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Acquisition of MDR-GNB in hospital settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis focusing on ESBL-E

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

J. Vink, J. Edgeworth, S. L. Bailey

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number3
Accepted/In press2020
PublishedNov 2020

King's Authors


Introduction: Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E) and other multi-drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) have disseminated globally since their discovery in the late 20th century. Various infection prevention and control measures are in place to prevent nosocomial transmission of these organisms, but their efficacy remains disputed. New literature has emerged in recent years providing further evidence which can be used to formulate effective strategies to tackle this issue in the future. Methods: A systematic review was performed to characterize the prevalence of colonization of multi-drug-resistant organisms and subsequent acquisition of these organisms within hospital settings. A meta-analysis was performed to characterize the prevalence and acquisition of ESBL-E in Europe and North America. Results: Twenty-eight studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Escherichia coli formed the main burden of MDR-GNB colonization worldwide. Patient-to-patient transmission of ESBL-E was found to be rare, but increased transmissibility of Klebsiella pneumoniae was described over E. coli. Within European and North American healthcare settings, a meta-analysis of eight studies identified a pooled prevalence of ESBL-E on admission to hospital of 7.91% and an acquisition rate of 3.73%. Discussion: Low prevalence at the point of hospital admission and insufficient evidence of patient-to-patient transmission suggests that infection prevention and control measures such as universal surveillance screening and single-room isolation are unlikely to be practical or effective interventions in reducing the overall burden of ESBL-E in hospitals, in line with current European guidelines. Instead, it is argued that efforts should be placed on controlling the spread of these organisms and other MDR-GNB in the community, predominantly long-term care facilities.

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