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1.  Community-based educational intervention to limit the dissemination of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:15.
Surveillance examining the incidence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) was conducted over 8 years beginning in 2001 in three health regions covering the northern half of Saskatchewan. The annual rate of individuals reported with CA-MRSA infection in these regions dramatically increased from 8.2 per 10,000 population in 2001 (range to 4.4-10.1 per 10,000) to 168.1 per 10,000 in 2006 (range 43.4-230.9 per 10,000). To address this issue, a team of community members, healthcare professionals, educators and research scientists formed a team called "the Northern Antibiotic Resistance Partnership" (NARP) to develop physician, patient, community, and school based educational materials in an attempt to limit the spread of CA-MRSA.
Posters, radio broadcasts, community slide presentations, physician treatment algorithms, patient pamphlets, and school educational programs Do Bugs Need Drugs and Germs Away were provided to targeted northern communities experiencing high rates of infections.
Following implementation of this program, the rates of MRSA infections in the targeted communities have decreased nearly two-fold (242.8 to 129.3 infections/10,000 population) from 2006 to 2008. Through pre-and post-educational intervention surveys, this decrease in MRSA infections coincided with an increase in knowledge related to appropriate antimicrobial usage and hand washing in these communities.
These educational materials are all freely available and will hopefully aid in increasing awareness of the importance of proper antimicrobial usage and hygiene in diminishing the spread of S. aureus and other infectious diseases in other communities.
PMCID: PMC3287965  PMID: 22225643
2.  Risk Factors for SARS Transmission from Patients Requiring Intubation: A Multicentre Investigation in Toronto, Canada 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(5):e10717.
In the 2003 Toronto SARS outbreak, SARS-CoV was transmitted in hospitals despite adherence to infection control procedures. Considerable controversy resulted regarding which procedures and behaviours were associated with the greatest risk of SARS-CoV transmission.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted to identify risk factors for transmission of SARS-CoV during intubation from laboratory confirmed SARS patients to HCWs involved in their care. All SARS patients requiring intubation during the Toronto outbreak were identified. All HCWs who provided care to intubated SARS patients during treatment or transportation and who entered a patient room or had direct patient contact from 24 hours before to 4 hours after intubation were eligible for this study. Data was collected on patients by chart review and on HCWs by interviewer-administered questionnaire. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) logistic regression models and classification and regression trees (CART) were used to identify risk factors for SARS transmission.
45 laboratory-confirmed intubated SARS patients were identified. Of the 697 HCWs involved in their care, 624 (90%) participated in the study. SARS-CoV was transmitted to 26 HCWs from 7 patients; 21 HCWs were infected by 3 patients. In multivariate GEE logistic regression models, presence in the room during fiberoptic intubation (OR = 2.79, p = .004) or ECG (OR = 3.52, p = .002), unprotected eye contact with secretions (OR = 7.34, p = .001), patient APACHE II score ≥20 (OR = 17.05, p = .009) and patient Pa02/Fi02 ratio ≤59 (OR = 8.65, p = .001) were associated with increased risk of transmission of SARS-CoV. In CART analyses, the four covariates which explained the greatest amount of variation in SARS-CoV transmission were covariates representing individual patients.
Close contact with the airway of severely ill patients and failure of infection control practices to prevent exposure to respiratory secretions were associated with transmission of SARS-CoV. Rates of transmission of SARS-CoV varied widely among patients.
PMCID: PMC2873403  PMID: 20502660
3.  Central venous catheter-associated bloodstream infections occurring in Canadian intensive care units: A six-month cohort study 
To determine the rate and risk factors associated with central venous catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infections (BSIs) in Canadian intensive care units (ICUs).
A prospective, active six-month cohort with a nested case-control study.
Forty-one ICUs located in 19 Canadian hospitals.
Data were collected using a standardized format on all CVCs and patients when a CVC was inserted for more than 48 h. Results of microbiological studies and therapeutic interventions were recorded when a BSI occurred.
There were 182 BSIs from 3696 CVC insertions in 2531 patients. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were responsible for 73% of the BSIs. Mean rates of CVC-associated BSIs per 1000 CVC days were 6.9, 6.8 and 5.0 in adult, neonatal and pediatric ICUs, respectively. Significant factors associated with BSI included duration of CVC insertion (OR=1.2, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.3), receiving total parenteral nutrition (OR=4.1, 95% CI 1.2 to 14.3) and having one or more CVCs (OR=3.1, 95% CI 1.5 to 6.5). In the case-control study, 80% of the variance in a backward elimination logistic regression analysis was explained by duration of CVC insertion (OR=1.2 per day), receiving chemotherapy (OR=6.1), more than one CVC insertion during the study (OR=3.5), insertion of a CVC with two or more lumens (OR=2.3), using the CVC to administer total parenteral nutrition (OR=1.6) and having a surgical wound other than a clean wound (OR=1.6).
The present study identified risk factors explaining 80% of the variance associated with BSIs and is one of the largest reports on the rate of CVC-associated BSIs occurring in the ICU setting.
PMCID: PMC2095065  PMID: 18418495
Bacteremia; Central venous catheter; Intensive care unit; Risk factor
4.  Molecular Characterization of Cefoxitin-Resistant Escherichia coli from Canadian Hospitals 
A study designed to gain baseline information on strains of Escherichia coli displaying resistance to cefoxitin in Canada is described. A total of 29,323 E. coli isolates were screened at 12 participating hospital sites as part of an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase surveillance initiative. A total of 411 clinically significant, nonrepeat isolates displaying reduced susceptibilities to the NCCLS-recommended beta-lactams were submitted to a central laboratory over a 1-year period ending on 30 September 2000. Two hundred thirty-two isolates were identified as resistant to cefoxitin. All cefoxitin-resistant strains were subtyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and of these, 182 strains revealed a unique fingerprint and 1 strain was untypeable. PCR and sequence analysis of the ampC promoter region revealed 51 different promoter or attenuator variants and 14 wild-type promoters. Three promoter regions were interrupted by insertion elements, two contained IS10 elements, and one contained an IS911 variant. PCR and sequence analysis for the detection of acquired AmpC resistance (by the acquisition of ACT-1/MIR-1, CMY-2, or FOX) revealed that 25 strains contained CMY-2, including 7 of the strains found to have wild-type promoters. The considerable genetic variability in both the strain fingerprint and the promoter region suggests that AmpC-type resistance may emerge spontaneously by mutation of sensitive strains rather than by the spread of strains or plasmids in the hospital setting.
PMCID: PMC538860  PMID: 15616316
5.  Ambler Class A Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. in Canadian Hospitals 
This report describes a study carried out to gain baseline information on the molecular characteristics of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. in Canada. A total of 29,323 E. coli and 5,156 Klebsiella sp. isolates were screened at 12 participating sites. Of these, 505 clinically significant, nonrepeat isolates displaying reduced susceptibility to the NCCLS-recommended beta-lactams were submitted to a central laboratory over a 1-year period ending on 30 September 2000. A total of 116 isolates were confirmed to be ESBL producers. PCR and sequence analysis revealed the presence of TEM-11 (n = 1), TEM-12 (n = 1), TEM-29 (n = 1), TEM-52 (n = 4), CTX-M-13 (n = 1), CTX-M-14 (n = 15), CTX-M-15 (n = 11), SHV-2 (n = 2), SHV-2a (n = 12), SHV-5 (n = 6), SHV-12 (n = 45), and SHV-30 (n = 2). Five novel beta-lactamases were identified and designated TEM-115 (n = 2), TEM-120 (n = 1), SHV-40 (n = 2), SHV-41 (n = 4), and SHV-42 (n = 1). In addition, no molecular mechanism was identified for five isolates displaying an ESBL phenotype. Macrorestriction analysis of all ESBL isolates was conducted, as was restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of plasmids harboring ESBLs. Although a “clonal” distribution of isolates was observed at some individual sites, there was very little evidence suggesting intrahospital spread. In addition, examples of identical or closely related plasmids that were identified at geographically distinct sites across Canada are given. However, there was considerable diversity with respect to plasmid types observed.
PMCID: PMC375296  PMID: 15047521
6.  N-CDAD in Canada: Results of the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program 1997 N-CDAD Prevalence Surveillance Project 
A 1996 preproject survey among Canadian Hospital Epidemiology Committee (CHEC) sites revealed variations in the prevention, detection, management and surveillance of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD). Facilities wanted to establish national rates of nosocomially acquired CDAD (N-CDAD) to understand the impact of control or prevention measures, and the burden of N-CDAD on health care resources. The CHEC, in collaboration with the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control (Health Canada) and under the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, undertook a prevalence surveillance project among selected hospitals throughout Canada.
To establish national prevalence rates of N-CDAD.
For six weeks in 1997, selected CHEC sites tested all diarrheal stools from inpatients for either C difficile toxin or C difficile bacteria with evidence of toxin production. Questionnaires were completed for patients with positive stool assays who met the case definitions.
Nineteen health care facilities in eight provinces participated in the project. The overall prevalence of N-CDAD was 13.0% (95% CI 9.5% to 16.5%). The mean number of N-CDAD cases were 66.3 cases/100,000 patient days (95% CI 37.5 to 95.1) and 5.9 cases/1000 patient admissions (95% CI 3.4 to 8.4). N-CDAD was found most frequently in older patients and those who had been hospitalized for longer than two weeks in medical or surgical wards.
This national prevalence surveillance project, which established N-CDAD rates, is useful as 'benchmark' data for Canadian health care facilities, and in understanding the patterns and impact of N-CDAD.
PMCID: PMC2094801  PMID: 18159321
Canada; CDAD; Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea; Hospital; Nosocomial diarrhea; Prevalence
7.  The evolution of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Canadian hospitals: 5 years of national surveillance 
To better understand the epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Canadian hospitals, surveillance has been conducted in sentinel hospitals across the country since 1995. We report the results of the first 5 years of the program.
For each newly identified inpatient with MRSA, medical records were reviewed for demographic and clinical data. Isolates were subjected to susceptibility testing and molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
A total of 4507 patients infected or colonized with MRSA were identified between January 1995 and December 1999. The rate of MRSA increased each year from a mean of 0.95 per 100 S. aureus isolates in 1995 to 5.97 per 100 isolates in 1999 (0.46 per 1000 admissions in 1995 to 4.12 per 1000 admissions in 1999) (p < 0.05). Most of the increase in MRSA occurred in Ontario, Quebec and the western provinces. Of the 3009 cases for which the site of MRSA acquisition could be determined, 86% were acquired in a hospital, 8% were acquired in a long-term care facility and 6% were acquired in the community. A total of 1603 patients (36%) were infected with MRSA. The most common sites of infection were skin or soft tissue (25% of MRSA infections), pulmonary tissues (24%) and surgical sites (23%); 13% of the patients were bacteremic. An epidemiologic link with a previously identified MRSA patient was suspected in 53% of the cases. Molecular typing indicated that most (81%) of the isolates could be classified as related to 1 of the 4 Canadian epidemic strains of MRSA.
There has been a significant increase in the rate of isolating MRSA in many Canadian hospitals, related to the transmission of a relatively small number of MRSA strains.
PMCID: PMC81239  PMID: 11468949
8.  Status of tuberculosis infection control programs in Canadian acute care hospitals, 1989 to 1993 – Part 1 
To document tuberculosis (TB) prevention and control activities in Canadian acute care hospitals from 1989 to 1993.
Retrospective questionnaire.
All members of the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association-Canada and l’Association des professionnels pour la prévention des infections who lived in Canada and worked in an acute care hospital received a questionnaire. One questionnaire per hospital was completed.
The study documented the number of respiratory TB cases admitted to the hospital, the type of engineering and environmental controls available, and the type of occupational tuberculin skin test (TST) screening programs offered by the hospital.
Questionnaires were received from 319 hospitals. Ninety-nine (32%) hospitals did not admit a respiratory TB case during the study. Thirty-one (10%) hospitals averaged six or more TB cases per year. TST results were reported for 47,181 health care workers, and 819 (1.7%) were reported as TST converters; physicians had a significantly higher TST conversion rate than other occupational groups. Most hospitals did not have isolation rooms with air exhausted outside the building, negative air pressure and six or more air changes per hour. Surgical masks were used as respiratory protection by 74% of staff.
Canadian hospitals can expect to admit TB patients. Participating hospitals did not meet TB engineering or environmental recommendations published in 1990 and 1991. In addition, occupational TB screening programs in 1989 to 1993 did not meet Canadian recommendations published in 1988.
PMCID: PMC3250879  PMID: 22346515
Nosocomial infection; Occupational health; Tuberculosis
9.  Comparison of tuberculosis infection control programs in Canadian hospitals categorized by size and risk of exposure to tuberculosis patients, 1989 to 1993 – Part 2 
To analyze tuberculosis (TB) programs in acute care hospitals (hospitals) categorized by size and risk of exposure to TB patients from 1989 to 1993.
Retrospective survey.
Members of the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association-Canada and l’Association des professionnels pour la prévention des infections who worked in Canadian hospitals received questionnaires. One questionnaire per hospital was completed.
Hospitals reported the number of respiratory TB and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases admitted, the engineering and environmental controls available, and the type of occupational TB screening programs available. Data were stratified by hospital size and risk of exposure to TB patients.
Thirty-four (10.9%) hospitals with at least 500 beds admitted more than 50% of the TB cases, more than 40% of the multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases and more than 65% of the HIV cases. Thirty-six (11.6%) facilities classified as high risk hospitals reported more than 70% of the TB cases, more than 58% of the MDR-TB cases and more than 75% of the HIV cases. A significantly higher pooled average tuberculin test conversion rate was found in individuals working in high risk (4.4%) than in low risk hospitals (1.5%). Significantly more high risk than low risk hospitals had an isolation room with air exhausted outside, negative air pressure and at least six air changes per hour. Only 13 high risk hospitals had all three engineering characteristics. Surgical masks were used for respiratory protection in 18 (50%) high risk and 186 (77.8%) low risk hospitals.
Nosocomial transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis may have occurred because TB programs available in many Canadian hospitals were inadequate.
PMCID: PMC3250883  PMID: 22346516
Nosocomial infection; Occupational health; Tuberculosis
11.  Nosocomial infection program 
PMCID: PMC3298061  PMID: 22416206

Results 1-11 (11)