Pathogen-Specific Clustering of Nosocomial Blood Stream Infections in Very Preterm Infants

Reichert et al, Pediatrics, March 2016


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nosocomial infections in NICUs tend to cluster, sometimes as devastating outbreaks, but pathogen-specific transmission probabilities are unknown. We aimed to quantify the pathogen-specific risk of a blood stream infection (BSI) in preterm infants after an index case with that pathogen in the same department.

METHODS: Data of 44 818 infants below 1500 g birth weight of the German NICU surveillance system (2000–2011) were used to calculate the probability of a BSI in the presence or absence of another infant in the same unit with a same-pathogen BSI.

CONCLUSION: Although BSIs with P aeruginosa or Serratia spp in preterm infants are rare, they are associated with a markedly elevated risk of secondary same-pathogen BSI and should prompt intensified active surveillance and infection control measures