Breaking the chain of infection – hygiene is everyone’s responsibility


As International Infection Prevention Week (#IIPW) continues, Prof Sally Bloomfield writes a guest blog on the principles of breaking the chain of infection. Whilst the blog is focused on home and everyday life settings, the principles are relevant to healthcare facilities too!

This is international Infection Prevention Week. To address this year’s theme “Breaking the Chain of Infection” the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH) has produced a simple online resource Breaking the Chain of Infection.

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Cleaning and disinfection survey

See below details of a survey that you may find interesting to complete. I had a small role in providing some feedback on an earlier version of this survey and I hope it will serve to highlight areas that require more thought and / or research…

On behalf of the International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC)  working group on Infection Prevention we would be grateful if you could complete this anonymous survey.

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Cross-specialty engagement with antimicrobial stewardship

Guest blogger Dr Tim Rawson (bio below) writes…

With antimicrobial resistance taking its place alongside climate change on the global political agenda, the role of antimicrobial stewardship in healthcare has come to the forefront. Being a good steward of antibiotics goes beyond simply possessing the technical ability to maintain the effectiveness of antimicrobials. It requires an understanding of why we all, as healthcare providers, should practice stewardship and an ability to confront many of the social and behavioural barriers preventing good practice. Whilst the infection community and some policy makers are now highly engaged with antimicrobial resistance, there is very little evidence to support engagement with AMS-AMR within other clinical specialties.

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Preventing carbapenem-resistant Salmonella or E.coli in foods

AMS test

We welcome another guest post from Prof Peter Collignon (bio below) on the risk of antibiotic resistance in the food chain…

Codex has recently announced they are doing more work on antimicrobial resistance.  This is an opportunity get Codex to have a couple of standards to better protect public health from one of the worst types of antibiotic resistance that might develop in the next few years or decade. Specifically to help prevent carbapenem-resistant bacteria transferring to people via the food chain including via imported foods into countries (some useful background on this issue from European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) here).

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It’s time to ban colistin in food animals

Guest blogger, Prof Peter Collignon (bio below) writes…

EU proposals on colistin use in food animals are just restrictions. Why not a ban?

We are now in a situation around the world where rising levels of resistance means that for many life-threatening infections with Gram-negative bacteria such as E.coli, the only effective antibiotic is now IV colistin. Colistin (polymyxin E) is an old drug that has been resurrected for use because there are no other alternatives available – even though it has major renal and neural toxicities.

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The first International Conference on Clinical Metagenomics (ICCMg)


Guest blogger Dr Etienne Ruppé (bio below) writes about a new conference in the emerging field of ‘Clinical Metagenomics’. I suspect we are all beginning to dip our toes into this challenging new arena, so I am sure this conference will be useful…   Continue reading

Why are we not using existing data for healthcare-associated infection surveillance?


This is a guest post by Dr Gabriel Birgand (bio below), a researcher at Imperial College London…

Surveillance is an essential component in any infection control programme. In UK, the surveillance of infections associated with some procedures (e.g. certain orthopaedic procedures) is mandated by Public Health England. This surveillance requires time and represents either a full time job (i.e. dedicated nurses doing the data collection and follow-up of patients undergoing surgery) or additional work (i.e. surveillance of catheter-associated urinary tract infection by infection control nurses). This process is time-consuming, expensive and dependent on the rigour of the person in charge of the surveillance. Despite proven value, the involved nature of the method makes these manual HCAI surveillance systems difficult cumbersome to deliver. Moreover, hospitals often struggle to recruit and retain nursing staff dedicated to surveillance meaning that reporting is frequently incorporated into other posts, which interrupts other clinical duties and may reduce the detail of reporting.

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Review of infectious disease blogs: survey


A guest post by Imperial College London researchers Rachael Troughton and Dr Gabriel Birgand (bios below):

Blogs have become integral part of academic life for many in the field of infectious diseases. A happy medium between Twitter and an academic journal, they allow fast and easy communication on a global scale between peers and across disciplines. But who are the bloggers behind the blogs? And who reads them?

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Why infection prevention and control teams should be on Twitter!

twitter birdie 2

Guest bloggers Fiona Reakes-Wells and Carolyn Dawson write…

“Are you going to twit that?” honorary IPC team member (my mother) asked one day when I took a picture. “Will I be famous?”.

Twitter, tweet, retweet, hashtag, Follow Friday (FF) are commonly used jargon you will find in your friendly “twictionary”, however these days they are also terms you will often hear used in your daily lives.  The small blue Twitter bird symbol is used by the media, advertising companies, universities, and even governmental departments for quick and concise information sharing with the masses.  However under its umbrella term of ‘social media’, Twitter is met with scepticism by some people, a frivolous exercise opening yourselves up to criticism and destroying professionalism.  But is this truly the case?

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