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In April 2014, pulmonary and co-infections potentially related to bronchoscopic procedures were identified in the intensive care units of a university hospital in Lyon, France. A retrospective cohort of 157 patients exposed to bronchoscopes from 1 December 2013 to 17 June 2014 was analysed. Environmental samples of suspected endoscopes were cultured. Bronchoscope disinfection was reviewed. Ten cases of pulmonary / co-infections were identified, including two patients with secondary pneumonia. Eight cases were linked to bronchoscope A1 and two to bronchoscope A2. Cultures deriving from suction valves were positive for /. Exposure to bronchoscopes A1 and A2 was independently coupled with increased risk of co-infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 84.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): 9.3–771.6 and aOR = 11.8, 95% CI: 1.2–121.3). Isolates from suction valves and clinical samples presented identical pulsotypes. The audit detected deficiencies in endoscope disinfection. No further cases occurred after discontinuation of the implicated bronchoscopes and change in cleaning procedures. This outbreak of pulmonary / co-infections was caused by suction valve contamination of two bronchoscopes of the same manufacturer. Our findings underscore the need to test suction valves, in addition to bronchoscope channels, for routine detection of bacteria.


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