A Search Strategy for Detecting Duodenoscope-Associated Infections: A Retrospective Observational Study

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Background: Duodenoscope-associated infections (DAIs) are exogenous infections resulting from the use of contaminated duodenoscopes. Though numerous outbreaks of DAI have involved multidrug-resistant micro-organisms (MDROs), outbreaks involving non-MDROs are also likely to occur. Detection challenges arise as these infections often resolve before culture or because causative strains are not retained for comparison with duodenoscope strains. Aim: To identify and analyse DAIs spanning a seven-year period in a tertiary care medical centre. Methods: This was a retrospective observational study. Duodenoscope cultures positive for gastrointestinal flora between March 2015 and September 2022 were paired with duodenoscope usage data to identify patients exposed to contaminated duodenoscopes. Analysis encompassed patients treated after a positive duodenoscope culture and those treated within the interval from a negative to a positive culture. Patient identification numbers were cross-referenced with a clinical culture database to identify patients developing infections with matching micro-organisms within one year of their procedure. A ‘pair’ was established upon a species-level match between duodenoscope and patient cultures. Pairs were further analysed via antibiogram comparison, and by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to determine genetic relatedness. Findings: Sixty-eight pairs were identified; of these, 21 exhibited matching antibiograms which underwent WGS, uncovering two genetically closely related pairs categorized as DAIs. Infection onset occurred up to two months post procedure. Both causative agents were non-MDROs. Conclusion: This study provides crucial insights into DAIs caused by non-MDROs and it highlights the challenge of DAI recognition in daily practice. Importantly, the delayed manifestation of the described DAIs suggests a current underestimation of DAI risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Early online date4 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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Copyright © 2024. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


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