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Shedding Light on Healthcare-Associated Infection Pathogens

Report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) showed healthcare-associated infections due to use of medical device more likely to be antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The report, which summarizes data from 5,626 facilities from 2015 to 2017, shows that resistance was consistently higher for device-associated healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) than for the same bacteria identified after surgical procedures.

Types of devices included in the study were meant for short term use in a hospital setting, such as central lines, ventilators, and urinary catheters. For instance, 48 percent of tested Staphylococcus aureus isolated from device-associated infections were methicillin resistant (MRSA), compared to 41 percent among those isolated from surgical site infections; and 82 percent of tested device-associated Enterococcus faecium bacteria were resistant to vancomycin (VRE) compared to 55 percent among surgical site infections.

“Combating antimicrobial resistance is a top clinical and public health priority in the United States,” said Lindsey Weiner-Lastinger, MPH, an epidemiologist at the CDC. “These data show that the threat of exposure to bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics extends across the nation. The data also serve as an urgent call for healthcare facilities and public health agencies to intensify their efforts to prevent the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.”

It was noted that bacteria within adult and paediatric healthcare facilities differed by infection type and care location. he most common HAI bacteria among adult patients were Escherichia coli (18%), Staphylococcus aureus (12%) and Klebsiella (9%). A companion report on pediatric healthcare-associated infections, with data from 2,454 facilities, found the most prevalent pathogens among pediatric patients were S taphylococcus aureus (15%), Escherichia coli (12%), and coagulase-negative staphylococci (12%).

Data also demonstrated the bacteria associated with long-term acute care hospitals have higher chance of being antibiotic resistant than those acquired in short-stay acute care hospitals; where HAIs in adult healthcare settings are more likely to be resistant than those in paediatrics.

NHSN collects and tracks data to identify problem areas in facilities, states, regions, and the nation, and to help measure the progress of prevention efforts.

Lastinger said the increasing availability of clinical and laboratory data in electronic form provides new opportunities to quickly identify resistance to antibiotic therapies and to inform antibiotic stewardship programs. Appropriate resources should be allocated to ensure proper infection prevention methods of devices and the environment across the healthcare continuum. [APBN]