Sink traps may harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a study recently in the Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
The study’s researchers conducted a root-cause analysis to determine the source of a Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) outbreak at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv in Israel.
CPE outbreaks are mostly attributed to patient-to-patient transmission via healthcare workers.
The Sheba Medical Center intensive care unit (ICU), contains 16 single-bed, semi-closed rooms. A case was defined as a patient detected with pathogens 72 hours after admission, according to a report on the Cambridge Core website.
The hospital detected 32 cases — three fatal — of CPE among patients in the intensive care unit between January 2016 and May 2017. The same
bacteria strain was responsible for 30 cases.
In addition to routine strict infection control measures, efforts to contain the outbreak included various sink decontamination protocols. These eliminated the bacteria from the sink drains only temporarily. There was also educational outreach to the ICU team that lead to high adherence to sink-contamination prevention guidelines, the study said.
After the interventions, Sheba Medical Center did not find additional CPE cases for 12 months.