Vital signs: Estimated effects of a coordinated approach for action to reduce antibiotic-resistant infections in health care facilities - United States

Rachel B. Slayton, Damon Toth, Bruce Y. Lee, Windy Tanner, Sarah M. Bartsch, Karim Khader, Kim Wong, Kevin Brown, James A. McKinnell, William Ray, Loren G. Miller, Michael Rubin, Diane S. Kim, Fred Adler, Chenghua Cao, Lacey Avery, Nathan T.B. Stone, Alexander Kallen, Matthew Samore, Susan S. HuangScott Fridkin, John A. Jernigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Treatments for health care-associated infections (HAIs) caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria and Clostridium difficile are limited, and some patients have developed untreatable infections. Evidence-supported interventions are available, but coordinated approaches to interrupt the spread of HAIs could have a greater impact on reversing the increasing incidence of these infections than independent facility-based program efforts. Methods: Data from CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network and Emerging Infections Program were analyzed to project the number of health care-associated infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria or C. difficile both with and without a large scale national intervention that would include interrupting transmission and improved antibiotic stewardship. As an example, the impact of reducing transmission of one antibiotic-resistant infection (carbapenem- resistant Enterobacteriaceae [CRE]) on cumulative prevalence and number of HAI transmission events within interconnected groups of health care facilities was modeled using two distinct approaches, a large scale and a smaller scale health care network. Results: Immediate nationwide infection control and antibiotic stewardship interventions, over 5 years, could avert an estimated 619,000 HAIs resulting from CRE, multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), or C. difficile. Compared with independent efforts, a coordinated response to prevent CRE spread across a group of inter-connected health care facilities resulted in a cumulative 74% reduction in acquisitions over 5 years in a 10-facility network model, and 55% reduction over 15 years in a 102-facility network model. Conclusions: With effective action now, more than half a million antibiotic-resistant health care-associated infections could be prevented over 5 years. Models representing both large and small groups of interconnected health care facilities illustrate that a coordinated approach to interrupting transmission is more effective than historical independent facility-based efforts. Implications for Public Health: Public health-led coordinated prevention approaches have the potential to more completely address the emergence and dissemination of these antibiotic-resistant organisms and C. difficile than independent facility-based efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3002-3007
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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