Special Issue "Healthcare-Associated Infections"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Elisabetta Caselli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
Interests: medical microbiology; human, animal, and built-environments microbiome; healthcare-associated infections; antimicrobial resistance; infection prevention and control
Dr. Luca Arnoldo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata di Udine; University of Udine, Udine
Interests: infection prevention and control; healthcare-associated infections; antimicrobial resistance; patient safety; HAIs surveillance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a growing global health concern. According to WHO definition, HAIs (also referred to as nosocomial or hospital infections) are infections occurring in a patient during the process of care in a hospital or other healthcare facility that were not present or incubating at the time of admission.

Up to 15% of all hospitalized patients in acute care settings acquire one or more HAIs as a direct consequence of hospitalization in the western world, and the rate is even higher in low-income countries and, in particular, wards, including pediatric and intensive care units.

Over 3 million patients in the EU and 2 million patients in the USA are estimated to acquire a HAI each year. Approximately 37,000 patients die every year in EU and 90,000 in the USA as a direct consequence of HAI, ranking HAIs as the fifth leading cause of death in US hospitals.

The substantial impairment of patient outcome and the financial burden of HAIs is staggering.

The overall direct costs associated with HAI management are over 1 billion Euro in Europe and up to 45 billion US$. However, most HAIs are thought to be preventable, and their prevention and control depend on multiple factors, including the adoption of standard and transmission-based precautions, appropriate environmental hygiene, pertinent diagnostics, and prudent antibiotic use. Concern about HAIs is in accompanied and worsened by concern about anti-microbial resistance (AMR), as most HAI-associated pathogens are drug-resistant and cause infections that are difficult to treat. Particularly in the hospital environment, due to the selective pressure exerted by the widespread use of antibiotics, in recent decades HAI-associated pathogens have been observed to be increasingly resistant to drugs; thus, HAIs tend to exhibit higher resistance rates to antibiotics compared with community-acquired infections, further threatening the outcome of infections in hospitalized patients. Consequently, AMR in HAIs is a recognized threat to global public health. However, although HAIs represent the most frequent adverse event in health care, their true global burden is still unclear, due to the difficulty in obtaining reliable data and the lack of uniformity of diagnostic criteria.

Studies in the past years have described HAI epidemiology and prevalence, trying to define the risk factors as well as the factor bundle associated with the prevention and control of HAIs. However, further effort is needed to increase our knowledge of HAI transmission routes and HAI-associated agents evolution and circulation between different healthcare facilities, as well as in identifying local determinants of the HAI burden; implementing hygiene precautions, staff education, and accountability; and conducting research to validate surveillance.

For this Special Issue of Pathogens, we invite you to submit research articles, review articles, short notes, as well as communications related to all aspects concerning HAI research and management. We look forward to your contribution.

Prof. Elisabetta Caselli
Dr. Luca Arnoldo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • healthcare-associated infections
  • epidemiology
  • diagnostics
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • HAI-associated pathogens
  • antimicrobial therapy
  • pathogenicity factors
  • risk assessment
  • infection prevention and control strategies

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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