Special Issue "Healthcare Infections and Prevention "

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Care Sciences & Services".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Cristina
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Department of Health Sciences, University of Genova, Via Pastore 1, 16132 Genova, Italy
2. Galliera Hospitals Via Mura delle Cappuccine 14 - 16128 Genova, Italy
Interests: public health; healthcare infections; environment; environmental monitoring; healthcare environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a global concern impairing the clinical outcome of up to 15% of all hospitalized patients in the world and are an important cause of increased morbidity, mortality, and cost in health care. In Europe, about 3.2 million patients acquire a HAI every year, and 37,000 die .

Despite the political prioritization of antimicrobial resistance as a threat to public health and the availability of evidence-based guidance for antimicrobial stewardship, high levels of resistance remain for several bacterial species–antimicrobial group combinations. Intercountry variations also indicate that there is scope for significant reductions in antimicrobial resistance in many countries through the strengthening of current best practice.

HAIs can be largely prevented using effective infection prevention and control practices.

Many infection prevention and control measures, such as appropriate hand hygiene and the correct application of basic precautions during invasive procedures, are simple and low-cost, but they are in sufficient to avoid hospital infections. 

New technologies (“touchless” technologies, antimicrobial coatings, etc.) for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections are increasingly being developed and marketed to healthcare centers worldwide.

While there is substantial promise in simulated test environments, decreasing infections in the clinical setting have not been well established, so new studies are needed. Other issues are that it is unclear what might influence the bioburden levels of hospital surfaces, and it is unclear how an increased total bioburden might relate to the presence of specific healthcare pathogens on surfaces.   

This Special Issue seeks research papers on surveillance, prevention, and control of healthcare-associated infections and outbreaks, antimicrobial stewardship, surgical site infections and preventions, the prevention of healthcare waterborne infections, hospital environment cleaning and disinfection, and new strategies.

We welcome original research papers as well as systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

Prof. Maria Luisa CRISTINA
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)
  • infection control and prevention
  • multi-drug resistance (MDR)
  • outbreak control
  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • hospital environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • prevention of healthcare waterborne infections

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Association of Drug Metabolic Enzyme Genetic Polymorphisms and Adverse Drug Reactions in Patients Receiving Rifapentine and Isoniazid Therapy for Latent Tuberculosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010210 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Weekly rifapentine and isoniazid therapy (3HP) is the most frequent treatment for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). However, the association between major adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and drug metabolic enzyme single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) remains unclear. In this study, 377 participants who received the 3HP [...] Read more.
Weekly rifapentine and isoniazid therapy (3HP) is the most frequent treatment for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). However, the association between major adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and drug metabolic enzyme single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) remains unclear. In this study, 377 participants who received the 3HP regimen were recruited and examined for genotyping of CYP5A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2E1, and NAT2 SNPs. In our study, 184 participants (48.4%) developed ADRs. Moreover, CYP2C19 rs4986893 (TT vs. CC+CT, odds ratio [OR] [95% CI]: 2.231 [1.015–4.906]), CYP2E1 rs2070676 (CC vs. CG+GG, OR [95% CI]: 1.563 [1.022–2.389]), and CYP2E1 rs2515641 (CC vs. CT+TT, OR [95% CI]: 1.903 [1.250–2.898]) were associated with ADR development. In conclusion, CYP2C19 and CYP2E1 SNPs may provide useful information regarding ADRs in LTBI patients receiving the 3HP regimen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
Open AccessArticle
Is Post-Reprocessing Microbiological Surveillance of Duodenoscopes Effective in Reducing the Potential Risk in Transmitting Pathogens?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010140 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: The use of a contaminated endoscope may lead to infections due to the transmission of potential pathogens from patient to patient. Methods: Post-reprocessing microbiological surveillance of four duodenoscopes was carried out over a three-year period in the Digestive Endoscopy Unit of an [...] Read more.
Background: The use of a contaminated endoscope may lead to infections due to the transmission of potential pathogens from patient to patient. Methods: Post-reprocessing microbiological surveillance of four duodenoscopes was carried out over a three-year period in the Digestive Endoscopy Unit of an Italian hospital. Sampling of duodenoscopes was performed after the devices have been reprocessed. The initial phase of surveillance involved the contemporary evaluation of the four duodenoscopes; afterwards, microbiological surveillance proceeded at monthly intervals. Results: The initial phase of surveillance revealed that three duodenoscopes presented a high level of contamination with “high-concern” micro-organisms, some of which were multi-drug-resistant. The highest values of contamination regarded the species P. aeruginosa (2500 CFU/duodenoscope), K. pneumoniae (2580 CFU/duodenoscope), and A. baumannii (2600 CFU/duodenoscope). Since the cultures were repeatedly positive on three successive occasions, the contaminated devices were sent to the manufacturer for evaluation. Audits were carried out with the personnel responsible for reprocessing, which was aimed to optimize the procedures used, and subsequently, only one case of non-conformity was found. Conclusions: Our study highlighted both the potential risk of transmitting pathogens through the use of duodenoscopes and the importance of implementing a well-structured system of microbiological surveillance and training programs, in order to reduce the risk of spreading retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)-associated infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Disinfectant Activity of A Portable Ultraviolet C Equipment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234747 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can be caused by microorganisms present in common practice instruments generating major health problems in the hospital environment. The aim of this work was to evaluate the disinfection capacity of a portable ultraviolet C equipment (UV Sanitizer Corvent® -UVSC-) [...] Read more.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can be caused by microorganisms present in common practice instruments generating major health problems in the hospital environment. The aim of this work was to evaluate the disinfection capacity of a portable ultraviolet C equipment (UV Sanitizer Corvent® -UVSC-) developed to disinfect different objects. For this purpose, six pathogens causing HAIs: Acinetobacter baumannii, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans, were inoculated on slides and discs of different biomaterials (borosilicate, polycarbonate, polyurethane, silicone, Teflon and titanium) and exposed to ultraviolet C radiation. UVSC disinfection was compared with ethanol and chlorhexidine antimicrobial activities following the standards EN14561 and EN14562. Disinfection, established as a reduction of five logarithms from the initial inoculum, was achieved with the UVSC at 120 s of exposure time, with and without the presence of organic matter. The disinfectant effect was observed against S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, E. coli, B. subtilis and C. albicans (reduction >99.999%). Disinfection was also achieved with 70% ethanol and 2% chlorhexidine. As conclusion, UVSC was effective disinfecting the most contaminated surfaces assayed, being a promising alternative for disinfecting hospital materials and inanimate objects that cannot be immersed in liquid biocides, reducing the risk of pathogen transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Air Contamination in Orthopaedic Operating Theatres in Hospitals in Southern Italy: The IMPACT Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3581; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193581 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Postoperative infections are a concern, especially in total knee and total hip arthroplasty. We evaluated the air quality in orthopaedic operating theatres in southeastern Italy to determine the level of bacterial contamination as a risk factor for postoperative infection. Thirty-five hospitals with operating [...] Read more.
Postoperative infections are a concern, especially in total knee and total hip arthroplasty. We evaluated the air quality in orthopaedic operating theatres in southeastern Italy to determine the level of bacterial contamination as a risk factor for postoperative infection. Thirty-five hospitals with operating theatres focused on total knee and total hip arthroplasty participated. We sampled the air passively and actively before surgeries began for the day (at rest) and 15 min after the surgical incision (in operation). We evaluated bacterial counts, particle size, mixed vs turbulent airflow systems, the number of doors, number of door openings during procedures and number of people in the operating theatre. We found no bacterial contamination at rest for all sampling methods, and significantly different contamination levels at rest vs in operation. We found no association between the number of people in the surgical team and bacteria counts for both mixed and turbulent airflow systems, and low bacterial loads, even when doors were always open. Overall, the air quality sampling method and type of ventilation system did not affect air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of an Ultraviolet C (UVC) Light-Emitting Device for Disinfection of High Touch Surfaces in Hospital Critical Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193572 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 27
Abstract
Implementation of environmental cleaning and disinfection has been shown to reduce the incidences of healthcare-associated infections. The effect of an enhanced strategy for terminal room disinfection, applying the pulsed xenon-based ultraviolet light no-touch disinfection systems (PX-UVC) after the current standard operating protocol (SOP) [...] Read more.
Implementation of environmental cleaning and disinfection has been shown to reduce the incidences of healthcare-associated infections. The effect of an enhanced strategy for terminal room disinfection, applying the pulsed xenon-based ultraviolet light no-touch disinfection systems (PX-UVC) after the current standard operating protocol (SOP) was evaluated. In a teaching hospital, the effectiveness in reducing the total bacterial count (TBC) and in eliminating high-concern microorganisms was assessed on five high-touch surfaces in different critical areas, immediately pre- and post-cleaning and disinfection procedures (345 sampling sites). PX-UVC showed only 18% (15/85) of positive samples after treatment compared to 63% (72/115) after SOP. The effectiveness of PX-UVC was also observed in the absence of manual cleaning and application of a chemical disinfectant. According to the hygienic standards proposed by the Italian Workers Compensation Authority, 9 of 80 (11%) surfaces in operating rooms showed TBC ≥15 CFU/24 cm2 after the SOP, while all samples were compliant applying the SOP plus PX-UVC disinfection. Clostridium difficile (CD) spores and Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC) were isolated only after the SOP. The implementation of the standard cleaning and disinfection procedure with the integration of the PX-UVC treatment had effective results in both the reduction of hygiene failures and in control environmental contamination by high-concern microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of an Innovative Securement Dressing and Tourniquet in Peripheral Intravenous Catheter-Related Complications and Contamination: An Interventional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183301 - 08 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Reusable tourniquets and conventional securement dressings are considered risk factors for the occurrence of reported complications and catheter-related bloodstream infections. This study’s purpose is to assess the impact of single-use disposable tourniquets and advanced occlusive polyurethane dressings with reinforced cloth borders on peripheral [...] Read more.
Reusable tourniquets and conventional securement dressings are considered risk factors for the occurrence of reported complications and catheter-related bloodstream infections. This study’s purpose is to assess the impact of single-use disposable tourniquets and advanced occlusive polyurethane dressings with reinforced cloth borders on peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC)-related complications and contamination. A pre- and post-interventional prospective observational study was conducted in a cardiology ward of a tertiary hospital between April 2018 and February 2019. Overall, demographic and clinical data from 156 patients and PIVC-related outcomes were collected (n = 296) as well as PIVC tips for microbiological analysis (n = 90). In the pre-intervention phase (n = 118), complication rates of 62.1% were reported, while 44.1% of the PIVCs were contaminated (n = 34). In the post-intervention phase (n = 178), complication rates decreased to 57.3%, while contamination rates significantly decreased to 17.9% (p = 0.014; n = 56). Through a logistic regression, it was found that the use of innovative technologies reduces the chance of PIVC contamination by 79% (odds ratio (OR): 0.21; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.05–0.98; p = 0.046). Meanwhile, PIVC-related complications and fluid therapy emerged as predictors for PIVC contamination. Findings suggest that the adoption of these innovative devices in nurses’ practice contributes to the significant reduction of PIVC contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Microbiological and Free-Living Protozoa Contamination in Dental Unit Waterlines
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152648 - 24 Jul 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Studies conducted over the last 40 years have demonstrated that the water output from dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) is often contaminated with high densities of microorganisms. It has been monitored the microbiological quality of the water in 30 public dental facilities in northern [...] Read more.
Studies conducted over the last 40 years have demonstrated that the water output from dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) is often contaminated with high densities of microorganisms. It has been monitored the microbiological quality of the water in 30 public dental facilities in northern Italy in order to assess the health risk for patients and dental staff. In each facility, samples of water both from taps and from DUWLs were analyzed in order to evaluate heterotrophic plate counts (HPCs) at 22 °C and 36 °C, and to detect coliform bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella pneumophila and amoebae. In 100% of the samples taken from the DUWLs, the concentration of HPCs was above the threshold as determined by the Ministère de la Santé et des Solidarités (2007). The concentration of P. aeruginosa was greater than the indicated threshold in 16.67% of the hand-pieces analyzed. A total of 78.33% of samples were contaminated by L. pneumophila, while in the samples taken from the DUWLs alone, this percentage rose to 86.67%. Amoebae were detected in 60% of the samples taken from hand-pieces; all belonging to the species V. vermiformis. This study documented the presence of various microorganisms, including Legionella spp., at considerably higher concentrations in water samples from DUWLs than in samples of tap water in the same facilities, confirming the role of the internal DUWLs in increasing microbial contamination, especially in the absence of proper management of waterborne health risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Antibiotic Consumption and Resistance during a 3-Year Period in Sicily, Southern Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2253; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132253 - 26 Jun 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest issues facing global public health. In 2017, Italy adopted its first National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017–2020, which works through the synergy between national, regional, and local levels. In the framework of a Regional [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest issues facing global public health. In 2017, Italy adopted its first National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017–2020, which works through the synergy between national, regional, and local levels. In the framework of a Regional Action Plan on healthcare-associated infections and AMR prevention, the Sicilian Health Authority of the Sicilian Region, Southern Italy, has implemented a surveillance system of antibiotic consumption in hospitals, in the community, and of resistance rates (RRs) in hospital settings. Data on antibiotic consumption and on antibiotic RRs have been collected from 2015 to 2017 from pharmacies and laboratories of participating hospitals and from community, respectively. Data on antibiotic consumption showed that the most consumed antibiotics in hospitals were fluoroquinolones in 2015, penicillin in 2016, and beta-lactams in 2017. From 2015 to 2017, data on Klebsiella pneumoniae showed significant increasing RRs to all antibiotic classes, except to carbapenems. RRs of third-generation cephalosporins and carbapenems Escherichia coli showed significant decreasing trends. RRs of the other microorganisms did not change significantly during the study period. The results from the present study show that in Sicily, the use of antibiotics and RRs for selected microorganisms are at a high level. Immediate strategies are needed to decrease the inappropriate usage of antibiotics and control the spread of AMR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the In Vitro Activity of Five Disinfectants against Nosocomial Bacteria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111895 - 29 May 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Nosocomial infections cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the pathogenic organisms responsible for such infections can develop resistance to antimicrobial agents. Understanding the activity of disinfectants against clinical and environmental bacterial isolates is therefore crucial. We analysed the in vitro activity of [...] Read more.
Nosocomial infections cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the pathogenic organisms responsible for such infections can develop resistance to antimicrobial agents. Understanding the activity of disinfectants against clinical and environmental bacterial isolates is therefore crucial. We analysed the in vitro activity of five antimicrobial products (phenolic compounds, didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC), sodium hypochlorite, isopropanol + ammonium compounds (IACs), hydrogen peroxide) against 187 bacterial strains comprising clinical isolates, as well as 30 environmental isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from hospital water samples. Disk diffusion assays were employed to assess antimicrobial activity. Hydrogen peroxide was significantly more active (p < 0.0001) than the other disinfectants against all P. aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus strains. It was also the only disinfectant with activity against both clinical and environmental strains of P. aeruginosa. DDAC and IAC-based disinfectants were ineffective against Gram-negative strains, but showed significant activity (particularly IACs, p < 0.0001) against the Gram-positive strains. Compared with IACs, DDAC was significantly more active on E. faecalis and less active on S. aureus (p < 0.0001). Sodium hypochlorite and phenol compounds, by contrast, were inactive against all bacterial strains. The development of disinfection procedures that are effective against all microorganisms is essential for limiting the spread of nosocomial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Statin Use and Sepsis Risk in Patients with Dementia: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1626; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091626 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
This study investigated the association of statin use with sepsis risk in patients with dementia. This retrospective cohort study was conducted in Taiwan by using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database. We identified and enrolled 308 patients with newly diagnosed dementia [...] Read more.
This study investigated the association of statin use with sepsis risk in patients with dementia. This retrospective cohort study was conducted in Taiwan by using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database. We identified and enrolled 308 patients with newly diagnosed dementia who used statin after dementia diagnosis. These patients were individually propensity score matched (1:1) according to age, sex, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, renal disease, liver disease, asthma, malignancy, parkinsonism, and dementia drugs used (donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine, and memantine) with 251 controls (statin non-users). A Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratio for sepsis in statin users and non-users. After adjustment for other confounding factors, the incidence of sepsis in statin users was 1.42-fold higher than that in non-users (95% confidence interval = 0.81–2.5). In conclusion, our analysis showed no positive association of sepsis with statin use in patients with dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Perspective of Pakistani Physicians towards Hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs: A Multisite Exploratory Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091565 - 05 May 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat and the antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) is a globally used tool to combat AMR. There is little information on the views among Pakistani physicians regarding AMR and the benefits of hospital antimicrobial stewardship implementation. This [...] Read more.
Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat and the antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) is a globally used tool to combat AMR. There is little information on the views among Pakistani physicians regarding AMR and the benefits of hospital antimicrobial stewardship implementation. This study was designed to explore the physicians’ views about ASP. Methods: Qualitative face-to-face and telephonic interviews were conducted by using purposive sampling method with 22 physicians working in seven tertiary care public hospitals of Punjab, Pakistan. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative software was used, and a thematic analysis was conducted. Results: Three broad themes were identified: (1) the growing concern of antimicrobial resistance in Pakistan, (2) the role(s) of healthcare professionals in antibiotic prescribing, and (3) managing antibiotic resistance in hospitals. Inadequate resources, poor healthcare facilities, and insufficiently trained medical staff were the major hurdles in ASP implementation in Pakistan. Conclusions: Our study found a poor familiarity of hospital ASP among physicians working in public sector tertiary care teaching hospitals, and a number of distinct themes emerged during this study that could be helpful in establishing the concept of hospital ASP in Pakistan. Overall, physicians showed a positive attitude towards the enforcement of ASP in all healthcare settings, including teaching hospitals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessArticle
Unhygienic Practices of Health Professionals in Brazilian Public Hospital Restaurants: An Alert to Promote New Policies and Hygiene Practices in the Hospitals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071224 - 05 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate health professionals’ unhygienic practices and the stages of behaviour change in Brazilian public hospital restaurants. We evaluated all medium/large-sized public hospital restaurants (HRs) from the Brazilian Federal District (n = 9); a representative sample of 128 users). [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate health professionals’ unhygienic practices and the stages of behaviour change in Brazilian public hospital restaurants. We evaluated all medium/large-sized public hospital restaurants (HRs) from the Brazilian Federal District (n = 9); a representative sample of 128 users). We evaluated the HRs’ physical structures, their consumers’ socio-demographic characteristics, their unhygienic practices, as well as the stages of behavioural change concerning unhygienic practices. All the HRs presented their menus for self-service distribution, so customers entered in lines to serve themselves. All the HRs had hand-wash sinks for customers; 77.8% offered antiseptic liquid soap; 33.3% offered alcohol gel; and 77.8% offered storage for professional accessories before serving food. Almost half (46.8%) of the customers did not sanitise their hands (with water and antiseptic soap and/or use of alcohol gel) immediately before serving, and 24.2% wore professional uniforms at HRs. Almost half (43.5%) of the customers spoke with each other in line while serving their plates and arranged the food on their plates with the serving utensils from the distribution counter. The declaration of behavioural change was inversely associated with the hygiene practices. Almost half of the individuals did not sanitize their hands; however, 90.4% declared “changed behaviour” when this contaminant practice was presented to them. We verified a high percentage of hygiene practices inconsistent with most of the customers´ answers about their stage of behaviour change. Based on the observations of this study, it is necessary for an awareness program to be developed that is focused on customers of HRs in order to reduce unhygienic practices. Also, it is important to promote new policies for proper hygiene practices in hospital restaurants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )

Review

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Open AccessReview
Prevention and Control of Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria in The Netherlands and Germany—The Impact of Healthcare Structures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072337 - 30 Mar 2020
Abstract
The Netherlands and Germany are neighbouring countries within the European Union but are differently affected by multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDRO). In this narrative review, we summarize data about antibiotic use, the occurrence of MDRO and healthcare-associated infections in these two countries, as well as [...] Read more.
The Netherlands and Germany are neighbouring countries within the European Union but are differently affected by multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDRO). In this narrative review, we summarize data about antibiotic use, the occurrence of MDRO and healthcare-associated infections in these two countries, as well as data about organizational and structural differences between the Dutch and German healthcare systems. These results are discussed with a focus on whether or how the organization of healthcare influences MDRO prevention. We found that from the point of view of MDRO prevention, a higher density of inpatient care, a higher number of hospitals, a longer length of stay and lower staffing ratios might facilitate MDRO dissemination in German hospitals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessReview
Dynamic Transmission of Staphylococcus Aureus in the Intensive Care Unit
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062109 - 22 Mar 2020
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is an important bacterial pathogen. This study utilized known staphylococcal epidemiology to track S. aureus between patients, surfaces, staff hands and air in a ten-bed intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: Patients, air and surfaces were screened for total colony counts and [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is an important bacterial pathogen. This study utilized known staphylococcal epidemiology to track S. aureus between patients, surfaces, staff hands and air in a ten-bed intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: Patients, air and surfaces were screened for total colony counts and S. aureus using dipslides, settle plates and an MAS-100 slit-sampler once a month for 10 months. Data were modelled against proposed standards for air and surfaces, and ICU-acquired staphylococcal infection. Whole-cell genomic typing (WGS) demonstrated possible transmission pathways between reservoirs. Results: Frequently touched sites were more likely to be contaminated (>12 cfu/cm2; p = 0.08). Overall, 235 of 500 (47%) sites failed the surface standard (≤2.5 cfu/cm2); 20 of 40 (50%) passive air samples failed the “Index of Microbial Air” standard (2 cfu/9 cm plate/h), and 15/40 (37.5%) air samples failed the air standard (<10 cfu/m3). Settle plate data were closer to surface counts than automated air data; the surface count most likely to reflect pass/fail rates for air was 5 cfu/cm2. Surface counts/bed were associated with staphylococcal infection rates (p = 0.012). Of 34 pairs of indistinguishable S. aureus, 20 (59%) showed autogenous transmission, with another four (12%) occurring between patients. Four (12%) pairs linked patients with hand-touch sites and six (18%) linked airborne S. aureus, staff hands and hand-touch sites. Conclusion: Most ICU-acquired S. aureus infection is autogenous, while staff hands and air were rarely implicated in onward transmission. Settle plates could potentially be used for routine environmental screening. ICU staphylococcal infection is best served by admission screening, systematic cleaning and hand hygiene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessReview
Hand Hygiene Teaching Strategies among Nursing Staff: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173039 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background: Patient safety is a priority of any healthcare system, and one of the most effective measures is hand hygiene. For this, it is important that health staff have correct adherence and perform the technique properly. Otherwise, the incidence of nosocomial infections [...] Read more.
Background: Patient safety is a priority of any healthcare system, and one of the most effective measures is hand hygiene. For this, it is important that health staff have correct adherence and perform the technique properly. Otherwise, the incidence of nosocomial infections can increase, with consequent complications. The aim here was to analyze hand hygiene training and the effectiveness of different methods and educational strategies among nurses and whether they maintained correct adherence over time. Methods: A systematic review was conducted in the sources CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Dialnet, Lilacs (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature), ProQuest (Proquest Health and Medical Complete), Medline, SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online), and Scopus. The search equation with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) descriptors was “Nurs* AND (handwashing OR hand hygiene) AND clinical trial”. The review was performed following the recommendations of the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Results: n = 17 clinical trials were included, with a total of 5747 nurses and nursing students. Strategies such as reminder sounds, practical simulations, videos, and audiovisual media improved handwashing compliance. Adherence overtime increased by up to 60%. The greatest effectiveness was related to the use of povidone–iodine, which reduced colony formation compared Hand hygiene teaching strategies among nursing staff: a systematic review to soap. Conclusions: The strategies that go beyond teaching techniques such as lectures may be more effective at increasing hand hygiene compliance. Combined approaches to learning/instruction improve user satisfaction by enabling self-management, flexibility, and repetition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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Open AccessReview
Serratia marcescens Infections in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040610 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
Serratia marcescens belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae, which is commonly found in water, soil, animals, insects, plants. Although S. marcescens displays relatively low virulence, it causes nosocomial infections and outbreaks in severely immunocompromised or critically ill patients, particularly in settings such as intensive [...] Read more.
Serratia marcescens belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae, which is commonly found in water, soil, animals, insects, plants. Although S. marcescens displays relatively low virulence, it causes nosocomial infections and outbreaks in severely immunocompromised or critically ill patients, particularly in settings such as intensive care units (ICUs), especially neonatal units (NICUs). This microorganism gives rise to a wide range of clinical manifestations in newborns: from asymptomatic colonization to keratitis, conjunctivitis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, surgical wound infections, sepsis, bloodstream infection and meningitis. The most frequent site of infection is the bloodstream, followed by the respiratory apparatus and the gastrointestinal tract. Strains of S. marcescens involved in epidemic events have frequently proved to be multi-resistant. Indeed, this species displays intrinsic resistance to several classes of antibiotics. Often, the specific source of the infection cannot be identified. However, the contaminated hands of healthcare workers are believed to be a major vehicle of its transmission. In neonatal intensive care units, colonized or infected newborns are the main potential source of S. marcescens, particularly in the respiratory apparatus, but also in the gastrointestinal tract. The early identification of colonized or infected patients and the prompt implementation of infection control measures, particularly rigorous hand hygiene and contact precautions, are essential in order to curb the spread of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Infections and Prevention )
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