Results of German outbreak investigation of healthcare-associated Mycobacterium chimaera invasive cardiovascular infections
Eurosurveillance, Volume 21, Issue 17, 28 April 2016
Table of Contents
During a Brazilian multicentric antimicrobial resistance surveillance study, colistin resistance was investigated in 4,620 Enterobacteriaceae isolated from human, animal, food and environmental samples collected from 2000 to 2016. We present evidence that mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli has been emerging in South America since at least 2012, supporting a previous report on the possible acquisition of mcr-1-harbouring E. coli by European travellers visiting Latin American countries.
In the first seven weeks of 2016, five serotype 1/2a Listeria monocytogenes isolates were collected from patients with invasive listeriosis in Ancona province in Italy. These strains and six 1/2a isolates identified in 2015 in the same area were typed by ERIC-PCR and PFGE. A clonal relationship, documented between the two sets of isolates, suggested a listeriosis outbreak in Ancona that started most probably in 2015. Investigation into the source of infection is still ongoing.
Invasive infections with Mycobacterium chimaera were reported in patients with previous open chest surgery and exposure to contaminated heater-cooler units (HCUs). We present results of the surveillance of clinical cases and of contaminated HCUs as well as environmental investigations in Germany up until February 2016. Clinical infections occurred in five male German cases over 50 years of age (range 53–80). Cases had been exposed to HCUs from one single manufacturer during open chest surgery up to five years prior to onset of symptoms. During environmental investigations, M. chimaera was detected in samples from used HCUs from three different countries and samples from new HCUs as well as in the environment at the manufacturing site of one manufacturer in Germany. Our investigation suggests that at least some of the M. chimaera infections may have been caused by contamination of HCUs at manufacturing site. We recommend that until sustainable measures for safe use of HCUs in operation theatres are implemented, users continue to adhere to instructions for use of HCUs and Field Safety Notices issued by the manufacturer, implement local monitoring for bacterial contamination and continuously check the websites of national and European authorities for current recommendations for the safe operation of HCUs.
In France, the proportion of episodes of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) with no recent stay or hospitalisation abroad is increasing. In this study, we investigate epidemiological links between apparently unrelated cases of OXA-48-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp OXA-48) colonisation or infection. We genotyped detected organisms by repetitive sequence-based PCR, and used a dynamic registry of cases and contacts to cross-reference patients' hospital stays. Between 1 November 2012 and 28 February 2014, 23 Kp OXA-48 cases were detected in a university hospital in Montpellier, of which 15 were involved in three outbreaks: outbreaks I and II occurred in November 2012 and outbreak III in October 2013. Molecular comparison of bacterial strains revealed clonal identity between cases involved in outbreaks II and III and four single cases. Cross-referencing of hospital stays revealed that these single cases and the index case of outbreak III had occupied the same room. Active case search among former occupants of that room found an additional Kp OXA-48 carrier. A clonal strain was isolated from the sink of that room. The epidemiological link between the contaminated room and outbreak II remained undetected. This study is a reminder that environmental reservoirs should be considered as a source of CPE transmission.
In the Netherlands, 97 human leptospirosis cases were notified in 2014. This represents a 4.6-fold increase in autochthonous cases (n = 60) compared with the annual average between 2010 and 2013. Most cases had symptom onset between June and November. This marked increase in humans coincided with an increase of leptospirosis in dogs. In 2014, 13 dogs with leptospirosis were reported, compared with two to six dogs annually from 2010 to 2013. The majority of the autochthonous cases (n = 20) were linked to recreational exposure, e.g. swimming or fishing, followed by occupational exposure (n = 15). About sixty per cent (n = 37) of the autochthonous cases were most likely attributable to surface water contact, and 13 cases to direct contact with animals, mainly rats. A possible explanation for this increase is the preceding mild winter of 2013–2014 followed by the warmest year in three centuries, possibly enabling rodents and Leptospira spp. to survive better. A slight increase in imported leptospirosis was also observed in Dutch tourists (n = 33) most of whom acquired their infection in Thailand (n = 18). More awareness and early recognition of this mainly rodent-borne zoonosis by medical and veterinary specialists is warranted.
The threat of serious, cross-border communicable disease outbreaks in Europe poses a significant challenge to public health and emergency preparedness because the relative likelihood of these threats and the pathogens involved are constantly shifting in response to a range of changing disease drivers. To inform strategic planning by enabling effective resource allocation to manage the consequences of communicable disease outbreaks, it is useful to be able to rank and prioritise pathogens. This paper reports on a literature review which identifies and evaluates the range of methods used for risk ranking. Searches were performed across biomedical and grey literature databases, supplemented by reference harvesting and citation tracking. Studies were selected using transparent inclusion criteria and underwent quality appraisal using a bespoke checklist based on the AGREE II criteria. Seventeen studies were included in the review, covering five methodologies. A narrative analysis of the selected studies suggests that no single methodology was superior. However, many of the methods shared common components, around which a ‘best-practice’ framework was formulated. This approach is intended to help inform decision makers’ choice of an appropriate risk-ranking study design.
Eurosurveillance Edition: 28 April 2016
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