Risk Assessment After a Severe Hospital-Acquired Infection Associated With Carbapenemase-Producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa
JAMA network open , Volume 2 - Issue 2 p. e187665
Importance: Resistance of gram-negative bacilli to carbapenems is rapidly emerging worldwide. In 2016, the World Health Organization defined the hospital-built environment as a core component of infection prevention and control programs. The hospital-built environment has recently been reported as a source for outbreaks and sporadic transmission events of carbapenemase-producing gram-negative bacilli from the environment to patients.
Objective: To assess risk after the identification of an unexpected, severe, and lethal hospital-acquired infection caused by carbapenemase-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a carbapenemase-low endemic setting.
Design, Settings, and Participants: A case series study in which a risk assessment was performed on all 11 patients admitted to the combined cardiothoracic surgery and pulmonary diseases ward and the hospital-built environment in the Radboud University Medical Center, the Netherlands, in February 2018.
Exposures: Water and aerosols containing carbapenemase-producing (Verona integron-mediated metallo-β-lactamase [VIM]) P aeruginosa.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Colonization and/or infection of patients and/or contamination of the environment after the detection of 1 patient infected with carbapenemase-producing (VIM) P aeruginosa.
Results: A total of 5 men (age range, 60-84 years) and 6 women (age range, 55-74 years) were admitted to the combined cardiothoracic surgery and pulmonary diseases ward. The risk assessment was performed after carbapenemase-producing (VIM) P aeruginosa was unexpectedly detected in a man in his early 60s, who had undergone a left-sided pneumonectomy and adjuvant radiotherapy. No additional cases (colonization or infection) of carbapenemase-producing (VIM) P aeruginosa were detected. Plausible transmission of carbapenemase-producing P aeruginosa from the hospital environment to the patient via the air was confirmed by whole-genome sequencing, which proved the relation of Pseudomonas strains from the patient, the shower drains in 8 patient rooms, 1 sink, and an air sample.
Conclusions and Relevance: This study suggests that rethinking the hospital-built environment, including shower drains and the sewage system, will be crucial for the prevention of severe and potential lethal hospital-acquired infections.