Contaminated 2% aqueous chlorhexidine antiseptic linked to infection outbreak

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An outbreak of Serratia marcescens infections outbreak is described, as well as the epidemiological study that linked the outbreak to the use of 2% aqueous chlorhexidine antiseptic” de Frutos et al (2016).

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: An outbreak of Serratia marcescens infections outbreak is described, as well as the epidemiological study that linked the outbreak to the use of 2% aqueous chlorhexidine antiseptic.

METHOD: In late November 2014 an increasing incidence of S. marcescens isolates was detected in patients treated in the emergency department. It was considered a possible outbreak, and an epidemiological investigation was started.

RESULT: S. marcescens was isolated in 23 samples from 16 patients and in all new bottles of two lots of 2% aqueous chlorhexidine. The contaminated disinfectant was withdrawn, and the Spanish Drugs Agency was alerted (COS 2/2014). The epidemiological study showed that strains isolated from clinical samples and from chlorhexidine belonged to the same clone. No further isolates were obtained once the disinfectant was withdrawn.

CONCLUSION: The suspicion of an outbreak and the epidemiological study were essential to control the incidence.

Reference:

de Frutos, M., López-Urrutia, L., Domínguez-Gil, M., Arias, M., Muñoz-Bellido, J.L., Eiros, J.M. and Ramos, C. (2016) Serratia marcescens outbreak due to contaminated 2% aqueous chlorhexidine. Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica. August 2nd. [Epub ahead of print]. [Article in Spanish].

doi: 10.1016/j.eimc.2016.06.016

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