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The importance of targeting intraoperative transmission of bacteria with antibiotic resistance and strain characteristics

Published:August 01, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2022.07.024

      Background

      Evidence-based intraoperative infection control measures can reduce Staphylococcus aureus transmission and infections. We aimed to determine whether transmitted S. aureus isolates were associated with increased risk of multidrug resistance and associated traits.

      Methods

      S. aureus isolates obtained from intraoperative environmental, patient skin, and provider hand reservoirs among 274 operating room case pairs (1st and 2nd case of the day) across 3 major academic medical centers from March 2009 to February 2010 underwent systematic-phenotypic-genomic analysis to identify clonal transmission events. The association of clonal S. aureus transmission with multidrug resistance and resistance traits was investigated. Transmission dynamics were characterized.

      Results

      Transmitted isolates (N=58) were associated with increased risk of multi-drug antibiotic resistance [33% (19/58) transmitted vs. 10% (12/115) other isolates, risk ratio 3.14, 99% CI 1.34-7.38, P=0.0006]. Transmission was associated with a significant increase in resistance traits including mecA [40% transmitted isolates vs. 17% other isolates, risk ratio 2.28, P=0.0026] and ant (6)-Ia [26% transmitted isolates vs. 9% other isolates, risk ratio 2.97, P=0.0050]. Provider hands were a frequent reservoir of origin, between-case a common mode of transmission, and patient skin and provider hands frequent transmission locations for multidrug resistant pathogens.

      Conclusions

      Intraoperative S. aureus transmission was associated with multidrug resistance and resistance traits. Proven infection control measures should be leveraged to target intraoperative transmission of multidrug resistant pathogens.

      Key Words

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