Screening patients at admission to Copenhagen hospitals for carriage of resistant bacteria after contact with healthcare systems abroad, 2016–2019

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Objectives: Patients having previous contact with healthcare systems abroad are routinely screened for resistant bacteria on admission to hospitals in Copenhagen. This study aimed to present carriage prevalence and geographical risk stratification, as well as phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of resistant isolates. Methods: This study included screening samples analysed at one department of clinical microbiology in Copenhagen from 2016–2019. Patients who had previous contact with healthcare systems abroad within 6 months were screened at admission for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPO). Isolates were characterised phenotypically and by whole-genome sequencing. The relative frequency of positive findings stratified by geographical regions correlated with relative frequency of Danish residents’ travel destinations. Results: Of 2849 screening sets included in the study, 103 (3.6%) were positive. A total of 120 resistant isolates were detected (36 MRSA, 31 VRE and 53 CPO). The carrier prevalence for MRSA was 1.3%, 1.1% for VRE and 1.5% for CPO. Southern and Western Asia were overrepresented travel destinations in positive screening sets (41%). For VRE, 40% were related to Southern Europe, which also represented 35% of travel destinations. Genotypic characterisation confirmed a heterogenous genomic background reflecting global distribution of resistant clones. Conclusions: Exposure targeted screening identified a substantial number of asymptomatic carriers of MRSA, VRE and CPO with heterogenous genetic backgrounds. Although some geographical regions were overrepresented, the complex epidemiology of the different pathogens did not allow a restriction of the screening strategy to certain geographical regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106452
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

    Research areas

  • Carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPO), International travellers, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Screening, Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE)

ID: 287630259