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Isolation precautions for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings
Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2009;22(4):339-44
Date: 2009-07-13   Read: 161138

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2009 Aug;22(4):339-44

Isolation precautions for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings

Gasink LB, Brennan PJ

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Emergence of drug-resistant bacteria and new or changing infectious pathogens is an important public health problem. Transmission of these pathogens in an acute care setting may occur frequently if proper precautions are not taken. Despite several guidelines and an abundance of literature on the prevention of transmission of epidemiologically important organisms in the healthcare setting, substantial controversy exists. This review focuses on recent data regarding the use of infection control and isolation precautions.

RECENT FINDINGS: New data are available, but the conflict surrounding the use of active surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has not been resolved. The emergence of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria has prompted a greater interest in infection control strategies for prevention of their spread. Outbreaks of Clostridium difficile have responded to broad infection control initiatives, but further research is required to determine whether the best infection control precautions are being utilized.

SUMMARY: Effective prevention of the transmission of pathogens within the healthcare system requires a multifaceted approach. Existing guidelines should be used to create institutional policies specific to individual patient populations, problem pathogens and the ability to practically implement various infection control procedures. Despite ongoing study, the use of active surveillance to prevent transmission of MRSA continues to be a complex, controversial and challenging issue.

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