ReportsPATHOGEN TRANSMISSION

Integrated genomic and interfacility patient-transfer data reveal the transmission pathways of multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in a regional outbreak

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Science Translational Medicine  22 Nov 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 417, eaan0093
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan0093

Drug-resistant out-of-towners

With the rise of multidrug-resistant organisms, much attention has focused on preventing nosocomial infection within individual health care facilities. Transfer of patients between facilities, however, may also contribute to the proliferation of hard-to-treat bacterial pathogens. Snitkin et al. investigated the role of patient transfer between hospitals in a year-long regional outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in the United States. They traced the spread of the infection by combining genomic sequencing with information about the movement of patients across the local health care network. This analysis was able to identify where the outbreak began and pinpointed which facilities contributed to the transmission of the infection in the region. Such an approach may enable directed interventions to prevent the transfer of drug-resistant organisms among hospitals.

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