Trend in healthcare-associated infections due to vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus at a hospital in the era of COVID-19: More than hand hygiene is needed

Mizuho Fukushige, Ling Shang Syue, Kazuya Morikawa, Wen Liang Lin, Nan Yao Lee, Po Lin Chen, Wen Chien Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Variable control measures for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) infections were adopted among different hospitals and areas. We investigated the burden and patient characteristics of healthcare-associated VRE infections in 2018–2019 and 2020, when multiple preventive measures for COVID-19 were taken. Methods: During the COVID-19 pandemic, mask waring and hand hygiene were enforced in the study hospital. The incidence densities of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including overall HAIs, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) HAIs, VRE HAIs, and VRE healthcare-associated bloodstream infections (HABSIs), consumption of broad-spectrum antibiotics and hygiene products, demographic characteristics and medical conditions of affected patients, were compared before and after the pandemic. Results: The incidence density of both VRE HAIs and VRE HABSIs did not change statistically significantly, however, the highest in 2020 than that in 2018 and 2019. This was in spite of universal mask waring and increased consumption of 75% alcohol in 2020 and consistent implementation of an antibiotic stewardship program in three observed years. The increased prescriptions of broad-spectrum cephalosporins might partially explain the increase of VRE infection. Conclusion: Increased mask wearing and hand hygiene may not result in the decline in the development of VRE HAIs in the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continued monitoring of the dynamics of HAIs remains indispensable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1218
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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