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J Urol. 2011 Jan;185(1):144-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.08.093. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

An outbreak of achromobacter xylosoxidans associated with ultrasound gel used during transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.



We describe an outbreak of Achromobacter xylosoxidans after transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy at a urology unit at a tertiary care center as well as clinical and microbiological investigation, and intervention.


In September 2008, several days after undergoing transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy, 4 patients were hospitalized with fever. We reviewed the procedure and infection control practices in the urology service. Environmental cultures were obtained from equipment and materials used for the procedure. Isolates were identified by routine laboratory procedures with molecular confirmation and characterized by pulsed field gel electrophoresis.


A. xylosoxidans was isolated from the urine of 2 patients, of whom 1 also had a positive blood culture. Review of transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy revealed that the lubricant gel used in the procedure, which the biopsy needle passes through, was held in a plastic container that was repeatedly refilled from a large bag. A. xylosoxidans was isolated from this container. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis showed that the isolates obtained from patients and the gel were identical.


Contaminated lubricant gel was the cause of this outbreak. The practice of repeatedly refilling gel containers with nonsterile gel was replaced by the use of individual sterile gel sachets in each patient. No further cases occurred. During an invasive procedure involving a sterile body site, such as transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy, using sterile gel is essential. Our experience emphasizes the crucial need to review all invasive procedures from an infection control perspective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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