Outbreak of Hospital Infection from Biofilm-embedded Pan Drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Due to a Contaminated Bronchoscope

J Prev Med (Wilmington). 2017;2(2):1. doi: 10.21767/2572-5483.100014. Epub 2017 Oct 27.


Background: Colistin-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) has been defined as pandrug-resistant (PDR) strain. Outbreaks of PDR P. aeruginosa especially in pulmonary tract infections due to contaminated bronchoscopes have rarely been reported. The emergence of pandrug-resistant strains in both CF (Cystic Fibrosis) and non-CF clinical isolates over recent years remains of a great concern. Hospital wards contaminated with PDR P. aeruginosa infection, must be shot down until their eradication. Health Authorities must be informed immediately and infection control strategies must be implemented.

Aim: To report such an outbreak and modify the infection control strategy in an academic hospital in Ankara Turkey.

Methods: From October to December 2013, PDR-Pseudomonas aerogionsa were identified from bronchial cultures of 15 patients who had undergone bronchoscopy prior to the infection. Three batches of surveillance cultures were obtained from the environmental objects and healthcare workers related to the procedures. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used for bacterial typing. Antimicrobial susceptibility was assessed by disc diffusion and E-test methods.

Findings: A total of 70 specimens were obtained during the first surveillance operation. One Colistin-resistant P. aeroginosa was isolated from a bronchoscope. Although the disinfection protocols for bronchoscope were revised and implemented, seven additional bronchial cases were identified thereafter. The pathogen was identified from two subsequent surveillance cultures and was not eliminated until Ethylene oxide sterilization was added to the disinfection protocol. PFGE revealed that all 15 isolates from the patients and the three isolates from the bronchoscope shared a common pattern with minor variance. XbaI restriction enzyme turned out better than SpeI in interpreting bacterial pulse types with BioNumerics 6.0. The most suitable cut off value for SpeI was above 80% Dice similarity while for XbaI above 95%Dice similarity with BioNumerics 6.0.

Conclusion: The outbreak of "Colistin" pan drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeroginosa was caused by a contaminated bronchoscope and was terminated by the implementation of a revised disinfection protocol for bronchoscope.

Keywords: Bronchoscope; DNA finger printing; Nosocomial infection; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Pulsedfield gel electrophoresis.