Control of Nosocomial Multiresistant Enterobacteriaceae Using a Temporary Restrictive Antibiotic Agent Policy
An observational study on the epidemiology of multiresistant Enterobacteriaceae was conducted in the neurology and neurosurgery wards of a university hospital to determine the impact of hospital hygiene measures and an additional temporary restrictive antibiotic agent policy on the sudden rise in incidence of these bacteria. The incidence and prevalence of patients with multiresistant Enterobacteriaceae were assessed, and patient isolates were typed phenotypically and by random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. All hospital hygiene measures implemented were recorded, and the influence of the restrictive policy on antibiotic use was analyzed. This policy consisted of a prior authorization requirement and the withdrawal of all antibiotics with a possible selective pressure on multiresistant strains (gentamicin, tobramycin, quinolones, cotrimoxazole, broad-spectrum penicillins, and cephalosporins). This ban left only carbapenems and amikacin for treatment. Typing showed that 17 of the 61 (28%) patients involved were infected or colonized with a single multiresistant strain of Klebsiella oxytoca, for which an environmental source was identified. The isolates recovered from the other patients comprised eight different species, and subsequent genotyping yielded a great variety of strains. The increased incidence could not be controlled with hospital hygiene measures alone. Only after implementation of the restrictive antibiotic policy did the epidemic strain vanish and the endemic incidence of multiresistant Enterobacteriaceae decrease to <50% of the level before intervention. In the years since, the incidence has remained at this low level, and the antibiotic costs have decreased to a level lower than before intervention.