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Pseudomonas aeruginosa intensive care unit outbreak: winnowing of transmissions with molecular and genomic typing

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Author(s)

Benjamin J. Parcell, Katarina Oravcova, Miguel Pinheiro, Matthew T. G. Holden, Gabby Phillips, Jane F. Turton, Stephen H. Gillespie

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Abstract

Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa healthcare outbreaks can be time consuming and difficult to investigate. Guidance does not specify which typing technique is most practical to base decisions on.

Aim: We explore the usefulness of whole genome sequencing (WGS) in the investigation of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak describing how it compares with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis.

Methods: Six patient isolates and six environmental samples from an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) positive for P. aeruginosa over two years underwent VNTR, PFGE and WGS.

Findings:  VNTR and PFGE were required to fully determine the potential source of infection and rule out others. WGS results unambiguously distinguished linked isolates giving greater assurance of the transmission route between wash hand basin (WHB) water and two patients supporting control measures employed.

Conclusion:  WGS provided detailed information without need for further typing. When allied to epidemiological information it can be used to understand outbreak situations rapidly and with certainty. Implementation of WGS in real-time would be a major advance in day-to-day practice. It could become a standard of care as it becomes more widespread due to its reproducibility and reduction in costs.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Volume98
Issue number3
Early online date8 Dec 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

    Research areas

  • Sequencing, Pseudomonas, Resistance, Outbreak, Water

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