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1.  First Outbreak with MRSA in a Danish Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Risk Factors and Control Procedures 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66904.
The purpose of the study was to describe demographic and clinical characteristics and outbreak handling of a large methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Denmark June 25th–August 8th 2008, and to identify risk factors for MRSA transmission.
Data were collected retrospectively from medical records and the Danish Neobase database. All MRSA isolates obtained from neonates, relatives and NICU health care workers (HCW) as well as environmental cultures were typed.
During the 46 day outbreak period, 102 neonates were admitted to the two neonatal wards. Ninety-nine neonates were subsequently sampled, and 32 neonates (32%) from 25 families were colonized with MRSA (spa-type t127, SCCmec V, PVL negative). Thirteen family members from 11 of those families (44%) and two of 161 HCWs (1%) were colonized with the same MRSA. No one was infected. Five environmental cultures were MRSA positive. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (nCPAP) treatment (p = 0.006) and Caesarean section (p = 0.016) were independent risk factors for MRSA acquisition, whereas days of exposure to MRSA was a risk factors in the unadjusted analysis (p = 0.04).
MRSA transmission occurs with high frequency in the NICU during hospitalization with unidentified MRSA neonates. Caesarean section and nCPAP treatment were identified as risk factors for MRSA colonization. The MRSA outbreak was controlled through infection control procedures.
PMCID: PMC3692537  PMID: 23825581
2.  Rising incidence of Enterococcus species in microbiological specimens from orthopedic patients correlates to increased use of cefuroxime 
Acta Orthopaedica  2013;84(3):319-322.
Background and purpose
Enterococci are emerging causes of severe infections, including wound and bone infections in orthopedic patients. The main purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a correlation between the incidence of enterococci in tissue samples (biopsies) from orthopedic patients and consumption of cefuroxime in the orthopedic department.
Methods and results
Data were obtained from the department of clinical microbiology and the hospital pharmacy. The consumption of cefuroxime successively increased from 40 defined daily doses (DDD)/103 bed days in 2002 to 212 DDD/103 bed days in 2009. The incidence of patients with enterococci in tissue samples increased steadily from 1.03/103 bed days in 2002 to 5.90/103 bed days in 2009. Regression analysis revealed a significant correlation between the consumption of cefuroxime and the incidence of enterococci.
Continuous surveillance of species distribution, resistance rates, and antibiotic consumption is of utmost importance for optimal antibiotic strategy in orthopedic patients.
PMCID: PMC3715828  PMID: 23594224
3.  Classification of positive blood cultures: computer algorithms versus physicians' assessment - development of tools for surveillance of bloodstream infection prognosis using population-based laboratory databases 
Information from blood cultures is utilized for infection control, public health surveillance, and clinical outcome research. This information can be enriched by physicians’ assessments of positive blood cultures, which are, however, often available from selected patient groups or pathogens only. The aim of this work was to determine whether patients with positive blood cultures can be classified effectively for outcome research in epidemiological studies by the use of administrative data and computer algorithms, taking physicians’ assessments as reference.
Physicians’ assessments of positive blood cultures were routinely recorded at two Danish hospitals from 2006 through 2008. The physicians’ assessments classified positive blood cultures as: a) contamination or bloodstream infection; b) bloodstream infection as mono- or polymicrobial; c) bloodstream infection as community- or hospital-onset; d) community-onset bloodstream infection as healthcare-associated or not. We applied the computer algorithms to data from laboratory databases and the Danish National Patient Registry to classify the same groups and compared these with the physicians’ assessments as reference episodes. For each classification, we tabulated episodes derived by the physicians’ assessment and the computer algorithm and compared 30-day mortality between concordant and discrepant groups with adjustment for age, gender, and comorbidity.
Physicians derived 9,482 reference episodes from 21,705 positive blood cultures. The agreement between computer algorithms and physicians’ assessments was high for contamination vs. bloodstream infection (8,966/9,482 reference episodes [96.6%], Kappa = 0.83) and mono- vs. polymicrobial bloodstream infection (6,932/7,288 reference episodes [95.2%], Kappa = 0.76), but lower for community- vs. hospital-onset bloodstream infection (6,056/7,288 reference episodes [83.1%], Kappa = 0.57) and healthcare-association (3,032/4,740 reference episodes [64.0%], Kappa = 0.15). The 30-day mortality in the discrepant groups differed from the concordant groups as regards community- vs. hospital-onset, whereas there were no material differences within the other comparison groups.
Using data from health administrative registries, we found high agreement between the computer algorithms and the physicians’ assessments as regards contamination vs. bloodstream infection and monomicrobial vs. polymicrobial bloodstream infection, whereas there was only moderate agreement between the computer algorithms and the physicians’ assessments concerning the place of onset. These results provide new information on the utility of computer algorithms derived from health administrative registries.
PMCID: PMC3546010  PMID: 22970812
4.  Prevalence of infective endocarditis in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia: the value of screening with echocardiography 
Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis (IE) is a critical medical condition associated with a high morbidity and mortality. In the present study, we prospectively evaluated the importance of screening with echocardiography in an unselected S. aureus bacteraemia (SAB) population.
Methods and results
From 1 January 2009 to 31 August 2010, a total of 244 patients with SAB at six Danish hospitals underwent screening echocardiography. The inclusion rate was 73% of all eligible patients (n= 336), and 53 of the 244 included patients (22%; 95% CI: 17–27%) were diagnosed with definite IE. In patients with native heart valves the prevalence was 19% (95% CI: 14–25%) compared with 38% (95% CI: 20–55%) in patients with prosthetic heart valves and/or cardiac rhythm management devices (P= 0.02). No difference was found between Main Regional Hospitals and Tertiary Cardiac Hospitals, 20 vs. 23%, respectively (NS). The prevalence of IE in high-risk patients with one or more predisposing condition or clinical evidence of IE were significantly higher compared with low-risk patients with no additional risk factors (38 vs. 5%; P < 0.001). IE was associated with a higher 6 months mortality, 14(26%) vs. 28(15%) in SAB patients without IE, respectively (P < 0.05).
SAB patients carry a high risk for development of IE, which is associated with a worse prognosis compared with uncomplicated SAB. The presenting symptoms and clinical findings associated with IE are often non-specific and echocardiography should always be considered as part of the initial evaluation of SAB patients.
PMCID: PMC3117467  PMID: 21685200
Infective endocarditis; Echocardiography; Staphylococcus aureus; Screening
5.  Infective Endocarditis: Identification of Catalase-Negative, Gram-Positive Cocci from Blood Cultures by Partial 16S rRNA Gene Analysis and by Vitek 2 Examination  
Streptococci, enterococci and Streptococcus-like bacteria are frequent etiologic agents of infective endocarditis and correct species identification can be a laboratory challenge. Viridans streptococci (VS) not seldomly cause contamination of blood cultures. Vitek 2 and partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were applied in order to compare the results of both methods.
Strains originated from two groups of patients: 149 strains from patients with infective endocarditis and 181 strains assessed as blood culture contaminants. Of the 330 strains, based on partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing results, 251 (76%) were VS strains, 10 (3%) were pyogenic streptococcal strains, 54 (16%) were E. faecalis strains and 15 (5%) strains belonged to a group of miscellaneous catalase-negative, Gram-positive cocci. Among VS strains, respectively, 220 (87,6%) and 31 (12,3%) obtained agreeing and non-agreeing identifications with the two methods with respect to allocation to the same VS group. Non-agreeing species identification mostly occurred among strains in the contaminant group, while for endocarditis strains notably fewer disagreeing results were observed.
Only 67 of 150 strains in the mitis group strains obtained identical species identifications by the two methods. Most VS strains belonging to the groups of salivarius, anginosus, and mutans obtained agreeing species identifications with the two methods, while this only was the case for 13 of the 21 bovis strains. Pyogenic strains (n=10), Enterococcus faecalis strains (n=54) and a miscellaneous group of catalase-negative, Gram-positive cocci (n=15) seemed well identified by both methods, except that disagreements in identifications in the miscellaneous group of strains occurred for 6 of 15 strains.
PMCID: PMC3111702  PMID: 21673976
Infective endocarditis; viridans streptococci (VS); non-hemolytic streptococci; enterococci; Streptococcus-like bacteria; Vitek 2 GP card; partial 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis.
6.  Acquisition and Elimination of Bacterial Vaginosis During Pregnancy: A Danish Population-Based Study 
Objectives: the aim was to examine factors associated with acquisition and elimination of bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy. Methods: a group of 229 pregnant women were randomly selected from a population-based prospective cohort study of 2927. They were examined at enrollment (mean gestational weeks 16w + 0d) and again in mid-third trimester (mean gestational age 32w + 3d). Measures: BV (Amsel's clinical criteria), microbiological cultures of the genital tract and questionnaire data. Results: BV prevalence decreased from 17% in early second trimester to 14% in mid-third trimester due to a tenfold higher elimination rate (39%) than incidence rate (4%). Heavy smokers (> 10/d) in early pregnancy were at increased risk (5.3 [1.1–25]) for the acquisition of BV during pregnancy, as were women receiving public benefits (4.8 [1.0–22]), having a vaginal pH above 4.5 (6.3 [1.4–29]) or vaginal anaerobe bacteria (18 [2.7–122]) at enrollment. A previous use of combined oral contraceptives was preventive for the acquisition of BV (0.2 [0.03–0.96]). Elimination of BV in pregnancy tended to be associated with a heavy growth of Lactobacillus (3.2 [0.8–13]) at enrollment. Conclusions: acquisition of BV during pregnancy is rare and is associated with smoking, while the presence of anaerobe bacteria and a vaginal pH > 4.5 are interpreted as steps on a gradual change towards BV. In the same way heavy growth of Lactobacillus spp in early pregnancy may be an indicator of women on the way to eliminate BV.
PMCID: PMC1581474  PMID: 17485815

Results 1-6 (6)