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Antimicrobial therapies linked to neonatal infection outbreaks

Date:
October 1, 2013
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Administration of antibiotics may have caused successive outbreaks of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in a Greek neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), according to a study.

Administration of antibiotics may have caused successive outbreaks of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in a Greek neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

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A team of physicians at the Aristotle University School of Medicine in Greece responded to two occurrences of VRE in their 44-bed NICU with a bundled intervention of active surveillance, enhanced infection control measures, optimization of antimicrobial usage, and investigation of potential risk factors for VRE colonization over a six-month period. Out of 253 newborns screened, 39.9 percent were found to be carriers of VRE. During the first wave of this outbreak a single clone predominated.

Antimicrobial usage, particularly administration of vancomycin and other glycopeptide antibiotics, was reduced significantly until the outbreak appeared to be over. Just as antimicrobial usage returned to previous levels, a new case of VRE was discovered and a second wave of the outbreak began.

Analysis of the data revealed antimicrobial treatment for late-onset neonatal sepsis and hospitalization during the outbreak as significant risk factors for VRE.

The authors conclude, "Both a high prevalence of VRE colonization and antimicrobial use promoted the transmission of VRE during this biphasic outbreak. Adherence to infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship policies are of utmost importance."

Enterococci can cause serious healthcare-associated infections in adults, children, and neonates. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci are resistant to vancomycin, the drug often used to treat serious infections for which other medicines may not work. Each year an estimated 20,000 hospitalized U.S. patients become infected with VRE, leading to approximately 1,300 deaths, according to a recent report (www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013) on antibiotic resistance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, the most important action needed to slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections is to improve the use of antibiotics. The CDC warns that using antibiotics when they are not needed can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance and can increase a patient's risk of developing a resistant infection in the future.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elisa Civardi, Chryssoula Tzialla, Fausto Baldanti, Luisa Strocchio, Paolo Manzoni, Mauro Stronati. Viral outbreaks in neonatal intensive care units: What we do not know. American Journal of Infection Control, 2013; 41 (10): 854 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2013.01.026

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Antimicrobial therapies linked to neonatal infection outbreaks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001115510.htm>.
Elsevier. (2013, October 1). Antimicrobial therapies linked to neonatal infection outbreaks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001115510.htm
Elsevier. "Antimicrobial therapies linked to neonatal infection outbreaks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001115510.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

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