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J Pediatr. 2013 Sep;163(3):672-9.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Prompt control of an outbreak caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in a neonatal intensive care unit.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9063, USA.



To assess the effectiveness of a set of multidisciplinary interventions aimed at limiting patient-to-patient transmission of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) during a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) outbreak, and to identify risk factors associated with ESBL-KP colonization and disease in this setting.


A 61-infant cohort present in the NICU during an outbreak of ESBL-KP from April 26, 2011, to May 16, 2011, was studied. Clinical characteristics were compared in infected/colonized infants and unaffected infants. A multidisciplinary team formulated an outbreak control plan that included (1) staff reeducation on recommended infection prevention measures; (2) auditing of hand hygiene and environmental services practices; (3) contact precautions; (4) cohorting of infants and staff; (5) alleviation of overcrowding; and (6) frequent NICU-wide screening cultures. Neither closure of the NICU nor culturing of health care personnel was instituted.


Eleven infants in this level III NICU were infected/colonized with ESBL-KP. The index case was an 18-day-old infant born at 25 weeks' gestation who developed septicemia from ESBL-KP. Two other infants in the same room developed sepsis from ESBL-KP within 48 hours; both expired. Implementation of various infection prevention strategies resulted in prompt control of the outbreak within 3 weeks. The ESBL-KP isolates presented a single clone that was distinct from ESBL-KP identified previously in other units. Being housed in the same room as the index infant was the only risk factor identified by logistic regression analysis (P = .002).


This outbreak of ESBL-KP affected 11 infants and was associated with 2 deaths. Prompt control with eradication of the infecting strain from the NICU was achieved with multidisciplinary interventions based on standard infection prevention practices.


ESBL; Extended-spectrum β-lactamase; HCP; Health care personnel; KP; Klebsiella pneumoniae; MDROs; Multidrug-resistant organisms; NICU; Neonatal intensive care unit; PMH; Parkland Memorial Hospital

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