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Scand J Infect Dis. 2012 Sep;44(9):641-9. doi: 10.3109/00365548.2012.671956. Epub 2012 Jun 10.

Prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in residents of nursing homes in a Swedish municipality: healthcare staff knowledge of and adherence to principles of basic infection prevention.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Sophiahemmet University College, Stockholm, Sweden.

Erratum in

  • Scand J Infect Dis. 2012 Sep;44(9):649.



The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae in residents living in Swedish nursing homes, and if carriage of resistant bacteria was related to antibiotic treatment, other risk factors, and/or staff's adherence to guidelines for infection control.


Five hundred and sixty residents from 9 nursing homes on a total of 67 wards participated in the study and had microbiological cultures taken. Faecal samples were obtained from 495 residents (88.3%). ESBL-positive residents were followed for 2 y with repeated sampling. Two hundred and ninety-six [corrected] staff members were interviewed and observed regarding familiarity with and adherence to infection control guidelines.


No resident was positive for MRSA or VRE. Fifteen of the residents were found to be ESBL-positive. Residents living on wards where ESBL-positive residents were identified had been treated more frequently with antibiotics (42%), compared to those on wards where no residents with ESBL were found (28%; p = 0.02). ESBL-positive Escherichia coli isolates from residents living in adjacent rooms were found to be closely genetically related when analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, indicating transmission between residents. Staff adherence to infection control guidelines sometimes revealed shortcomings, but no significant differences regarding compliance to the guidelines could be found.


Carriage of resistant bacteria was uncommon and only ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae were identified in Swedish nursing homes. Usage of antibiotics was higher on wards where ESBL-positive residents were detected and there was an indication of transmission of ESBL between residents.

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