Researchers Investigate Usefulness of Contact Precautions for Carriers of ESBL-Producing E. coli

Extended-spectrum β-lactamases producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-E) are increasingly identified in healthcare facilities. As previously done for the control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, many hospitals have established screening strategies for early identification of patients being carriers of ESBL producers in general and ESBL-E in particular, and have implemented contact precautions (CP) for infected and colonized patients. Zahar, et al. (2015) compared retrospectively the incidence of ESBL-E between two French university hospitals (A and B) with different infection control policies over a five-year period of time (2006-2010).

While hospital A only implemented standard precautions after identification of patients colonized with ESBL-E, hospital B recommended additional CP. During the period of the study, the ESBL-E incidence rate significantly increased in both hospitals, but no significant difference was observed between the two hospitals.

The researchers reoirt that thiis observational study did not reveal that additional CP measures had a greater impact on the incidence of ESBL-E in hospital settings. Their research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases

Reference: Zahar J-R, Poirel L, Dupont C, Fortineau N, Nassif X and Nordmann P. About the usefulness of contact precautions for carriers of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli. BMC Infectious Diseases 2015, 15:512  doi:10.1186/s12879-015-1244-x