A New Strategy to Combat Influenza and Speed Recovery

Flu complications are a leading cause of hospitalization and death worldwide. At risk for serious complications are individuals who are extremely young or old, obese, chronically ill or who have compromised immune systems.

Research published in the journal Cell Reports  writes of a promising new approach that uses an investigational cancer drug to dial down viral production and dramatically increase survival of flu-infected mice.

Full story at Infection Control Today

 

Patient engagement with surgical site infection prevention

Tartari E, et al. (2017) Patient engagement with surgical site infection prevention: an expert panel perspective. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control | Published online: 12 May 2017

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Despite remarkable developments in the use of surgical techniques, ergonomic advancements in the operating room, and implementation of bundles, surgical site infections (SSIs) remain a substantial burden, associated with increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs.

National and international recommendations to prevent SSIs have been published, including recent guidelines by the World Health Organization, but implementation into clinical practice remains an unresolved issue. SSI improvement programs require an integrative approach with measures taken during the pre-, intra- and postoperative care from the numerous stakeholders involved.

The current SSI prevention strategies have focused mainly on the role of healthcare workers (HCWs) and procedure related risk factors. The importance and influence of patient participation is becoming an increasingly important concept and advocated as a means to improve patient safety. Novel interventions supporting an active participative role within SSI prevention programs have not been assessed. Empowering patients with information they require to engage in the process of SSI prevention could play a major role for the implementation of recommendations.

Based on available scientific evidence, a panel of experts evaluated options for patient involvement in order to provide pragmatic recommendations for pre-, intra- and postoperative activities for the prevention of SSIs. Recommendations were based on existing guidelines and expert opinion. As a result, 9 recommendations for the surgical patient are presented here, including a practice brief in the form of a patient information leaflet. HCWs can use this information to educate patients and allow patient engagement.

Read the full article here

Preventing healthcare associated gram-negative bacterial bloodstream infections

An improvement resource to help health and social care economies reduce the number of gram-negative bloodstream infections (BSIs) with an initial focus on Escherichia coli (E.coli).

This resource pack makes suggestions rather than prescriptions about how to reduce these infections and pulls together a collection of tools for local teams. The authors recognise that effective prevention of infection is multifaceted and requires strong leadership, effective training programmes, and evidence-based guidelines and interventions.  biology-220005_1280

The report groups the resources under the following sections:

The value of direct observation to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infection

Afonso, E. & Blot, S. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing | Published online: 26 April 2017

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Urinary tract catheterization and monitoring of the urinary output is indispensable in critically ill patients as might indicate intravascular circulating volume, organ perfusion, and pending shock (Paratz et al., 2014; Eastwood et al., 2015). The presence of a urinary catheter however involves the risk of infection.

We read with interest the article by Galiczewski and Shurpin (2017) about the efficiency of direct observation to reduce bladder catheter utilization and catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU.

Read the comment article here

Read the original research article here

Battling Infections With Silver

Infection Control Today | Published online: 26 April 2017

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Silver and other metals have been used to fight infections since ancient times. Today, researchers are using sophisticated techniques such as the gene-editing platform Crispr-Cas9 to take a closer look at precisely how silver poisons pathogenic microbes—and when it fails. The work is yielding new insights on how to create effective antimicrobials and avoid the pitfalls of antimicrobial resistance.

The team has discovered many biological pathways involved in silver toxicity and some surprising ways that bacteria avoid succumbing to silver poisoning, Lemire said. While silver is used to control bacteria in many clinical settings and has been incorporated into hundreds of commercial products, gaining a more complete understanding of silver’s antimicrobial properties is necessary if we are to make the most of this ancient remedy for years to come.

Read the full research overview here

New test identifies antibiotic-resistant bacteria

New research suggests it is possible to quickly and accurately diagnose drug-resistant bacterial infections using existing hospital equipment | OnMedica

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Image source: Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows petri dish cultures infected with phage-galactose bacteria.

In a presentation at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), taking place this week in Vienna, researchers described how they were able to test bacteria to quickly tell whether they were resistant to the antibiotic of last resort, colistin, and how easily they might pass this resistance on to other bacteria.

Knowing which patients have these most dangerous infections means it is possible to use quarantine measures to halt their spread, say the scientists.

Read the full overview here

The presentation abstract is available here

Antimicrobial Resistance: resource handbook

This handbook collates national resources on antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control | PHE

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Image source: PHE

This handbook identifies current national policy, guidance and supporting materials in relation to the infection prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HCAI) and antimicrobial stewardship in order to aid in the reduction of antimicrobial resistance. It is designed to assist local health and social care professionals in quickly retrieving relevant information provided by Public Health England, the Department of Health and a wide variety of key stakeholders.

The handbook includes supporting materials relating to:

  • strategy and national guidance
  • policy and recommendations
  • education and training
  • guidance and tools
  • surveillance
  • international resources

Read the full overview here

The full handbook is available here