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Ci-après les résumés de quelques études récentes et moins récentes qui illustrent la complexité de la mise en œuvre de stratégies efficaces de prévention dans la lutte contre les infections à MDRO et les pistes d’améliorations requises.

Tschudin-Sutter S., Lavigne T., Grundmann H., Rauch J., Eichel V. M., Deboscker S., Jaulhac B., Mutters N. T.

Differences in infection control and diagnostic measures for multidrug-resistant organisms in the tristate area of France, Germany and Switzerland in 2019 – survey results from the RH(E)IN-CARE network. 

Swiss Med Wkly 2021; 151: w20454.


Background: Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are a public health threat. Single-centre interventions, however, are likely to fail in the long term, as patients are commonly transferred between institutions given the economic integration across borders. A transnational approach targeting larger regions is needed to plan overarching sets of interventions. Here, we aim to describe differences in diagnostic and infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in the fight against MDROs.

Methods: In 2019, we systematically assessed diagnostic algorithms and IPC measures implemented for detection and control of MDROs at three tertiary academic care centres (Freiburg; Strasbourg; Basel). Data were collected using a standardised data collection sheet to be filled in by every centre. Uncertainties were clarified by direct contact via telephone or email with the data supplier. Internal validity was checked by at least two researchers independently filling in the survey.

Results: All centres have established a primarily culture-based, rather than a nucleic acid amplification-based approach for detection of MDROs (i.e., vancomycin-resistant Enterococci [VRE], methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA], extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae [ESBL], carbapenemase-producing and carbapenem-resistant Gram-negatives [CPGN/CRGN]). IPC measures differed greatly across all centres. High-risk patients are screened for most MDROs on intensive care unit (ICU) admission in all centres; only the French centre is screening all patients admitted to the ICU for VRE, MRSA and ESBL. Patients colonised/infected by MRSA, quinolone-resistant ESBL Klebsiella spp. and CPGN/CRGN are isolated everywhere, whereas patients colonised/infected by VRE and ESBL are usually not isolated in the German centre.

Conclusions: In contrast to the French and Swiss centres, the German centre no longer uses isolation measures to control VRE and quinolone-susceptible ESBL. Overall, the French centre is more focused on intercepting MDRO transmission from outside, whereas the German and Swiss centres are more focused on intercepting endemic MDRO transmission. These findings point to important challenges regarding future attempts to standardise IPC measures across borders. 

Wolfensberger A. , Kuster S.P., Marchesi M., Zbinden R., Hombach M. 

The effect of varying multidrug-resistance (MDR) definitions on rates of gram-negative rods.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control. 2019 ; 8 :193.  


Background: A multitude of definitions determining multidrug resistance (MDR) of Gram-negative organisms exist worldwide. The definitions differ depending on their purpose and on the issueing country or organization. The MDR definitions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) were primarily chosen to harmonize epidemiological surveillance. The German Commission of Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention (KRINKO) issued a national guideline which is mainly used to guide infection prevention and control (IPC) measures. The Swiss University Hospital Zurich (UHZ) – in absentia of national guidelines – developed its own definition for IPC purposes. In this study we aimed to determine the effects of different definitions of multidrug-resistance on rates of Gram-negative multidrug-resistant organisms (GN-MDRO).

Methods: MDR definitions of the ECDC, the German KRINKO and the Swiss University Hospital Zurich were applied on a dataset comprising isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter sp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii complex. Rates of GN-MDRO were compared and the percentage of patients with a GN-MDRO was calculated.

Results: In total 11’407 isolates from a 35 month period were included. For Enterobacterales and P. aeruginosa, highest MDR-rates resulted from applying the ‘ECDC-MDR’ definition. ‘ECDC-MDR’ rates were up to four times higher compared to ‘KRINKO-3/4MRGN’ rates, and up to six times higher compared to UHZ rates. Lowest rates were observed when applying the ‘KRINKO-4MRGN’ definitions. Comparing the ‘KRINKO-3/4MRGN’ with the UHZ definitions did not show uniform trends, but yielded higher rates for E. coli and lower rates for P. aeruginosa. On the patient level, the percentages of GN-MDRO carriers were 2.1, 5.5, 6.6, and 18.2% when applying the ‘KRINKO-4MRGN’, ‘UHZ-MDR’, ‘KRINKO-3/4MRGN’, and the ‘ECDC-MDR’ definition, respectively.

Conclusions: Different MDR-definitions lead to considerable variation in rates of GN-MDRO. Differences arise from the number of antibiotic categories required to be resistant, the categories and drugs considered relevant, and the antibiotic panel tested. MDR definitions should be chosen carefully depending on their purpose and local resistance rates, as definitions guiding isolation precautions have direct effects on costs and patient care.

Glasner C., Berends M.S., Becker K., Esser J., Gieffers J., Jurke A., et al. 

A prospective multicentre screening study on multidrug-resistant organisms in intensive care units in the Dutch–German cross-border region, 2017 to 2018: the importance of healthcare structures.

Euro Surveill. 2022; 27(5):pii=2001660 (published online 3 feb. 2022).   


Background: Antimicrobial resistance poses a risk for healthcare, both in the community and hospitals. The spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) occurs mostly on a local and regional level, following movement of patients, but also occurs across national borders.

Aim: The aim of this observational study was to determine the prevalence of MDROs in a European cross-border region to understand differences and improve infection prevention based on real-time routine data and workflows.MethodsBetween September 2017 and June 2018, 23 hospitals in the Dutch (NL)-German (DE) cross-border region (BR) participated in the study. During 8 consecutive weeks, patients were screened upon admission to intensive care units (ICUs) for nasal carriage of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and rectal carriage of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium/E. faecalis (VRE), third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (3GCRE) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). All samples were processed in the associated laboratories.

Results: A total of 3,365 patients were screened (median age: 68 years (IQR: 57-77); male/female ratio: 59.7/40.3; NL-BR: n = 1,202; DE-BR: n = 2,163). Median screening compliance was 60.4% (NL-BR: 56.9%; DE-BR: 62.9%). MDRO prevalence was higher in DE-BR than in NL-BR, namely 1.7% vs 0.6% for MRSA (p = 0.006), 2.7% vs 0.1% for VRE (p < 0.001) and 6.6% vs 3.6% for 3GCRE (p < 0.001), whereas CRE prevalence was comparable (0.2% in DE-BR vs 0.0% in NL-BR ICUs).

Conclusions: This first prospective multicentre screening study in a European cross-border region shows high heterogenicity in MDRO carriage prevalence in NL-BR and DE-BR ICUs. This indicates that the prevalence is probably influenced by the different healthcare structures.

Müller J., Voss A., Köck R., Bhanu S.,  Rossen J.W., Kaase M., et al. 

Cross-border comparison of the Dutch and German guidelines on multidrug-resistant Gram-negative microorganisms. 

Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 2015; 4:7. 


Background: In all European countries, hospital-acquired infections caused by Gram-negative multidrug-resistant microorganisms (GN-MDRO) are a major health threat, as these pathogens cannot be adequately treated anymore, or the start of effective antibiotic treatment is delayed. The efforts to limit the selection and spread of GN-MDRO remains a problem in cross-border healthcare, as the national guidelines on hygiene standards applicable for patients colonized or infected with GN-MDRO in hospitals are not harmonized between European countries.

Methods: In order to point out the similarities and differences in the national guidelines of Germany and The Netherlands regarding GN-MDRO, guidelines were compared and an expert workshop was organized by the INTERREG IVa project EurSafety Health-net.

Results: Both guidelines divide the Gram-negative organisms into subgroups based on bacterial species and antibiotic susceptibility patterns in order to define multidrug-resistant variants of these bacteria. However, the Dutch guideline defines that GN-MDRO Enterobacteriaceae requires testing for certain mechanisms causing antibiotic resistance, whereas the German guideline makes use of a newly created classification scheme, based on phenotypic characterization. Besides diagnostic issues, the main difference between the Dutch and German guideline is the divergent evaluation of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Special hygiene measures are required for all patients with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in The Netherlands, whereas the German guideline recommends special precautions only for those cases in which patients are colonized or infected with strains showing co-resistance to ciprofloxacin («3MRGN»).

Conclusions: The usage of consistent terminology and harmonized diagnostic procedures would improve the possibilities for infection prevention, treatment and patient safety. Prevention of severe non-treatable infections and outbreaks due to MDRO, caused by an increased population seeking medical treatment abroad together with an increased number of highly susceptible individuals demands gathering of regional data, and data comparable between the two sides of the Dutch-German border. The necessity to cooperate multidisciplinary and across borders is required to prevent a post-antibiotic era – in which common infections and minor injuries may lead to death.


Gunnink L.B., Arouri D.J., Jolink F.E.J., Lokate  M., de Jonge K., Kampmeier S., et al 

Compliance to Screening Protocols for Multidrug- Resistant Microorganisms at the Emergency Departments of Two Academic Hospitals in the Dutch–German Cross-Border Region. 

Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6, 15.


Infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are associated with prolonged hospitalization and higher risk of mortality. Patients arriving in the hospital via the emergency department (ED) are screened for the presence of MDROs in compliance with the screening protocols in order to apply the correct isolation measures. In the Dutch-German border region, local hospitals apply their own screening protocols which are based upon national screening protocols. The contents of the national and local MDRO screening protocols were compared on vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and carbapenemase-producing and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CPE/CRE). The practicality of the screening protocols was evaluated by performing an audit. As a result, the content of the MDRO screening protocols differed regarding risk factors for MDRO carriage, swab site, personal protective equipment, and isolation measures. The observations and questionnaires showed that the practicality was sufficient; however, the responsibility was not designated clearly and education regarding the screening protocols was deemed inappropriate. The differences between the MDRO screening protocols complicate patient care in the Dutch-German border region. Arrangements have to be made about the responsibility of the MDRO screening, and improvements are necessary concerning education regarding the MDRO screening protocols.

Tacconelli E., Buhl M., Humphreys H., Malek V., Presterl E., Rodriguez-Baño J., Vos M.C., Zingg W., Mutters N.T. and the EUCIC Stop Negative group.  

Analysis of the challenges in implementing guidelines to prevent the spread of multidrug-resistant gram-negatives in Europe. 

BMJ Open 2019; 9: e027683. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2018-027683.


Objective: The main objective of the study was to investigate major differences among European countries in implementing infection prevention and control (IPC) measures and reasons for reduced compliance. 

Design: An online survey including experts in IPC and a gap analysis were conducted to identify major limitations in implementing IPC guidelines. 

Setting: Europe.

Main outcome measures: Four areas were targeted: (1) healthcare structure, (2) finances, (3) culture and (4) education and awareness. Perceived compliance to IPC measures was classified as low (<50%), medium (50% to 80%) and high (>80%). Countries were classified in three regions: North-Western Europe (NWE), Eastern Europe (EE) and Southern Europe (SE). 

Results: In total, 482 respondents from 34 out of 44 (77.3%) European countries participated. Respondents reported availability of national guidelines to control multidrug-resistant Gram-negatives (MDR-GN) in 20 countries (58.0%). According to participants, compliance with IPC measures ranged from 17.8% (screening at discharge) to 96.0% (contact precautions). Overall, three areas were identified as critical for the compliance rate: (1) number of infection control staff, (2) IPC dedicated educational programmes and (3) number of clinical staff. Analysis of reasons for low compliance showed high heterogeneity among countries: participants from NWE and SE deemed the lack of educational programmes as the most important, while those from EE considered structural reasons, such as insufficient single bed rooms or lacking materials for isolation, as main contributors to the low compliance. 

Conclusions: Although national guidelines to reduce the spread of MDR-GN are reported in the majority of the European countries, low compliance with IPC measures was commonly reported. Reasons for the low compliance are multifactorial and vary from region to region. Cross-country actions to reduce the spread of MDR-GN have to consider structural and cultural differences in countries. Locally calibrated interventions may be fruitful in the future.

van Hout D., Bruijning-Verhagen P.C.J., Blok H.E.M., Troelstra A., Bonten M.J.M.  

Universal risk assessment upon hospital admission for screening of carriage with multidrug-resistant microorganisms in a Dutch tertiary care centre. 

Journal of Hospital Infection, 2021; 201: 32-39.


Background: In Dutch hospitals a six-point questionnaire is currently mandatory for risk assessment to identify carriers of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) at the time of hospitalization. Presence of one or more risk factors is followed by pre-emptive isolation and microbiological culturing.

Aim: To evaluate the yield of the universal risk assessment in identifying MDRO carriers upon hospitalization.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed using routine healthcare data in a Dutch tertiary hospital between January 1st, 2015 and August 1st, 2019. MDRO risk assessment upon hospitalization included assessment of: known MDRO carriage, previous hospitalization in another Dutch hospital during an outbreak or a foreign hospital, living in an asylum centre, exposure to livestock farming, and household membership of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carrier.

Findings: In total, 144,051 admissions of 84,485 unique patients were included; 4480 (3.1%) admissions had a positive MDRO risk assessment. In 1516 (34%) admissions microbiological screening was performed, of which 341 (23%) yielded MDRO. Eighty-one patients were categorized as new MDRO carriers, as identified through MDRO risk assessment, reflecting 0.06% (95% confidence interval: 0.04-0.07) of all admissions and 1.8% (1.4-2.2) of those with positive risk assessment. As a result, the number of ‘MDRO risk assessments needed to perform’ and individual ‘MDRO questions needed to ask’ to detect one new MDRO carrier upon hospitalization were 1778 and 10,420, respectively.

Conclusion: The yield of the current strategy of MDRO risk assessment upon hospitalization is limited and it needs thorough reconsideration.

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