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Potential Role of Active Surveillance in the Control of a Hospital-Wide Outbreak of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Infection

  • Debby Ben-David (a1), Yasmin Maor (a1), Nathan Keller (a1), Gili Regev-Yochay (a1), Ilana Tal (a1), Dalit Shachar (a1), Amir Zlotkin (a1), Gill Smollan (a1) and Galia Rahav (a1)...



The recent emergence of carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae is a major threat for hospitalized patients, and effective strategies are needed.


To assess the effect of an intensified intervention, which included active surveillance, on the incidence of infection with carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae.


Sheba Medical Center, a 1,600-bed tertiary care teaching hospital in Tel Hashomer, Israel.


Quasi-experimental study.


The medical records of all the patients who acquired a carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection during 2006 were reviewed. An intensified intervention was initiated in May 2007. In addition to contact precautions, active surveillance was initiated in high-risk units. The incidence of clinical carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection over time was measured, and interrupted time-series analysis was performed.


The incidence of clinical carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection increased 6.42-fold from the first quarter of 2006 up to the initiation of the intervention. In 2006, of the 120 patients whose clinical microbiologic culture results were positive for carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae, 67 (56%) developed a nosocomial infection. During the intervention period, the rate of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae rectal colonization was 9%. Of the 390 patients with carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae colonization or infection, 204 (52%) were identified by screening cultures. There were a total of 12,391 days of contact precautions, and of these, 4,713 (38%) were added as a result of active surveillance. After initiation of infection control measures, we observed a significant decrease in the incidence of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection.


The use of active surveillance and contact precautions, as part of a multifactorial intervention, may be an effective strategy to decrease rates of nosocomial transmission of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae colonization or infection.


Corresponding author

Infectious Diseases Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer 52621, Israel (Debby.BenDavid@


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