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Surveillance of catheter-related infections: the supplementary role of the microbiology laboratory

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      The burden of catheter-related infections (CRIs) in developing countries is severe. In South Africa, a standardised surveillance definition does not exist and the collection of catheter days is challenging. The aim of the study was to provide baseline data on the prevalence of CRIs and to describe the epidemiology of CRI events within a tertiary academic hospital.


      Surveillance was laboratory-based and conducted for a six month period. A microbiologically confirmed CRBSI (MC-CRBSI) event was defined as the isolation of the same microorganism from the catheter and concomitant blood cultures (BCs), within 48 h of catheter removal, which were not related to an infection at another site.


      A total of 508 catheters, removed from 332 patients, were processed by the laboratory, of which only 50% (253/508 removed from 143/332 patients) of the catheters were accompanied by BCs within 48 h. Sixty-five episodes of MC-CRBSI in 57 patients were detected, involving 71 catheters and 195 microbial isolates. The institutional prevalence rate was 3.7 episodes per 1 000 admissions and 5.8 episodes per 10 000 in-patient days. Catheter day data was collected in only six wards of the hospital. The pooled laboratory incidence was 10.1 MC-CRBSI episodes per 1 000 catheter days, whereas the hospital-based central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rate was pooled at 5.7 episodes per 1 000 catheter days. The majority of patients had an underlying gastro-intestinal condition (33%; 19/56) with a non-tunnelled, triple-lumen central venous catheter, placed in the subclavian vein (38%; 27/71). The most predominant pathogen was methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (28%; 55/195), followed by extensively-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (18%; 35/195).


      Catheter-related infection prevention and control efforts require urgent attention, not only to keep patients safe from preventable harm, but to prevent the spread of multidrug resistant microorganisms.

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      Most cited references 33

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      Multidrug-resistant, extensively drug-resistant and pandrug-resistant bacteria: an international expert proposal for interim standard definitions for acquired resistance.

      Many different definitions for multidrug-resistant (MDR), extensively drug-resistant (XDR) and pandrug-resistant (PDR) bacteria are being used in the medical literature to characterize the different patterns of resistance found in healthcare-associated, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. A group of international experts came together through a joint initiative by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to create a standardized international terminology with which to describe acquired resistance profiles in Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus spp., Enterobacteriaceae (other than Salmonella and Shigella), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp., all bacteria often responsible for healthcare-associated infections and prone to multidrug resistance. Epidemiologically significant antimicrobial categories were constructed for each bacterium. Lists of antimicrobial categories proposed for antimicrobial susceptibility testing were created using documents and breakpoints from the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MDR was defined as acquired non-susceptibility to at least one agent in three or more antimicrobial categories, XDR was defined as non-susceptibility to at least one agent in all but two or fewer antimicrobial categories (i.e. bacterial isolates remain susceptible to only one or two categories) and PDR was defined as non-susceptibility to all agents in all antimicrobial categories. To ensure correct application of these definitions, bacterial isolates should be tested against all or nearly all of the antimicrobial agents within the antimicrobial categories and selective reporting and suppression of results should be avoided. © 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. No claim to original US government works.
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        Clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of intravascular catheter-related infection: 2009 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

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          Burden of endemic health-care-associated infection in developing countries: systematic review and meta-analysis.

          Health-care-associated infection is the most frequent result of unsafe patient care worldwide, but few data are available from the developing world. We aimed to assess the epidemiology of endemic health-care-associated infection in developing countries. We searched electronic databases and reference lists of relevant papers for articles published 1995-2008. Studies containing full or partial data from developing countries related to infection prevalence or incidence-including overall health-care-associated infection and major infection sites, and their microbiological cause-were selected. We classified studies as low-quality or high-quality according to predefined criteria. Data were pooled for analysis. Of 271 selected articles, 220 were included in the final analysis. Limited data were retrieved from some regions and many countries were not represented. 118 (54%) studies were low quality. In general, infection frequencies reported in high-quality studies were greater than those from low-quality studies. Prevalence of health-care-associated infection (pooled prevalence in high-quality studies, 15·5 per 100 patients [95% CI 12·6-18·9]) was much higher than proportions reported from Europe and the USA. Pooled overall health-care-associated infection density in adult intensive-care units was 47·9 per 1000 patient-days (95% CI 36·7-59·1), at least three times as high as densities reported from the USA. Surgical-site infection was the leading infection in hospitals (pooled cumulative incidence 5·6 per 100 surgical procedures), strikingly higher than proportions recorded in developed countries. Gram-negative bacilli represented the most common nosocomial isolates. Apart from meticillin resistance, noted in 158 of 290 (54%) Staphylococcus aureus isolates (in eight studies), very few articles reported antimicrobial resistance. The burden of health-care-associated infection in developing countries is high. Our findings indicate a need to improve surveillance and infection-control practices. World Health Organization. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

            Author and article information

            [ ]Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
            [ ]National Health Laboratory Service, Tshwane Academic Division, Pretoria, South Africa
            [ ]Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
            [ ]Centre for Tuberculosis, National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
            BMC Infect Dis
            BMC Infect. Dis
            BMC Infectious Diseases
            BioMed Central (London )
            8 January 2015
            8 January 2015
            : 15
            : 1
            25566999 4297450 743 10.1186/s12879-014-0743-5
            © Strasheim et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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