OBJECTIVE: To describe the investigation and control of an outbreak of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Infantis in a neonatal unit in Brazil.
METHODS: A case-control study for risk factors for Salmonella Infantis systemic infection, environmental cultures, and evaluation of staffing and overcrowding and an assessment of infection control practices were performed.
RESULTS: During July 1998 to June 1999, 140 Salmonella Infantis culture-positive patients were identified in the neonatal unit. Presence of a peripheral intravascular catheter was identified as an independent risk factor (odds ratio = 4.98; 95% CI = 1.59-19.31; P =.01) and each 250-g increase in birth weight as a protective factor (odds ratio = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.57-0.95; P =.03). Hospital stay was significantly longer and costs higher in case patients than in control patients. Salmonella Infantis was isolated from multiple environmental sources. Neonatal unit personnel were observed to make several breaks in infection control practices. The unit was understaffed and overcrowded. Prompt case identification, cohorting of patients, enhanced staff hand hygiene, and environmental cleaning terminated the outbreak.
CONCLUSIONS: Inadequate infection control practices, nursery overcrowding, and understaffing can have an adverse effect on patient morbidity, mortality rates, and hospital cost.
Pessoa-Silva CL, Toscano CM, Moreira BM, Santos AL, Frota AC, Solari CA, Amorim EL, Carvalho Mda G, Teixeira LM, Jarvis WR
J. Pediatr. 2002 Sep;141(3):381-7