Predictors of use of infection control precautions for multiresistant gram-negative bacilli in Australian hospitals: Analysis of a national survey

Benjamin A. Rogers, Sally M. Havers, Tiffany M. Harris-Brown, David L. Paterson

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Introduction Despite the global expansion of extended spectrum β-lactamase-harboring Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), only limited research on the infection control management of patients with these organisms is available. Methods We present a national survey of infection control practices amongst adult acute-care hospitals in Australia, for ESBL-E, CRE, and the emerging threat of patients with overseas health care contact. Results In total, 97 health services responded, representing 9% of all eligible hospitals. The proportion of hospitals that reported use of contact precautions (CP) was 96% (93 out of 97) for ESBL-E, 81% (79 out of 97) for CRE, and 72% (48 out of 67) for patients transferred from an international hospital. For ESBL-E hospitals frequently employed risk-stratification to limit the use of CP (40 out of 97; 41%). On multivariate analysis predictors of a strategy to limit use of CP for ESBL-E were government funding (odds ratio, 4.8; P =.003) and a metropolitan location (odds ratio, 3.2; P =.014); predictors of any use of CP for CRE were location in an Australian state with a specific legislation on CRE (P =.030) and the presence of a written policy on CRE (P =.011). Conclusions Infection control management of multiresistant gram-negative bacilli varied considerably across the Australian hospitals surveyed. A lower rate of reported CP use for CRE than for ESBL-E was unexpected and indicates a vulnerability in some Australian hospitals. Multivariate analysis revealed various drivers influencing infection control practice in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-969
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial infection
  • Carbapenemase
  • Cephalosporin resistance
  • Patient isolation
  • β-lactamase

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