The interface between COVID-19 and bacterial healthcare-associated infections

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2021 Jun 7:S1198-743X(21)00297-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2021.06.001. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: A wide range of bacterial infections occur in COVID-19 patients, particularly, in those with severe coronaviral disease. Some of these are community acquired co-infections.

OBJECTIVE: To review recent data which indicate the occurrence of hospital-onset bacterial infections, including with antibiotic-resistant isolates, in COVID-19 patients.

SOURCES: Using PubMed, the literature was searched using terms including: "COVID-19"; "SARS-CoV-2"; "bacterial infection"; "healthcare-associated infection"; "antibiotic resistance"; "antimicrobial resistance"; "multi-drug resistance"; "Streptococcus"; "Staphylococcus"; "Pseudomonas"; "Escherichia"; "Klebsiella"; "Enterococcus"; "Acinetobacter"; "Haemophilus"; "MRSA"; "VRE"; "ESBL"; "NDM-CRE"; "CR-Ab"; "VRSA"; "MDR".

CONTENT: There is a growing number of reports of bacterial infections acquired by patients with severe COVID-19 after hospital admission. Antibiotic-resistant pathogens found to cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in COVID-19 patients include Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), New Delhi Metallo-β-lactamase-producing Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacterales (NDM-CRE), Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CR-Ab), Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE). COVID-19 has impacted bacterial HAIs in a number of ways with an increase in the incidence of NDM-CRE and CR-Ab reported at some hospital sites compared to before the pandemic. Recommended guidelines for antimicrobial stewardship in COVID-19 patient treatment are discussed regarding minimisation of empiric broad-spectrum antibiotic use. Other studies have reported a decrease in MRSA and VRE cases that has been attributed to enhanced infection prevention and control (IPC) practices introduced to minimise intra-hospital spread of COVID-19.

IMPLICATIONS: Poorer outcomes have been observed in hospitalised COVID-19 patients with an antibiotic-resistant infection. While heightened IPC measures have been accompanied by a reduction in some HAIs at specific sites, in other situations, COVID-19 has been associated with an increase in bacterial HAI incidence. Further research is needed to define the cost-benefit relationship of maintaining COVID-19-related IPC protocols beyond the pandemic to reduce the burden of HAIs. In addition, the longer-term impact of high usage of certain broad-spectrum antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic requires evaluation.

PMID:34111586 | PMC:PMC8182977 | DOI:10.1016/j.cmi.2021.06.001

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