Cross sectional study of multiresistant bacteria in Danish emergency departments: prevalence, patterns and risk factors for colonization (AB-RED project)

BMC Emerg Med. 2018 Aug 20;18(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12873-018-0178-1.


Background: Multiresistant bacteria (MRB) is an increasing problem. Early identification of patients with MRB is mandatory to avoid transmission and to target the antibiotic treatment. The emergency department (ED) is a key player in the early identification of patients who are colonized with MRB. There is currently sparse knowledge of both prevalence and risk factors for colonization with MRSA, ESBL, VRE, CPE and CD in acutely admitted patients in Western European countries including Denmark. To develop evidence-based screening tools for identifying carriers of resistant bacteria among acutely admitted patients, systematic collection of information on risk factors and exposures is required. Since a geographical variation is suspected, it is desirable to include emergency departments across the country. The aim of this project is to provide a comprehensive overview of prevalence and risk factors for MRSA, ESBL, VRE, CPE and CD colonization in patients admitted to Danish ED's. The objectives are to describe the prevalence and demography of resistance, co-infections, to identify risk factors for carrier state and to develop and validate a screening tool for identification of carriers.

Methods: Multicenter descriptive and analytic cross-sectional survey from January-May 2018 of around 10.000 acutely admitted patients > 18 years in 8 EDs for carrier state and risk factors for antibiotic resistant bacteria. Information about the background and possible risk factors for carrier status together with swabs from the nose, throat and rectum is collected and analyzed for MRSA, ESBL, VRE, CPE and CD. The prevalence of the resistant bacteria are calculated at hospital level, regional level and national level and described with relation to residency, sex, age and risk factors. A screening model for identification of carrier stage of resistant bacteria is developed and validated.

Discussion: The study will provide the prevalence of colonized patients with resistant bacteria on arrival to the ED and variation in demographic patterns, and will develop a clinical tool to identify certain risk groups. This will enable the clinician to target antibiotic treatments and to reduce the in-hospital spreading of resistant bacteria. This knowledge is important for implementing and evaluating antimicrobial stewardships, screening and infection control strategies.

Trial registration: : NCT03352167 (registration date: 20. November 2017).

Keywords: Colonization; Emergency department; Multiresistant bacteria.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Clostridioides difficile / isolation & purification
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Denmark
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Enterotoxins
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Prevalence
  • Research Design*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci / isolation & purification


  • Enterotoxins

Associated data