Jane D. Siegel, md; Emily Rhinehart, rn mph cic; Marguerite Jackson, PhD; Linda Chiarello, rn ms; the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee




НазваниеJane D. Siegel, md; Emily Rhinehart, rn mph cic; Marguerite Jackson, PhD; Linda Chiarello, rn ms; the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee
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Part I: Review of Scientific Data Regarding Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings

I.A. Evolution of the 2007 Document

The Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings 2007 builds upon a series of isolation and infection prevention documents promulgated since 1970. These previous documents are summarized and referenced in Table 1 and in Part I of the 1996 Guideline for Isolation Precautions in Hospitals 1. Objectives and methods The objectives of this guideline are to 1) provide infection control recommendations for all components of the healthcare delivery system, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory care, home care and hospice; 2) reaffirm Standard Precautions as the foundation for preventing transmission during patient care in all healthcare settings; 3) reaffirm the importance of implementing Transmission-Based Precautions based on the clinical presentation or syndrome and likely pathogens until the infectious etiology has been determined (Table 2); and 4) provide epidemiologically sound and, whenever possible, evidence-based recommendations. This guideline is designed for use by individuals who are charged with administering infection control programs in hospitals and other healthcare settings. The information also will be useful for other healthcare personnel, healthcare administrators, and anyone needing information about infection control measures to prevent transmission of infectious agents. Commonly used abbreviations are provided on page 11 and terms used in the guideline are defined in the Glossary (page 137). Med-line and Pub Med were used to search for relevant studies published in English, focusing on those published since 1996. Much of the evidence cited for preventing transmission of infectious agents in healthcare settings is derived from studies that used “quasi-experimental designs”, also referred to as nonrandomized, pre- post-intervention study designs 2. Although these types of studies can provide valuable information regarding the effectiveness of various interventions, several factors decrease the certainty of attributing improved outcome to a specific intervention. These include: difficulties in controlling for important confounding variables; the use of multiple interventions during an outbreak; and results that are explained by the statistical principle of regression to the mean, (e.g., improvement over time without any intervention) 3. Observational studies remain relevant and have been used to evaluate infection control interventions 4, 5. The quality of studies, consistency of results and correlation with results from randomized, controlled trials when available were considered during the literature review and assignment of evidence-based categories (See Part IV: Recommendations) to the recommendations in this guideline. Several authors have summarized properties to consider when evaluating studies for the purpose of determining if the results should change practice or in designing new studies 2, 6, 7.

Changes or clarifications in terminology This guideline contains four

changes in terminology from the 1996 guideline: . The term nosocomial infection is retained to refer only to infections acquired in hospitals. The term healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is used to refer to infections associated with healthcare delivery in any setting (e.g., hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory settings, home care). This term reflects the inability to determine with certainty where the pathogen is acquired since patients may be colonized with or exposed to potential pathogens outside of the healthcare setting, before receiving health care, or may develop infections caused by those pathogens when exposed to the conditions associated with delivery of healthcare. Additionally, patients frequently move among the various settings within a healthcare system 8. . A new addition to the practice recommendations for Standard Precautions is Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette. While Standard Precautions generally apply to the recommended practices of healthcare personnel during patient care, Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette applies broadly to all persons who enter a healthcare setting, including healthcare personnel, patients and visitors. These recommendations evolved from observations during the SARS epidemic that failure to implement basic source control measures with patients, visitors, and healthcare personnel with signs and symptoms of respiratory tract infection may have contributed to SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) transmission. This concept has been incorporated into CDC planning documents for SARS and pandemic influenza 9, 10. . The term “Airborne Precautions” has been supplemented with the term “Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR)” for consistency with the Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities 11, the Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings 200512 and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) guidelines for design and construction of hospitals, 2006

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. A set of prevention measures termed Protective Environment has been added to the precautions used to prevent HAIs. These measures, which have been defined in other guidelines , consist of engineering and design interventions that decrease the risk of exposure to environmental fungi for severely immunocompromised allogeneic hematiopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients during their highest risk phase, usually the first 100 days post transplant, or longer in the presence of graft-versus-host disease 11, 13-15. Recommendations for a Protective Environment apply only to acute care hospitals that provide care to HSCT patients.

Scope This guideline, like its predecessors, focuses primarily on interactions between patients and healthcare providers. The Guidelines for the Prevention of MDRO Infection were published separately in November 2006, and are available online at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/index.html. Several other HICPAC guidelines to prevent transmission of infectious agents associated with healthcare delivery are cited; e.g., Guideline for Hand Hygiene, Guideline for Environmental Infection Control, Guideline for Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia, and Guideline for Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel 11, 14, 16, 17. In combination, these provide comprehensive guidance on the primary infection control measures for ensuring a safe environment for patients and healthcare personnel.

This guideline does not discuss in detail specialized infection control issues in defined populations that are addressed elsewhere, (e.g., Recommendations for Preventing Transmission of Infections among Chronic Hemodialysis Patients , Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Facilities 2005, Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings and Infection Control Recommendations for Patients with Cystic Fibrosis 12, 18-20. An exception has been made by including abbreviated guidance for a Protective Environment used for allogeneic HSCT recipients because components of the Protective Environment have been more completely defined since publication of the Guidelines for Preventing Opportunistic Infections Among HSCT Recipients in 2000 and the Guideline for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities 11, 15.

I.B. Rationale for Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions in healthcare settings

Transmission of infectious agents within a healthcare setting requires three elements: a source (or reservoir) of infectious agents, a susceptible host with a portal of entry receptive to the agent, and a mode of transmission for the agent. This section describes the interrelationship of these elements in the epidemiology of HAIs.

I.B.1. Sources of infectious agents Infectious agents transmitted during healthcare derive primarily from human sources but inanimate environmental sources also are implicated in transmission. Human reservoirs include patients 20-28, healthcare personnel 29-35 17, 36-39, and household members and other visitors 40-45. Such source individuals may have active infections, may be in the asymptomatic and/or incubation period of an infectious disease, or may be transiently or chronically colonized with pathogenic microorganisms, particularly in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The endogenous flora of patients (e.g., bacteria residing in the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract) also are the source of HAIs 46-54.

I.B.2. Susceptible hosts Infection is the result of a complex interrelationship between a potential host and an infectious agent. Most of the factors that influence infection and the occurrence and severity of disease are related to the host. However, characteristics of the host-agent interaction as it relates to pathogenicity, virulence and antigenicity are also important, as are the infectious dose, mechanisms of disease production and route of exposure 55. There is a spectrum of possible outcomes following exposure to an infectious agent. Some persons exposed to pathogenic microorganisms never develop symptomatic disease while others become severely ill and even die. Some individuals are prone to becoming transiently or permanently colonized but remain asymptomatic. Still others progress from colonization to symptomatic disease either immediately following exposure, or after a period of asymptomatic colonization. The immune state at the time of exposure to an infectious agent, interaction between pathogens, and virulence factors intrinsic to the agent are important predictors of an individuals’ outcome. Host factors such as extremes of age and underlying disease (e.g. diabetes 56, 57), human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome [HIV/AIDS] 58, 59, malignancy, and transplants 18, 60, 61 can increase susceptibility to infection as do a variety of medications that alter the normal flora (e.g., antimicrobial agents, gastric acid suppressants, corticosteroids, antirejection drugs, antineoplastic agents, and immunosuppressive drugs). Surgical procedures and radiation therapy impair defenses of the skin and other involved organ systems. Indwelling devices such as urinary catheters, endotracheal tubes, central venous and arterial catheters 62­64 and synthetic implants facilitate development of HAIs by allowing potential pathogens to bypass local defenses that would ordinarily impede their invasion and by providing surfaces for development of bioflms that may facilitate adherence of microorganisms and protect from antimicrobial activity 65. Some infections associated with invasive procedures result from transmission within the healthcare facility; others arise from the patient’s endogenous flora 46-50. High-risk patient populations with noteworthy risk factors for infection are discussed further in Sections I.D, I.E., and I.F.

I.B.3. Modes of transmission Several classes of pathogens can cause infection, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and prions. The modes of transmission vary by type of organism and some infectious agents may be transmitted by more than one route: some are transmitted primarily by direct or indirect contact, (e.g., Herpes simplex virus [HSV], respiratory syncytial virus, Staphylococcus aureus), others by the droplet, (e.g., influenza virus, B. pertussis) or airborne routes (e.g., M. tuberculosis). Other infectious agents, such as bloodborne viruses (e.g., hepatitis B and C viruses [HBV, HCV] and HIV are transmitted rarely in healthcare settings, via percutaneous or mucous membrane exposure. Importantly, not all infectious agents are transmitted from person to person. These are distinguished in Appendix A. The three principal routes of transmission are summarized below.

I.B.3.a. Contact transmission The most common mode of transmission, contact transmission is divided into two subgroups: direct contact and indirect contact.

I.B.3.a.i. Direct contact transmission Direct transmission occurs when microorganisms are transferred from one infected person to another person without a contaminated intermediate object or person. Opportunities for direct contact transmission between patients and healthcare personnel have been summarized in the Guideline for Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel, 1998 17 and include:

  1. blood or other blood-containing body fluids from a patient directly enters a caregiver’s body through contact with a mucous membrane 66 or breaks (i.e., cuts, abrasions) in the skin 67.

  2. mites from a scabies-infested patient are transferred to the skin of a caregiver while he/she is having direct ungloved contact with the patient’s skin 68, 69.

  3. a healthcare provider develops herpetic whitlow on a finger after contact with HSV when providing oral care to a patient without using gloves or HSV is transmitted to a patient from a herpetic whitlow on an ungloved hand of a healthcare worker (HCW) 70, 71.



. Indirect contact transmission Indirect transmission involves the transfer of an infectious agent through a contaminated intermediate object or person. In the absence of a point-source outbreak, it is difficult to determine how indirect transmission occurs. However, extensive evidence cited in the Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings suggests that the contaminated hands of healthcare personnel are important contributors to indirect contact transmission 16. Examples of opportunities for indirect contact transmission include:

  1. Hands of healthcare personnel may transmit pathogens after touching an infected or colonized body site on one patient or a contaminated inanimate object, if hand hygiene is not performed before touching another 72, 73.

  2. Patient-care devices (e.g., electronic thermometers, glucose monitoring devices) may transmit pathogens if devices contaminated with blood or body fluids are shared between patients without cleaning and disinfecting between patients74 75-77 .

  3. Shared toys may become a vehicle for transmitting respiratory viruses (e.g., respiratory syncytial virus 24, 78, 79 or pathogenic bacteria (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa 80) among pediatric patients.

  4. Instruments that are inadequately cleaned between patients before disinfection or sterilization (e.g., endoscopes or surgical instruments) 81-85 or that have manufacturing defects that interfere with the effectiveness of reprocessing 86, 87 may transmit bacterial and viral pathogens.



Clothing, uniforms, laboratory coats, or isolation gowns used as personal protective equipment (PPE), may become contaminated with potential pathogens after care of a patient colonized or infected with an infectious agent, (e.g., MRSA

, VRE 89, and C. difficile 90. Although contaminated clothing has not been

implicated directly in transmission, the potential exists for soiled garments to transfer infectious agents to successive patients.

I.B.3.b. Droplet transmission Droplet transmission is, technically, a form of contact transmission, and some infectious agents transmitted by the droplet route also may be transmitted by the direct and indirect contact routes. However, in contrast to contact transmission, respiratory droplets carrying infectious pathogens transmit infection when they travel directly from the respiratory tract of the infectious individual to susceptible mucosal surfaces of the recipient, generally over short distances, necessitating facial protection. Respiratory droplets are generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks 91, 92 or during procedures such as suctioning, endotracheal intubation, 93-96, cough induction by chest physiotherapy 97 and cardiopulmonary resuscitation 98, 99. Evidence for droplet transmission comes from epidemiological studies of disease outbreaks 100-103, experimental studies 104 and from information on aerosol dynamics 91, 105. Studies have shown that the nasal mucosa, conjunctivae and less frequently the mouth, are susceptible portals of entry for respiratory viruses

106. The maximum distance for droplet transmission is currently unresolved, although pathogens transmitted by the droplet route have not been transmitted through the air over long distances, in contrast to the airborne pathogens discussed below. Historically, the area of defined risk has been a distance of <3 feet around the patient and is based on epidemiologic and simulated studies of selected infections 103, 104. Using this distance for donning masks has been effective in preventing transmission of infectious agents via the droplet route. However, experimental studies with smallpox 107, 108 and investigations during the global SARS outbreaks of 2003 101 suggest that droplets from patients with these two infections could reach persons located 6 feet or more from their source. It is likely that the distance droplets travel depends on the velocity and mechanism by which respiratory droplets are propelled from the source, the density of respiratory secretions, environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, and the ability of the pathogen to maintain infectivity over that distance 105. Thus, a distance of <3 feet around the patient is best viewed as an example of what is meant by “a short distance from a patient” and should not be used as the sole criterion for deciding when a mask should be donned to protect from droplet exposure. Based on these considerations, it may be prudent to don a mask when within 6 to 10 feet of the patient or upon entry into the patient’s room, especially when exposure to emerging or highly virulent pathogens is likely. More studies are needed to improve understanding of droplet transmission under various circumstances.

Droplet size is another variable under discussion. Droplets traditionally have been defined as being >5 µm in size. Droplet nuclei, particles arising from desiccation of suspended droplets, have been associated with airborne transmission and defined as <5 µm in size 105 , a reflection of the pathogenesis of pulmonary tuberculosis which is not generalizeable to other organisms. Observations of particle dynamics have demonstrated that a range of droplet sizes, including those with diameters of 30µm or greater, can remain suspended in the air 109 . The behavior of droplets and droplet nuclei affect recommendations for preventing transmission. Whereas fine airborne particles containing pathogens that are able to remain infective may transmit infections over long distances, requiring AIIR to prevent its dissemination within a facility; organisms transmitted by the droplet route do not remain infective over long distances, and therefore do not require special air handling and ventilation. Examples of infectious agents that are transmitted via the droplet route include Bordetella pertussis 110 , influenza virus 23, adenovirus 111 , rhinovirus 104, Mycoplasma pneumoniae 112, SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) 21, 96, 113, group A streptococcus 114, and Neisseria meningitidis 95, 103, 115. Although respiratory syncytial virus may be transmitted by the droplet route, direct contact with infected respiratory secretions is the most important determinant of transmission and consistent adherence to Standard plus Contact Precautions prevents transmission in healthcare settings 24, 116, 117.

Rarely, pathogens that are not transmitted routinely by the droplet route are dispersed into the air over short distances. For example, although S. aureus is transmitted most frequently by the contact route, viral upper respiratory tract infection has been associated with increased dispersal of S. aureus from the nose into the air for a distance of 4 feet under both outbreak and experimental conditions and is known as the “cloud baby” and “cloud adult” phenomenon118-120 .
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