Effective stewardship: less antibiotic use and more hand hygiene

Rossana Rosa (bio below) writes a guest post, reflecting on this recent review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes…

The first reports on the effects of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmess date back to the mid-90s, and the interest in them has taken off in the past decade.

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A health economist’s guide to the AMS galaxy

Guest blogger Nikki Naylor (bio below) has written this post about a recent review on the cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship…

I’ll start this blog post off with a promise – I promise not to use any equations or unnecessarily complex terms that just describe logical concepts (something us economists do like to do on occasion). In return, I hope that you will see past the standard and not-to-exhilarating conclusion of “more evidence is needed” and see some of the more useful messages that sit within this recent review that we have published.

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CPE screening Q&A: the who, when, and how

I gave a talk yesterday as part of a PHE London event on the whys and wherefores of screening for MDROs – my talk was focussed on CPE, and you can download my slides here: “CPE: seek and ye shall find”. I thought a quick Q&A would be the best way to summarise the content.

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Need to save some money? Then universal admission screening for CPE is for you!

Many guidelines now recommend screening some patients on admission for carriage of CPE. However, very few cost-effectiveness analyses have been performed. A Canadian group have just published a modelling study with a tantalising conclusion: universal admission screening for CPE is likely to be cost-effective, and may even be cost-saving!

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Reflections from FIS/HIS 2016: Cauliflower, Clostridium, cash, and Candida

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A very enjoyable few days in Edinburgh this week for the Federation of Infection Societies / Healthcare Infections Society (FIS/HIS) meeting. Some reflections follow…

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Reconsidering the burden of CRE screening

 

swabs

Shortly after the PHE Toolkit was published, I blogged some crude sums to size the burden of CRE admission screening a la Toolkit. I’m pleased to report that colleagues at Imperial have done a much better job of this, published in a letter in the Journal of Infection. The study provides some evidence that the recommendation in the PHE CRE Toolkit to perform pre-emptive isolation of suspected carriers whilst obtaining three negative screens is simply not feasible. The team then compare an alternate strategy – of applying the Tookit triggers to admissions to high risk specialties only (intensive care, nephrology, cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery and oncology).

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CRE diagnosis: current status

I had the opportunity to ask the audience how they were detecting CRE in their diagnostic clinical labs during a talk last week. It was an audience of around 50 laboratory and clinical folk, mainly from the UK but a few from continental Europe. And here’s what I found:

CRE diagnosis which method

I was a little surprised that more labs have switched to using chromogeneic agar plates than use non-chorogeneic agar plates. In the case of our lab in London, we are currently using non-chromogenic media for clinical samples, but in the process of evaluating chromogenic media. Although the purchase costs of chromogenic media are higher, they are more sensitive and substantially reduce the amount of time required to confirm a negative or positive culture, so I suspect they actually work out cheaper when you factor in labour costs.

I was not surprised that so few labs are using PCR. The costs are considerably higher but turnaround time is faster and they are more sensitive. There are now a number of PCRs on the market for the detect of CRE direct from rectal swabs (e.g. Checkpoints and Cepheid). We are currently in the process of evaluating the Checkpoints assay and after sharing our preliminary data, this was the feeling in the room about using PCR to detect CRE:

CRE diagnosis_PCR

I think I’ll leave it there for now…