Hand-washing, a clean environment, appropriate infection barriers and early identification of patients at high risk of colonization with a transmissible microorganism remain the essential measures to prevent and control infection.
A review of hospital infection control strategies in CMAJ
looks at the most effective methods and the supporting evidence.
Risk factors associated with colonization of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms include increasing age of patient and severity of disease, increasing length of hospital stay, admission to an intensive care unit and proximity to patients carrying an antimicrobial-resistant organism. Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and/or prolonged use of antibiotics are also risk factors.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA), Clostridium difficile
(C.difficile) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci
are the most common antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. Resistance is more prevalent in hospital-acquired infections compared to community-acquired infections.