An epidemiologic investigation was done after 3 patients contracted Ochrobactrum anthropi meningitis at one hospital in October 1994. Neurosurgical patients with pericardial tissue implants were at greater risk of infection than other neurosurgical patients (3/14 vs. 0/566; P<.001). Cultures of implants removed from 2 case-patients, an implant at implantation, a nonimplanted pericardial tissue, and an unwrapped but unopened bottle of Hank's balanced salt solution (HBSS) grew O. anthropi. Patient and tissue isolates had identical genotypes; the isolate from the HBSS bottle had a unique genotype. Culture samples from an unopened HBSS bottle and from pericardial tissue grew Pseudomonas stutzeri of the same genotype; however, no P. stutzeri infections were detected. The investigation documented intrinsic P. stutzeri contamination of HBSS. O. anthropi contamination of tissues occurred during processing, possibly due to extrinsic contamination of HBSS. Active surveillance is needed to detect infection in patients receiving transplanted tissues, and rigorous infection control practice are necessary during tissue harvesting and processing to ensure sterility.
Chang HJ, Christenson JC, Pavia AT, Bobrin BD, Bland LA, Carson LA, Arduino MJ, Verma P, Aguero SM, Carroll K, Jenkins E, Daly JA, Woods ML, Jarvis WR
J. Infect. Dis. 1996 Mar;173(3):656-60