A toolkit for the management of infection or colonization by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae in Italy: implementation and outcome of a European project
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Among European countries, prevalence rates of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) are particularly high in those bordering the Mediterranean. This is the case for Italy, with 26% of Escherichia coli displaying resistance to the 3rd generation cephalosporins in 2013. An ESBL-E toolkit designed to assist clinicians in managing patients harboring ESBL-E was favorably implemented in Southern France. In a context of lack of specific Italian recommendations, its extension to an adjacent region of Italy was made possible through a cross-border EU cooperation program. Italian infectious disease (ID) specialists, microbiologists, and community-based general practitioners from three districts in Liguria were offered a toolkit consisting in a warning system and detailed procedures for the management of patients harboring ESBL-E, including seeking advice from an ID specialist, and were trained during 52 video conferences by an experienced French team. Indications and trends in antimicrobial prescription were studied following implementation of the toolkit. Between November 2013 and November 2014, 476 patients were identified as harboring ESBL-E and expert advice was sought for 364 of these; all patients and/or their caregivers were advised on appropriate hygiene measures and 209/341 with documented management received antimicrobial treatment, while asymptomatic carriers (39%) were not prescribed antibiotics. The ESBL-E toolkit was well received by the healthcare staff. A specific, simple tool consisting in a care-bundle approach to manage ESBL-E carriers can restrict antimicrobial prescription to symptomatic patients while raising awareness among caregivers of the importance of seeking expert advice and implementing appropriate hygiene measures.
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