The antibiotic course has had its day?

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In a recent BMJ article, Llewelyn et al. argue that the old dogma of completing a prescribed course of antibiotics to prevent antibiotic-resistance is a myth, not based on evidence.  Actually the opposite, namely taking antibiotics for longer than necessary, increases the risk of resistance.

While I love breaking down old dogmas  (we actually had a poll on this topic some time back), many of today’s papers in the Netherlands (and I am pretty sure elsewhere, too) misinterpret the study, by slaughtering the message to patients to “always complete the full prescription”.  One of the Netherlands most influential newspapers the Volkskrant, already wrote: “Finishing antibiotic course? Nonsense.”

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Contact Precautions for Endemic MRSA and VRE

dilemmaby Andreas Voss and Eli Perencevich,

intentionally posted on “Reflections” and “Controversies” at the same time as a reaction to the JAMA Viewpoint by Morgan, Wenzel & Bearman

 

During the recent ICPIC 2017 and a pre-meeting think tank, the sense and non-sense of RCTs looking at various infection control measures was a major point of discussion during many sessions. Data from well-designed quasi-experimental studies, epidemiological evidence, and logic seems to vanish, whenever a new RCT is published, even if the results are not applicable to situations that are non-endemic, have higher or lower compliance with the preventive measures in question, or whether the intended measures were actually applied within the intended patient group.  Some studies seem to assume that the transmission during the first days of admission are of no consequence. Others assume that given endemicity and a high patient load, the intended measures such as single-room isolation can’t be applied, even if a patient was randomized to receive those measures.

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WHO IPC Core Components

While I had seen the WHO IPC Core Components, I have totally missed the great video they made.  Thus, with no further comment, here the link to this well-made video.

Just in case that the link via the picture doesn’t work, copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZapz2L6J1Q&feature=youtu.be

C. auris questionnaire – the outcome

Overall 61 colleagues from 17 countries answered the questionnaire.  A large proportion (26 of 61) of the answers came from the UK, which might have to do with the fact that the first European outbreak was described in England.

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Of the respondents 32.8% said that their institution released a warning about C. auris.  Analyzing the data separately for the UK and the other participating countries, it became clear that the first European outbreak had impact on the preparedness. In the UK 42.3% of the institutions were warned about the unique capacities of C. auris, versus 25.7 in all other countries.  Regarding the existence of a written guideline dealing with C. auris, the differences were far less pronounced, namely 26.9% versus 20.0%, respectively.

53.9% of the UK responders believe that their lab can correctly diagnose C. auris, versus 31.4% in the other countries.  In addition, the proportion of responders, who didn’t know if their lab was prepared, was higher outside the UK (45.7% versus 26.9%, respectively).

Despite the emerging spread of  C. auris clusters this questionnaire is an indication that most institutions are not adequately prepared.  Obviously the sample is really small, but the outcome was predictable.  With an increasing body of literature, including papers on diagnostic methods and infection control measures, we should hope that the situation should change very soon.  Thus, don’t lean back, start writing.

 

Candida auris part III. Are you prepared?

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MMWR just published on the ongoing transmission of Candida auris in the US, while at the same time PLOS Pathogens came with an excellent review on the topic.

By now I had the debatable pleasure to be around for the birth of a few “superbugs”, but this one is clearly putting a lot of effort into reaching the top of the list. I believe (classical pessimist) that many institutions still ignore this new adversary (or are even unaware), and most certainly have no game-plan to prevent its introduction and consequent spread.  In the MMWR publication the current recommendations for C. auris–colonized or infected patients were repeated, with only one change from previous recommendations, namely that a more effective (sporicidal) disinfectant is needed, but I seriously wonder who follows this guidance.

Thus, here it comes, another 30-seconds-questionaire.  Why?  Because I hope that you will prove me wrong and that we – the infection control people at the frontline – act on threat, instead of re-act once we are overrun.

Link to questions  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QCK9RWS

References

Notes from the Field: Ongoing Transmission of Candida auris in Health Care Facilities — United States, June 2016–May 2017. Weekly / May 19, 2017 / 66(19);514–515 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6619a7.htm?s_cid=mm6619a7_e

Chowdhary A, Sharma C, Meis J. Candida auris: A rapidly emerging cause of hospital-acquired multidrug-resistant fungal infections globally. PLOS Pathogens  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006290 May 18, 2017

The decreasing importance of the Impact Factor

Earlier today, ARIC’s (www.aricjournal.com) publisher (BioMed Central) signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

Eighteen years ago, when the start of open access changed the world of scientific publishing and distribution of research, the “new” open access journals continued to rely on a “quality measure” of their journals that is in place since 1975; the Impact Factor (IF). A measure based on the number of citations over the number of citable articles.

Many academic institutions judge(d) the academic merit of their researchers by IF points gathered, rather than the quality of their work. Consequently, researchers select a journal for their submission by the IF.  Still, as BMC stated in todays announcement: “over-reliance on the IF has never felt right to us. No one metric should be the be-all-and-end-all”.  Therefore, many journals including ARIC, include Altmetrics on their articles, based on downloads, Twitter, blog posts and other (social) media use. By the way, Preeti Malani explained Altimetrics nicely in the meet-the-expert session at ECCMID we gave together.  Other metric scores are presently implemented by Elsevier.

BMC wants to go further by signing the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment  and thereby pledging to “greatly reduce emphasis on the journal Impact Factor as a promotional tool by presenting the metric in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics”.  For all those still relying on IF scores for their academic career, don’t worry, BMC will not entirely cease promoting the IF, but look forward to see more and new metric scores.

 

Can we halve Gram-negative BSIs by 50% by 2021? The crowd say “No”

Most of those casting their vote supported Martin’s (somewhat pessimistic) view that we can’t halve Gram-negative BSI by 2021 (see the figure, below).  Let me first give you my own, unspoiled opinion (written before the results of this survey were known).  I was intending to vote for option 3 (the English can’t, the Dutch might) but I am not even sure of that; actually, I believe that neither the English nor the Dutch can.

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