A study was carried out in an Indian teaching hospital in 2009 to detect the rate of surgical site infections (SSI) and peripheral vascular access site infections.
Materials and Methods:
The study was a point-prevalence study involving over 300 patients. The presence of infection was determined according to the CDC criteria. Swabs were taken from the infected sites and identification and sensitivity were carried out using VITEK®
2 automated system. Characterisation of β-lactamase was carried out at ARRML, Colindale, London.
The rate of SSI was 15% for the clean and clean-contaminated categories while that for the dirty contaminated category was 85% (NNIS risk index 0). Cultures yielded definite or probable pathogens from 64% (9/14) of the patients with SSI. In 1/3 rd
of the cultures, Staphylococcus aureus
was grown and the rest had Enterobacteriaceae, either extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producers or Amp-C hyperproducers and, alarmingly, three isolates were positive for newly recognised New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1). In medicine, 87% (n = 99) of the patients had a peripheral IV access device, 55% developed associated phlebitis/infection and, in seven, probable pathogens were isolated ( Candida
species and Escherichia coli
producing ESBL and NDM-1, respectively, Staphylococcus aureus
and Enterococcus faecium
). All ESBL and metallo-β-lactamase producers were resistant to multiple classes of antimicrobials, the latter being sensitive only to colistin and tigecycline. The study also found that all post-operative patients were on antibiotics, 92% on IV [213 defined daily doses (DDD)/100 post-op patients] limited mainly to the third-generation cephalosporins (26%) and aminoglycosides (24%) and imidazole derivatives (30%). In medicine, 83% (n = 82) were on IV antibiotics (123 DDD/100 bed-days), limited mainly to the third-generation cephalosporins (74%).
Indiscriminate use of antibiotics is a major problem predisposing patients to harm by multi-resistant pathogens. Carbapenems were in little use in this hospital, but the selection pressure exerted by cephalosporins and other unrelated classes was sufficient to select NDM-1-producing strains due to co-selection, suggesting a role of single plasmid carrying resistance genes to multiple classes.