Hagen Frickmann 1 , 2 , * , † , Thomas Köller 2 , † , Ralf Matthias Hagen 3 , Klaus-Peter Ebert 4 , Martin Müller 5 , Werner Wenzel 1 , 5 , Renate Gatzer 5 , Ulrich Schotte 6 , Alfred Binder 6 , Romy Skusa 2 , Philipp Warnke 2 , Andreas Podbielski 2 , Christian Rückert 7 , ‡ , Bernd Kreikemeyer 2 , ‡
Introduction: We assessed the molecular epidemiology of multidrug-resistant bacteria colonizing or infecting war-injured patients from Libya and Syria who were treated at the Bundeswehr hospitals Hamburg and Westerstede, Germany.
Methods: Enterobacteriaceae and Gram-negative rod-shaped nonfermentative bacteria with resistance against third-generation methoxyimino cephalosporins or carbapenems as well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from war-injured patients from Libya and Syria were assessed by molecular typing, i.e., spa typing for MRSA strains and rep-PCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) for Gram-negative isolates.
Results: A total of 66 isolates were assessed – comprising 44 Enterobacteriaceae, 16 nonfermentative rod-shaped bacteria, and 6 MRSA from 22 patients – and 8 strains from an assessment of the patient environment comprising 5 Enterobacteriaceae and 3 nonfermentative rod-shaped bacteria. Although 24 out of 66 patient strains were isolated more than 3 days after hospital admission, molecular typing suggested only 7 likely transmission events in the hospitals. Identified clonal clusters primarily suggested transmission events in the country of origin or during the medical evacuation flights.
Conclusions: Nosocomial transmissions in hospital can be efficiently prevented by hygiene precautions in spite of heavy colonization. Transmission prior to hospital admission like on evacuation flights or in crises zones needs further assessment.