A cluster of gram-negative bloodstream infections in Connecticut hemodialysis patients associated with contaminated wall boxes and prime buckets

Published:August 12, 2022DOI:


      • A cluster of Delftia acidovorans infections occurred at a hemodialysis facility.
      • Delftia acidovorans was recovered from a wall box where 2 patients had been dialyzed.
      • Splashing of spent dialysate at wall boxes may have contaminated hands of personnel.
      • Contaminated saline prime bucket handles may also have been a source of infection.
      • Wall boxes should be disinfected at least daily, at the end of the day.


      Maintenance hemodialysis (HD) patients are at increased risk of bloodstream infections (BSI). We investigated a cluster of Delftia acidovorans infections among patients undergoing HD at an outpatient unit (Facility A).


      A case was defined as a Facility A HD patient with ≥1 culture positive for D acidovorans between February 1 and April 30, 2018. An investigation included review of patient records, facility policies, practice observations, and environmental cultures.


      The cluster included 2 patients with confirmed D acidovorans BSI. Both patients had recently been dialyzed at Station #2, where a wall box culture yielded D acidovorans. One patient also had a BSI due to Enterobacter asburiae, which was recovered from several other wall boxes and saline prime buckets (SPB). Observations revealed leakage of wastewater from wall boxes onto the floor, and that SPBs were not always disinfected and dried appropriately before reuse. Multiple deficiencies in hand hygiene and station disinfection were observed. No deficiencies in water treatment practices were identified, and water cultures were negative for the observed pathogens.


      The cluster of D acidovorans infections was most likely due to indirect exposures to contaminated wall boxes and possibly SPBs due to poor hand hygiene and station disinfection.

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