Emerging multi-drug resistant infections lack standard definition and treatment

Infection control practices for detecting and treating patients infected with emerging multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) vary significantly between hospitals. A study from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Research Network, a consortium of more than 200 hospitals collaborating on multi-center research projects, found this inconsistency could be contributing to the increase in multidrug-resistant bacteria. The study is published in the April issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

"Differences in definitions and practices for multidrug-resistant confuse healthcare workers and hinder communication when patients are transferred between hospitals," said Marci Drees, MD, MS, a lead author of the study. "The danger these inconsistencies represent affects not only individual hospitals, but the broader community because patients are frequently transferred between healthcare centers, including long-term care facilities, furthering their spread."

Researchers reviewed results of an online survey of 70 hospitals, representing 26 states and 15 foreign countries. The survey looked at how different hospitals detect and treat MDR-GNB, including microbiological definition of these pathogens and whether and how long patients are treated under contact precautions in the hospital.

The recent emergence of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) is a growing problem that is more difficult to detect and treat than the more commonly known MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

No single test can determine whether bacteria are multidrug-resistant, and researchers found that participating hospitals had up to 22 unique definitions. These definitions determine whether or not a patient requires contact precautions. The variations in practices for MDR-GNB were significant: Some hospitals isolated patients only when they found bacteria resistant to three or more classes of antimicrobials, while others would isolate if there was resistance to only one. Depending on which specific bacteria were found, the duration of isolation also varied greatly; from none to indefinite.

"Public health agencies need to promote standard definitions and management to enable broader initiatives to limit emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria," said Drees.

More information: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 35:3 (April 2014)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Most California hospitals implementing infection control

Mar 17, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Most California hospitals implement some policies to improve infection control for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), primarily methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but fe ...

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

13 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.