Outbreak of imipenem-resistantAcinetobacter baumanniiin different wards at a regional hospital related to untrained bedside caregivers

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This study describes an outbreak caused by imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (IRAB) involving 2 general wards at the Penghu branch of Tri-Service General Hospital.


Clinical data obtained from the patients with IRAB during an outbreak from May 2014-October 2014 were reviewed. Microbiologic sampling from the environment and the hands of health care workers (HCWs) was performed. Clinical isolates from case patients were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).


During the outbreak period, 12 patients were colonized or infected with IRAB. The hospital room environments of the case patients were contaminated with IRAB. Hands of nurses and physicians were not colonized with IRAB, but the hands of 2 bedside caregivers of case patients were colonized with IRAB. The PFGE analysis revealed that at least 2 major genetically distinct strains disseminated between 2 different wards. After implementation of infection control measures with a cohort of nursing patients, hand hygiene education for caregivers who had not received instructions before the outbreak, and a critical value alert system to notify case patients, the outbreak was controlled successfully.


This outbreak study highlights the importance of adherence to hand hygiene by all HCWs to prevent the dissemination of multidrug-resistant organisms.

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