Effect of Detecting and Isolating Clostridium difficile Carriers at Hospital Admission on the Incidence of C difficile Infections: A Quasi-Experimental Controlled Study.
IMPORTANCE: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a major cause of health care-associated infection worldwide, and new preventive strategies are urgently needed. Current control measures do not target asymptomatic carriers, despite evidence that they can contaminate the hospital environment and health care workers' hands and potentially transmit C difficile to other patients. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of detecting and isolating C difficile asymptomatic carriers at hospital admission on the incidence of health care-associated CDI (HA-CDI). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We performed a controlled quasi-experimental study between November 19, 2013, and March 7, 2015, in a Canadian acute care facility. Admission screening was conducted by detecting the tcdB gene by polymerase chain reaction on a rectal swab. Carriers were placed under contact isolation precautions during their hospitalization. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Changes in HA-CDI incidence level and trend during the intervention period (17 periods of 4 weeks each) were compared with the preintervention control period (120 periods of 4 weeks each) by segmented regression analysis and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) modeling. Concomitant changes in the aggregated HA-CDI incidence at other institutions in Quebec City, Quebec (n = 6) and the province of Quebec (n = 94) were also examined. RESULTS: Overall, 7599 of 8218 (92.5%) eligible patients were screened, among whom 368 (4.8%) were identified as C difficile carriers. During the intervention, 38 patients (3.0 per 10000 patient-days) developed an HA-CDI compared with 416 patients (6.9 per 10000 patient-days) during the preintervention control period (P
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