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Elena-Carmina Drăgulescu, Mihaela Oprea, Cătălina Zorescu, Roxana Şerban and Irina Codiţă

Abstract

A prolonged outbreak of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HCAIs) evolved since December 2013, in a Newborns Unit from Hospital A, sited in the North-Eastern development region, Romania. A first cluster consisted of 19 cases, of which 18 infections in newborns and 1 labour infectious complication in a mother. Except for five cases declared and treated in the Neonatology Unit as hospital-acquired infections, the other cases were discharged and further required rehospitalisation and treatment.

Eight of these innitialy discharged cases were readmitted to the Pediatric Surgery Unit and two others to the Pediatrics Unit of Hospital B, while three others were readmitted to three hospitals: one to the Pediatrics Unit of Hospital C, and other two to Hospital A and Hospital D, respectively. The mother with the labour infectious complication was readmitted to the Gynecology Unit of the Hospital A.

A number of fifteen Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) strains isolated from the HCAI first episode and 8 strains from 7 HCWs were received by „Cantacuzino” Institute, Nosocomial Infections and Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory from the County Public Health Directorate, for confirmation and molecular typing.

After a first round of interventions for infection control, a second episode bursted in Hospital A and our laboratory received six other S. aureus isolates from newborns, hospital environment, and HCWs.

Public Health interventions based on epidemiologic data and molecular microbiology results were finally successful. The evolution of all cases was favorable.

An important factor favoring the outbreak was the moving of the Birth Unit of Hospital A to an innapropriate location for an 18-month interval, more than innitially estimated, in relation to rehabilitation of the ward.

We considered to report this episode taking into account the unusual evolution, the risk of multiresistant bacterial strains spreading, and multiple unwanted consequences caused by shortcomings in providing appropriate hygiene conditions.

Open access

Roxana I. Serban, Iuliana Radu and Irina Codita

Abstract

Introduction. Boutonneuse fever (BF) is an emerging infectious disease in Romania evolving in the southern part of the country, as revealed by the incidence rates registered in our previous epidemiological descriptive studies performed during last years. We aimed to evaluate the presence of Rickettsia conorii specific IgG antibodies in a population sample from the affected area. Methods. An ELISA serological survey was performed on 301 serum samples collected from the general population, living in an area most affected by BF, in southern Romania. One of the selection criteria was the absence of signs and symptoms of the disease during the seasonal development of BF. Data were processed in SPSS V.19 (indicators of central tendency, dispersion, frequency and benchmarking). Results. Serological results showed a general positivity rate of 25.2%, with the highest rate in the population group aged over 60 years, this age group accounting for 34.21 % of the whole sample (55.6% for Bucharest area and 63.16% for Tulcea district). Conclusions. By confirming the hypothesis based on our previous descriptive epidemiological studies that BF is fitting an endemic pattern in southern Romania, our study results strongly support the need to set up a national surveillance program, aiming at improving BF prevention, management and control in our country. To our knowledge, this is the first study on Rickettsia conorii specific IgG antibodies seroprevalence in Romania.

Open access

Ileana Luminita Coldea, Lavinia Zota, Cristiana Cerasella Dragomirescu, Brandusa Elena Lixandru, Elena Carmina Dragulescu, Marilena Sorokin and Irina Codita

Abstract

In March 2012, a food poisoning outbreak was reported in a Romanian county, with a total number of 30 children affected. The symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain), with onset within 1-2 hours after the ingestion of a particular food (milk), suggested a possible staphylococcal aetiology. An outbreak investigation was carried out, in accordance with the national surveillance methodology and 25 samples: stool (n=9), vomit (n=5), nasal swabs (n=9), and milk (n=2) were collected from the affected children, food handlers and suspected food. All isolated strains were sent to the Reference Centre for Staphylococci within the “Cantacuzino” National Institute of Research-Development for Microbiology and Immunology, Bucharest, Romania, for confirmation and further analysis. The aim of this study was to increase the reference laboratory capacity to confirm staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) outbreak by defining the molecular basis of toxicity of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) isolates and assessing their genetic relatedness. PCR methods have been used to detect 14 enterotoxin genes and the expression of some of these genes was proved by using a reverse transcription real-time PCR. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and Staphylococcus protein A coding gene sequence typing (spa typing) have been used to track the origin of the S. aureus contamination and to confirm the food poisoning outbreak.

Two enterotoxigenic S. aureus strains isolated from milk, twelve isolated from patients and two from food handlers were of the same spa- type (t902) and revealed an indistinguishable SmaI macrorestriction pattern after a PFGE analysis. All these strains harboured the same toxin genes profile, namely the enterotoxin gene cluster (egc), which strongly supports the evidence that the milk was the incriminated food vehicle of the outbreak and a food-handler was the most likely source of the staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) incident.