
Better depicting the relationship between antibiotic consumption and evolutionary healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacilli (MDR-GNB) may help highlight the importance of antibiotic stewardship.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The correlations between antibiotic consumption and MDR-GNB HAIs at a 2,700-bed primary care and tertiary referral center in Taiwan between 2002 and 2009 were assessed. MDR-GNB HAI referred to a HAI caused by MDR-Enterobacteriaceae, MDR-Pseudomonas aeruginosa or MDR-Acinetobacter spp. Consumptions of individual antibiotics and MDR-GNB HAI series were first evaluated for trend over time. When a trend was significant, the presence or absence of associations between the selected clinically meaningful antibiotic resistance and antibiotic consumption was further explored using cross-correlation analyses. Significant major findings included (i) increased consumptions of extended-spectrum cephalosporins, carbapenems, aminopenicillins/β-lactamase inhibitors, piperacillin/tazobactam, and fluoroquinolones, (ii) decreased consumptions of non-extended-spectrum cephalosporins, natural penicillins, aminopenicillins, ureidopenicillin and aminoglycosides, and (iii) decreasing trend in the incidence of the overall HAIs, stable trends in GNB HAIs and MDR-GNB HAIs throughout the study period, and increasing trend in HAIs caused by carbapenem-resistant (CR) Acinetobacter spp. since 2006. HAIs due to CR-Acinetobacter spp. was found to positively correlate with the consumptions of carbapenems, extended-spectrum cephalosporins, aminopenicillins/β-lactamase inhibitors, piperacillin/tazobactam and fluoroquinolones, and negatively correlate with the consumptions of non-extended-spectrum cephalosporins, penicillins and aminoglycosides. No significant association was found between the increased use of piperacilllin/tazobactam and increasing HAIs due to CR-Acinetobacter spp.
The trend in overall HAIs decreased and trends in GNB HAIs and MDR-GNB HAIs remained stable over time suggesting that the infection control practice was effective during the study period, and the escalating HAIs due to CR- Acinetobacter spp. were driven by consumptions of broad-spectrum antibiotics other than piperacillin/tazobactam. Our data underscore the importance of antibiotic stewardship in the improvement of the trend of HAIs caused by Acinetobacter spp.
PMCID: PMC3667806  PMID: 23738018
23.  Emerging threat of multidrug resistant bugs – Acinetobacter calcoaceticus baumannii complex and Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:98.
Infections caused by bacteria such as multidrug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter spp. and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) constitute a worldwide pandemic. Without gathering information about these strains, we cannot reduce the morbidity and mortality due to infections caused by these notorious bugs.
This study was conducted to identify the status of MDR Acinetobacter spp. and MRSA in a tertiary care centre of Nepal. Sputum, endotracheal aspirate and bronchial washing specimens were collected and processed from patients suspected of lower respiratory tract infection following standard microbiological methods recommended by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Double disk synergy test method was employed for the detection of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) in Acinetobacter isolates. Methicillin resistance in S. aureus was confirmed by using cefoxitin and oxacillin disks.
Different genomespecies of Acinetobacter were isolated; these consisted of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus baumannii complex and A. lwoffii. Around 95% of Acinetobacter isolates were MDR, while 12.9% were ESBL-producer. Of the total 33 isolates of S. aureus, 26 (78.8%) were MDR and 14 (42.4%) were methicillin resistant.
A large number of MDR Acinetobacter spp. and MRSA has been noted in this study. The condition is worsened by the emergence of ESBL producing Acinetobacter spp. Hence, judicious use of antimicrobials is mandatory in clinical settings. Moreover, there should be vigilant surveillance of resistant clones in laboratories.
PMCID: PMC3605284  PMID: 23497675
Acinetobacter spp.; MDR; MRSA; ESBL
24.  Antimicrobial resistance in hospitalized surgical patients: a silently emerging public health concern in Uganda 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:298.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are difficult to treat and are associated with substantially longer hospital stay, higher treatment cost, morbidity and mortality, particularly when the etiological agent is multidrug-resistant (MDR). To address the limited data in Uganda on SSIs, we present the spectrum of bacteria isolated from hospitalized patients, the magnitude and impact of MDR bacterial isolates among patients with SSIs.
A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted from September 2011 through April 2012 involving 314 patients with SSIs in the obstetrics & gynecology, general surgery and orthopedic wards at Mulago National Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Wound swabs were taken and processed using standard microbiological methods. Clinico-demographic characteristics of patients were obtained using structured questionnaires and patients’ files.
Of the 314 enrolled patients with SSIs (mean age 29.7 ±13.14 years), 239 (76.1%) were female. More than half of the patients were from obstetrics and gynecology (62.1%, 195/314). Of 314 wound swabs taken, 68.8% (216/314) were culture positive aerobically, yielding 304 bacterial isolates; of which 23.7% (72/304) were Escherichia coli and 21.1% (64/304) were Staphylococcus aureus. More than three quarters of Enterobacteriaceae were found to be extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) producers and 37.5% of S. aureus were Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). MDR occurred in 78.3% (238/304) of the isolates; these were more among Gram-negative bacteria (78.6%, 187/238) compared to Gram-positive bacteria (21.4%, 51/238), (p-value < 0.0001, χ2 = 49.219). Amikacin and imepenem for ESBL-producing Enterobacteriacea and vancomycin for MRSA showed excellent performance except that they remain expensive drugs in Uganda.
Most SSIs at Mulago National Hospital are due to MDR bacteria. Isolation of MRSA and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in higher proportions than previously reported calls for laboratory guided SSIs- therapy and strengthening of infection control surveillance in this setting.
PMCID: PMC3729663  PMID: 23890206
Antimicrobial resistance; Surgical patients; Uganda
25.  Intestinal Microbiota Containing Barnesiella Species Cures Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium Colonization 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(3):965-973.
Bacteria causing infections in hospitalized patients are increasingly antibiotic resistant. Classical infection control practices are only partially effective at preventing spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria within hospitals. Because the density of intestinal colonization by the highly antibiotic-resistant bacterium vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) can exceed 109 organisms per gram of feces, even optimally implemented hygiene protocols often fail. Decreasing the density of intestinal colonization, therefore, represents an important approach to limit VRE transmission. We demonstrate that reintroduction of a diverse intestinal microbiota to densely VRE-colonized mice eliminates VRE from the intestinal tract. While oxygen-tolerant members of the microbiota are ineffective at eliminating VRE, administration of obligate anaerobic commensal bacteria to mice results in a billionfold reduction in the density of intestinal VRE colonization. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of intestinal bacterial populations isolated from mice that cleared VRE following microbiota reconstitution revealed that recolonization with a microbiota that contains Barnesiella correlates with VRE elimination. Characterization of the fecal microbiota of patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation demonstrated that intestinal colonization with Barnesiella confers resistance to intestinal domination and bloodstream infection with VRE. Our studies indicate that obligate anaerobic bacteria belonging to the Barnesiella genus enable clearance of intestinal VRE colonization and may provide novel approaches to prevent the spread of highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3584866  PMID: 23319552

Results 1-25 (784663)