Importance of Multifaceted Approaches in Infection Control: A Practical Experience from an Outbreak Investigation.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:This study presents the results of a multidisciplinary, nosocomial MRSA outbreak investigation in an 8-bed medical intensive care unit (ICU). The identification of seven MRSA positive patients in the beginning of 2014 led to the closure of the ward for several weeks. A multidisciplinary, retrospective investigation was initiated in order to identify the reason and the source for the outbreak, describe MRSA transmission in the department and identify limitations in infection control. METHODS:The investigation comprised an epidemiological description of MRSA cases from 2012 to 2014 and a characterization of MRSA isolates, including phage-, spa- and PFGE-typing. Additionally, MRSA screening was performed from the hospital staff and the environment. To identify the reason for the outbreak, work-related, psychological and behavioral factors were investigated by impartial audits and staff interviews. RESULTS:Thirty-one MRSA cases were registered during the study period, and 36 isolates were investigated. Molecular typing determined the outbreak strain (phage type 54/812, PFGE type A4, spa type t003) and identified the probable index case. Nasal carriage in one employee and a high environmental contamination with the outbreak strain was documented. Important gaps in nursing procedures and general management were identified. Elevated stress levels and communication problems preceded the outbreak. Compliance with hand hygiene and isolation procedures was evaluated as appropriate. CONCLUSION:This study demonstrates the complexity of controlling hospital-associated infections. The combined use of different typing methods is beneficial for outbreak investigations. Psychological, behavioral and other work-related factors have an important impact on the spread of nosocomial pathogens. These factors should be addressed and integrated in routine infection control practice.
Project description:The relatively high-level clonality of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and its frequent high-level endemicity in nosocomial settings complicate the development of methods for rapid subtyping of MRSA strains that are capable of identifying person-to-person transmission in hospitals. Phage-derived open reading frame (PDORF) typing is an MRSA typing method targeting mobile genetic elements that was recently described and evaluated using a geographically restricted set of isolates. The objective of this study was to develop a multiplex PCR-reverse line blot (mPCR/RLB) assay for PDORF typing and to test its applicability on a broad range of isolates and in an environment where MRSA is highly endemic. The 16 targets were identified using a 23-primer-pair mPCR/RLB assay with two probes for each target. The method was evaluated using 42 MRSA reference strains, including those representing major international clones, and 35 isolates from episodes of suspected nosocomial transmission. In vivo stability was explored using 81 isolate pairs. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and spa typing were performed for comparison. Among the 42 reference strains, there were 33 PFGE subtypes, 30 PDORF types, and 22 spa types. Simpson's index of diversity was 0.987, 0.971, and 0.926 for PFGE subtyping, PDORF typing, and spa typing, respectively. Typing of clinical isolates by PDORF typing and PFGE demonstrated concordant results. mPCR/RLB-based PDORF typing has similar discriminatory power to that of PFGE, can assist in tracking MRSA transmission events in a setting of high-level endemicity, and has the advantage of being a high-throughput technique.
Project description:In settings of high methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevalence, detection of nosocomial transmission events can be difficult without strain typing. Prospective typing of all MRSA isolates could potentially identify transmission in a timely fashion, making infection control responses to outbreaks more effective. We describe the development and evaluation of a novel 19-target binary typing system for MRSA using the multiplex-PCR/reverse line blot hybridization platform. Pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), spa typing, and phage-derived open reading frame (PDORF) typing were performed for comparison. The system was utilized to identify transmission events in three general surgical wards over a 12-month period. Initial MRSA isolates from 273 patients were differentiated into 55 unique binary types. One or more potential contacts colonized with the same MRSA strain were identified in 69 of 87 cases (79%) in which definite or possible nosocomial MRSA acquisition had occurred. The discriminatory power of the typing system was similar to that of PFGE (Simpson's index of diversity [D] = 0.994, versus 0.987) and higher than that of spa typing (D = 0.926). Strain typing reduced the total number of potential MRSA-colonized source contacts from 859 to 212 and revealed temporal clustering of transmission events. Prospective MRSA typing using this novel binary typing method can rapidly identify nosocomial transmission events, even in high-prevalence settings, which allows timely infection control interventions. The system is rapid, inexpensive, discriminatory, and suitable for routine, high-throughput use in the hospital microbiology laboratory.
Project description:spa typing is a common genotyping tool for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Europe. Given the high prevalence of dominant clones, spa-typing is proving to be limited in its ability to distinguish outbreak isolates from background isolates. New molecular tools need to be employed to improve subtyping of dominant local MRSA strains (e.g., spa type t003).Phylogenetically critical, or canonical, SNPs (can-SNPs) were identified as subtyping targets through sequence analysis of 40 MRSA whole genomes from Luxembourg. Real-time PCR assays were designed around target SNPs and validated using a repository of 240 previously sub-typed and epidemiologically characterized Luxembourg MRSA isolates, including 153 community and hospital isolates, 69 isolates from long term care (LTC) facilities, and 21 prospectively analyzed MRSA isolates. Selected isolates were also analyzed by whole genome SNP typing (WGST) for comparison to the SNP assays and other subtyping techniques.Fourteen real-time PCR assays were developed and validated, including two assays to determine presence of spa t003 or t008. The other twelve assays successfully provided a high degree of resolution within the t003 subtype. WGST analysis of the LTC facility isolates provided greater resolution than other subtyping tools, identifying clusters indicative of ongoing transmission within LTC facilities.canSNP-based PCR assays are useful for local level MRSA phylotyping, especially in the presence of one or more dominant clones. The assays designed here can be easily adapted for investigating t003 MRSA strains in other regions in Western Europe. WGST provides substantially better resolution than other typing methods.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increasing rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections on a global scale is a major health concern. In Canada, there are 10 known epidemic types of MRSA as determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Despite the excellent discriminatory power of PFGE, there are several disadvantages of using this technique, such as high degree of labour intensity and the inability to easily develop an MRSA typing database due to the subjective interpretation of results. OBJECTIVES:The purpose of the present study was to determine whether spa typing, an established DNA sequence-based typing method, could be used as an alternative to PFGE for the typing of Canadian MRSA (CMRSA) epidemic isolates. RESULTS:spa types were determined for 1488 CMRSA isolates, and the method was analyzed for its ability to identify and cluster CMRSA1-10 strains. Minimal spanning tree analysis of 1452 spa types revealed individual clonal clusters for PFGE epidemic types CMRSA1, 2, 7 and 8, but spa typing could not distinguish CMRSA5 from CMRSA9 and CMRSA10, and CMRSA3 from CMRSA4 and CMRSA6. However, specific spa types were generally associated with only one PFGE epidemic type. Based on these results, a spa typing guideline for CMRSA isolates was developed and tested using the first 300 MRSA isolates received in 2007 through the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program. CONCLUSIONS:The high concordance of spa types with PFGE epidemic types using this guideline demonstrated the feasibility of spa typing as a more rapid and less technically demanding alternative typing method for MRSA in Canada.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become an important nosocomial pathogen, causing considerable morbidity and mortality. During the last 20 years, a variety of genotyping methods have been introduced for screening the prevalence of MRSA. In this study, we developed and evaluated an improved approach capillary gel electrophoresis based multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat fingerprinting (CGE/MLVF) for rapid MRSA typing. A total of 42 well-characterized strains and 116 non-repetitive clinical MRSA isolates collected from six hospitals in northeast China between 2009 and 2010 were tested. The results obtained by CGE/MLVF against clinical isolates were compared with traditional MLVF, spa typing, Multilocus sequence typing/ staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (MLST/SCCmec) and pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The discriminatory power estimated by Simpson's index of diversity was 0.855 (28 types), 0.855 (28 patterns), 0.623 (11 types), 0.517 (8 types) and 0.854 (28 patterns) for CGE/MLVF, traditional MLVF, spa typing, MLST/SCCmec and PFGE, respectively. All methods tested showed a satisfied concordance in clonal complex level calculated by adjusted Rand's coefficient. CGE/MLVF showed better reproducibility and accuracy than traditional MLVF and PFGE methods. In addition, the CGE/MLVF has potential to produce portable results. In conclusion, CGE/MLVF is a rapid and easy to use MRSA typing method with lower cost, good reproducibility and high discriminatory power for monitoring the outbreak and clonal spread of MRSA isolates.
Project description:Since 1995, a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone has spread in southern Germany. The strain was assigned to the Rhine-Hesse pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) type by the staphylococcal reference center and was highly similar to epidemic clones known to belong to clonal complex 5 (CC5; USA100) based on multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Here we analyzed a defined collection of strains assigned to the Rhine-Hesse/USA100 PFGE type. Using sequence-based typing methods (MLST, spa), the isolates were divided into two distinct clusters, ST5 and its single-locus variant ST225. These two lineages are not distinguishable by PFGE or phage typing. Most of the ST5 isolates were derived from patients and volunteers from the Tübingen area in southwest Germany, whereas the ST225 isolates were mostly from other locations in Germany. The locally restricted ST5 isolates were shown to contain different SSCmec islands and exhibited different antibiotic resistance profiles. In contrast, the ST225 isolates form a highly homogenous group and are emerging all over Germany. The two lineages are clearly distinguishable by their phage content and spa type: ST5 strains from Tübingen are characterized by a Sa7int phage that carries the virulence gene sak, which codes for staphylokinase, and ST225 isolates are characterized by a Sa1int phage. In conclusion, based on sequence typing and phage content, CC5 strains can be subdivided into two distinct lineages with different epidemicities.
Project description:BACKGROUND Infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are at increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) acquisition. Outbreaks may be difficult to identify due in part to limitations in current molecular genotyping available in clinical practice. Comparison of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may identify epidemiologically distinct isolates among a population sample that appears homogenous when evaluated using conventional typing methods. OBJECTIVE To investigate a putative MRSA outbreak in a NICU utilizing whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis to identify recent transmission events. DESIGN Clinical and surveillance specimens collected during clinical care and outbreak investigation. PATIENTS A total of 17 neonates hospitalized in a 43-bed level III NICU in northeastern Florida from December 2010 to October 2011 were included in this study. METHODS We assessed epidemiological data in conjunction with 4 typing methods: antibiograms, PFGE, spa types, and phylogenetic analysis of genome-wide SNPs. RESULTS Among the 17 type USA300 isolates, 4 different spa types were identified using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Phylogenetic analysis identified 5 infants as belonging to 2 clusters of epidemiologically linked cases and excluded 10 unlinked cases from putative transmission events. The availability of these results during the initial investigation would have improved infection control interventions. CONCLUSION Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis are invaluable tools for epidemic investigation; they identify transmission events and exclude cases mistakenly implicated by traditional typing methods. When routinely applied to surveillance and investigation in the clinical setting, this approach may provide actionable intelligence for measured, appropriate, and effective interventions.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections worldwide. Increased frequency of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in hospitalized patients and possibility of vancomycin resistance requires rapid and reliable characterization of isolates and control of MRSA spread in hospitals. Typing of isolates helps to understand the route of a hospital pathogen spread. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of MRSA samples on three different geography locations. In addition, our aim was to evaluate three different methods of MRSA typing: spa-typing, agr-typing and GenoType MRSA. We included 104 samples of MRSA, isolated in 3 different geographical locations in clinical hospitals in Zagreb, Mostar, and Heidelberg, during the period of six months. Genotyping and phenotyping were done by spa-typing, agr-typing and dipstick assay GenoType MRSA. We failed to type all our samples by spa-typing. The most common spa-type in clinical hospital Zagreb was t041, in Mostar t001, and in Heidelberg t003.We analyzed 102/104 of our samples by agr-typing method. We did not find any agr-type IV in our locations. We analyzed all our samples by the dipstick assay GenoType MRSA. All isolates in our study were MRSA strains. In Zagreb there were no positive strains to PVL gene. In Mostar we have found 5/25 positive strains to PVL gene, in Heidelberg there was 1/49. PVL positive isolates were associated with spa-type t008 and agr-type I, thus, genetically, they were community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). Dipstick assay GenoType MRSA has demonstrated sufficient specificity, sensibility, simple performance and low cost, so we could introduce it to work in smaller laboratories. Using this method may expedite MRSA screening, thus preventing its spread in hospitals.
Project description:We developed, tested, and applied a TaqMan real-time PCR assay for interrogation of three single-nucleotide polymorphisms that differentiate a clade (termed 't003-X') within the radiation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ST225. The TaqMan assay achieved 98% typeability and results were fully concordant with DNA sequencing. By applying this assay to 305 ST225 isolates from an international collection, we demonstrate that clade t003-X is endemic in a single acute-care hospital in Germany at least since 2006, where it has caused a substantial proportion of infections. The strain was also detected in another hospital located 16 kilometers away. Strikingly, however, clade t003-X was not found in 62 other hospitals throughout Germany nor among isolates from other countries, and, hence, displayed a very restricted geographical distribution. Consequently, our results show that SNP-typing may be useful to identify and track MRSA clones that are specific to individual healthcare institutions. In contrast, the spatial dissemination pattern observed here had not been resolved by other typing procedures, including multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, DNA macrorestriction, and multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA).
Project description:The objective of this investigation was to identify the lineages of MRSA and MSSA with reduced susceptibility to chlorhexidine in Kuwaiti hospitals. 121 clinical MRSA and 56 MSSA isolates were included in this study. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for a selection of agents including chlorhexidine and resistance genes were amplified and sequenced. PFGE, spa typing, and MLST were completed for a selection of isolates. The results showed SCCmec II, III, IV, and V were present in 0.8, 21.5, 69.4, and 8.3% of the MRSA isolates. agr-1Sa was the most prevalent type in both MSSA (48%) and MRSA (54%). Forty-five percentage of MRSA contained pvl and 39% contained lukE-lukD, however, as many as 86% of MSSA contained pvl and 96.4% contained lukE-lukD. qac A-C genes were identified in 12.3% of MRSA, norA was present in 82.6% and blaZ in 94.2%. Among MSSA only 5.4% harbored qacA, 83% contained norA, and 91% blaZ. Multi-drug resistant ST239/t945 lineage containing a qac gene was the most identified S. aureus. However, other lineages, including ST772-MRSA-V/t4867/pvl(+)qacC/smr and non-qac harboring lineages of ST217-MRSAIV/t3244/pvl(-), ST34-MSSA/t161/pvl(+), ST5-MSSA/t688/pvl(+), ST5-MSSA/t4867/norA(+), and ST672-MSSA/t003/pvl(-), also showed reduced susceptibility to chlorhexidine. The observed reduced susceptibility of non-qac dependent MSSA isolates to chlorhexidine suggests the involvement of other elements in promoting higher MBC (?30 mg/L). Our results confirm that monitoring MSSA is essential as they may have the potential to survive low level biocide exposure.