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A large sustained endemic outbreak of multiresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa: a new epidemiological scenario for nosocomial acquisition

Author(s): Suarez Cristina | Peña Carmen | Arch Olga | Dominguez M Angeles | Tubau Fe | Juan Carlos | Gavaldá Laura | Sora Mercedes | Oliver Antonio | Pujol Miquel | Ariza Javier

Journal: BMC Infectious Diseases
ISSN 1471-2334

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 272;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Studies of recent hospital outbreaks caused by multiresistant P.aeruginosa (MRPA) have often failed to identify a specific environmental reservoir. We describe an outbreak due to a single clone of multiresistant (MR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and evaluate the effectiveness of the surveillance procedures and control measures applied. Methods Patients with MRPA isolates were prospectively identified (January 2006-May 2008). A combined surveillance procedure (environmental survey, and active surveillance program in intensive care units [ICUs]) and an infection control strategy (closure of ICU and urology wards for decontamination, strict compliance with cross-transmission prevention protocols, and a program restricting the use of carbapenems in the ICUs) was designed and implemented. Results Three hundred and ninety patients were identified. ICU patients were the most numerous group (22%) followed by urology patients (18%). Environmental surveillance found that 3/19 (16%) non-ICU environmental samples and 4/63 (6%) ICU samples were positive for the MRPA clonal strain. In addition, active surveillance found that 19% of patients were fecal carriers of MRPA. Significant changes in the trends of incidence rates were noted after intervention 1 (reinforcement of cleaning procedures): -1.16 cases/1,000 patient-days (95%CI -1.86 to -0.46; p = 0.003) and intervention 2 (extensive decontamination): -1.36 cases/1,000 patient-days (95%CI -1.88 to -0.84; p < 0.001) in urology wards. In addition, restricted use of carbapenems was initiated in ICUs (January 2007), and their administration decreased from 190-170 DDD/1,000 patient-days (October-December 2006) to 40-60 DDD/1,000 patient-days (January-April 2007), with a reduction from 3.1 cases/1,000 patient-days in December 2006 to 2.0 cases/1,000 patient-days in May 2007. The level of initial carbapenem use rose again during 2008, and the incidence of MRPA increased progressively once more. Conclusions In the setting of sustained MRPA outbreaks, epidemiological findings suggest that patients may be a reservoir for further environmental contamination and cross-transmission. Although our control program was not successful in ending the outbreak, we think that our experience provides useful guidance for future approaches to this problem.
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