Background/Objectives: We investigated whether behavioral precautions adopted during Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic also influenced the spreading and multidrug resistance (MDR) of ESKAPEEc (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii [AB], Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp and Escherichia Coli, [EC]) among Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. Subjects/Methods: We performed a single-center retrospective study in adult patients admitted to our COVID-19-free surgical ICU. Only patients staying in ICU for more than 48 hours were included. The ESKAPEEc infections recorded during the COVID-19 period (June 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021) and in the corresponding pre-pandemic period (June 1, 2019 - February 28, 2020) were compared. An interrupted time series analysis was performed to rule out possible confounders. Results: Overall, 173 patients in the COVID-19 period and 132 in the pre-COVID-19 period were investigated. The ESKAPEEc infections were documented in 23 (13.3%) and 35 (26.5%) patients in the pandemic and the pre-pandemic periods, respectively (p = 0.005). Demographics, diagnosis, comorbidities, type of surgery, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, length of mechanical ventilation, hospital and ICU length of stay, ICU death rate, and 28-day hospital mortality were similar in the two groups. In comparison with the pre-pandemic period, no AB was recorded during COVID-19 period, (p = 0.017), while extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing EC infections significantly decreased (p = 0.017). Overall, the ESKAPEEc isolates during pandemic less frequently exhibited multidrug-resistant (p = 0.014). Conclusions: These findings suggest that a robust adherence to hygiene measures together with human contact restrictions in a COVID-19 free ICU might also restrain the transmission of ESKAPEEc pathogens.
- hand hygiene
- health care-associated infections
- multidrug resistance
- personal protective equipment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry