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Duodenoscope-Related Outbreak of a Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Identified Using Advanced Molecular Diagnostics.

Background: Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infections are increasingly prevalent in North American hospitals. We describe an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae containing the blaOXA-232 gene transmitted by contaminated duodenoscopes during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures.

Methods: An outbreak investigation was performed when 9 patients with blaOXA-232 carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infections were identified at a tertiary care hospital. The investigation included 2 case-control studies, review of duodenoscope reprocessing procedures, and culture of devices. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacieae (CRE) isolates were evaluated with polymerase chain reaction analysis for carbapenemase genes, and isolates with the blaOXA-232 gene were subjected to whole-genome sequencing and chromosome single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis. On recognition of ERCP as a key risk factor for infection, targeted patient notification and CRE screening cultures were performed.

Results: Molecular testing ultimately identified 17 patients with blaOxa-232 carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates, including 9 with infections, 7 asymptomatic carriers who had undergone ERCP, and 1 additional patient who had been hospitalized in India and was probably the initial carrier. Two case-control studies established a point-source outbreak associated with 2 specific duodenoscopes. A field investigation of the use, reprocessing, and storage of deuodenoscopes did not identify deviations from US Food and Drug Administration or manufacturer recommendations for reprocessing.

Conclusions: This outbreak demonstrated the previously underappreciated potential for duodenoscopes to transmit disease, even after undergoing high-level disinfection according to manufacturers' guidelines.

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