Infections and antimicrobial resistance in long term care facilities: a national prevalence study

M L Moro, E Ricchizzi, F Morsillo, M Marchi, V Puro, C M Zotti, R Prato, G Privitera, A Poli, I Mura, U Fedeli
Annali di Igiene: Medicina Preventiva e di Comunità 2013, 25 (2): 109-18

BACKGROUND: A point prevalence survey (PPS) was conducted in Italy in 2010, as part of the first European PPS in Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs), conducted within the HALT Project.

METHODS: The PPS was aimed at estimating the prevalence of infections, antimicrobial resistance, and antibiotic use and to assess the status of infections control programs in this setting.

RESULTS: Ninety two LTCFs, located in 11 different Italian regions, participated to the study: 9391 residents were enrolled, 9285 of whom were eligible according to the study criteria. The prevalence of residents with signs/symptoms of infection was 6.5% (606 residents); 438 residents were on antimicrobial treatment (4.7%) and 526 had signs/symptoms (5.7%) but in 324 residents only (3.5/100 residents) the infection satisfied the modified McGeer criteria and was considered confirmed. The most frequent infection site was the respiratory tract (1.27/100 residents). Mostly of the antibiotics were prescribed for respiratory tract infections (42.8% of the antibiotics) and for urinary tract infections (26.6%). The most frequently prescribed classes were quinolones, followed by penicillin plus beta-lactamase inhibitor and 3rd generation cephalosporins. Few infection had a microbiological confirmation, but among the 143 isolated microorganisms 24% were multidrug resistant.

CONCLUSIONS: The burden of infections and antimicrobial resistance in LTCFs is significant and infection control and surveillance program are urgently needed.

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