Journal Article

Molecular Epidemiology of Gram-Negative Bacilli from Infected Neonates and Health Care Workers' Hands in Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Valerie Waters, Elaine Larson, Fann Wu, Pablo San Gabriel, Janet Haas, Jeannie Cimiotti, Phyllis Della-Latta and Lisa Saiman

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 12, pages 1682-1687
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/386331
Molecular Epidemiology of Gram-Negative Bacilli from Infected Neonates and Health Care Workers' Hands in Neonatal Intensive Care Units

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We sought to characterize the molecular epidemiology of gram-negative bacilli (GNB) causing infections in infants and associated with carriage on nurses' hands after hand hygiene was performed. From March 2001 to January 2003, GNB caused 192 (34%) of 562 hospital-acquired infections in the 2 participating neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and were isolated from the hands of 45 (38%) of 119 nurses. Five species—Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens and Enterobacter cloacae, all of which were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis—caused 169 (88%) of 192 of GNB infections. Overall, 58% of infections were caused by unique strains not cultured from other infants or nurses, and 31% of infections were part of unrecognized molecular clusters. In contrast, only 9% of strains that caused infections were cultured from nurses' hands. These data suggest that practices in addition to hand hygiene are needed to prevent horizontal transmission of GNB in the NICU.

Journal Article.  3449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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