Illustration(s) pertain to the topic addressed in this publication, not the specific research or data presented in the publication

Nosocomial outbreak of Candida albicans sternal wound infections following cardiac surgery traced to a scrub nurse

Abstract

From August 1988 through October 1989, 15 patients at 1 hospital developed Candida albicans sternal wound infections after cardiac surgery. An investigation found that case-patients were more likely than cardiac surgery patients without sternal wound infections to have surgeries lasting > 165 min (11/15 vs. 20/45; odds ratio [OR], 5.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5-16.3) or exposure to first scrub nurse A (15/15 vs. 22/45; OR, infinity; 95% CI, 2.5, infinity). Molecular typing of 5 case-patient C. albicans isolates revealed a common strain. Nurse A had a history of recurrent vaginal infections responding to topical antifungal agents; however, cultures of multiple samples from nurse A, beginning 3 weeks after the last infected patient’s surgery, failed to yield C. albicans. Following her voluntary transfer from cardiac surgery, no additional infections of case-patients were detected. This study demonstrates the utility of combining epidemiologic methods and molecular typing in investigating C. albicans infection clusters and suggests that a common exogenous source can be responsible for C. albicans surgical wound infections.

Pertowski CA, Baron RC, Lasker BA, Werner SB, Jarvis WR

J. Infect. Dis. 1995 Sep;172(3):817-22

PMID: 7658076

Nosocomial outbreak of Candida albicans sternal wound infections following cardiac surgery traced to a scrub nurse was last modified: September 1st, 1995 by Pertowski CA, Baron RC, Lasker BA, Werner SB, Jarvis WR