Central line-associated bloodstream infections in Australian intensive care units: Time-trends in infection rates, etiology, and antimicrobial resistance using a comprehensive Victorian surveillance program, 2009-2013

Am J Infect Control. 2015 Aug;43(8):848-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2015.03.036. Epub 2015 May 28.


Background: The epidemiology of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) in Australian intensive care units (ICUs) has not previously been reported. We sought to describe time-trends in CLABSI rates, infections by ICU peer-groups, etiology, and antimicrobial susceptibility of pathogens in a large cohort of Australian ICUs for the period January 1, 2009-December 31, 2013.

Methods: Using National Healthcare Safety Network methods, CLABSI surveillance in adult patients was performed by hospitals participating in the Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System (n = 29). Hospitals were grouped by location, sector, and teaching status.

Results: Overall, 384 CLABSI events were reported over 303,968 central venous catheter (CVC)-days, corresponding to a rate of 1.26/1,000 CVC-days (95% confidence interval, 1.14-1.40). Every 1-year increase was associated with a 26% reduction in CLABSI risk (risk ratio, 0.74, 95% confidence interval, 0.69-0.80; P < .001). The most frequently identified pathogens were Enterococcus spp (26.3%), followed by Candida spp (15.4%) and Staphylococcus aureus (13.3%). CLABSI due to Enterococcus spp, S aureus, and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp displayed significant reductions over time.

Conclusions: Internationally accepted surveillance methods have been employed in Australia, demonstrating CLABSI rates comparable to medical/surgical ICUs in the United States and a reduction in pathogen-specific infections over a 5-year period.

Keywords: Antimicrobial susceptibility; Bloodstream infection; Central venous catheter; Device-associated infection; Epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Candidemia / epidemiology*
  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged