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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2001 Oct;7(10):532-42.

A European perspective on nosocomial urinary tract infections II. Report on incidence, clinical characteristics and outcome (ESGNI-004 study). European Study Group on Nosocomial Infection.

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Servicio de Microbiología, Clínica y Enfermedades Infecciosas-VIH, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.



To estimate the incidence of nosocomially acquired urinary tract infections (NAUTI) in Europe and provide information on the clinical characteristics, underlying conditions, etiology, management and outcome of patients.


We collected clinical information from NAUTI patients with a microbiology report on the named study day.


A total of 141 hospitals from 25 European countries participated in the study. Written institutional bladder catheter guidelines were in place in 90.3% of EU hospitals and 55% of non-EU hospitals (P < 0.05). The total number of new NAUTI episodes on the day of the study was 298, representing an incidence of 3.55 episodes/1000 patient-days and an estimated prevalence of 10.65/1000. The five most commonly isolated micro-organisms were Escherichia coli, Enterococcus sp., Candida sp., Klebsiella sp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Patients from non-EU countries were younger, with more severe underlying diseases with a higher incidence of obstructive uropathy/lithiasis. Overall, 22.8% of patients had no 'classic' UTI-predisposing factors. Catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) was present in 187 patients (62.8%). A closed drainage system was used in only 78.5% of catheterised patients. The indication for bladder catheterisation was not considered adequate in 7.6% of cases and continuation of bladder catheterisation was considered unnecessary in 31.3%. Opening of the closed drainage system was the most frequent major error in catheter management (16.8%). Antimicrobial treatment was not considered adequate in 19.8% of all cases.


The incidence of NAUTI in a large European population is 3.55/1000 patient-days. There is clearly room for improvement in the area of bladder catheterisation, catheter care and medical management of NAUTI. We recommend that European authorities draw up and implement practical and specific guidelines to reduce the incidence of this infection.

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