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  • Healthcare-Associated Infections

    Healthcare-Associated Infections

    Active surveillance is critical in reducing and preventing the spread of infection




Addressing Healthcare’s Biggest Challenge:

Multi Drug-Resistant Organisms (MDROs)

MDROs threaten modern medicine’s progress by making common infections fatal and dramatically increasing the risk of complications for many medical procedures such as surgery, transplants and chemotherapy.

To solve this problem a global call has been issued to develop new diagnostics that detect MDROs fast enough to make time-critical clinical decisions.


More than 2 million people in the U.S. acquire a serious antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection every year and at least 23,000 people die as a result.1

Quick surveillance answers for a successful prevention program

Surveillance programs have been a key factor to control the spread of drug-resistant organisms in hospitals. One of the goals of these programs is to identify patients that are asymptomatic carriers of drug-resistant bacteria so that infection prevention measures (e.g. isolation, contact precautions, decolonization) may be enacted to reduce the spread of high-risk organisms in healthcare settings and decrease infection rates.

Factors that impact program success include the speed and accuracy of the diagnostic system used. Evidence for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) surveillance programs indicates that those that use MRSA tests with a same-shift turnaround time and high sensitivity can lead to a dramatic reduction in infection rates.

Programs incorporating universal surveillance and same-shift MRSA testing have achieved more than a 50% reduction in MRSA infection rates in community-based multi-hospital systems.2,3 Similarly, in a multinational, multicentre study conducted in Europe and Israel, a combination of MRSA screening, contact precautions, and decolonization was associated with decreasing rates of MRSA clinical cultures and MRSA infections.4

The challenge now is to address the alarming rise of drug-resistance in gram-negative pathogens with the development of same-shift surveillance tests to promptly enact pre-emptive control measures to reduce their spread.

With Smarticles technology, fast, direct-from-patient-sample tests for critical MDROs such as MRSA and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) can be developed giving all hospitals the opportunity to implement effective surveillance programs.

  • Acronyms:


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013. [Accessed 7/30/2014].

2. Robicsek A et al. Universal Surveillance for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in 3 Affiliated Hospitals. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:409-418.

3. Peterson LR et al. Decennial Meeting on Nosocomial Infections, Atlanta, 2010

4. Lee AS, Cooper BS, Malhotra-Kumar S, et al. Comparison of strategies to reduce meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus rates in surgical patients: a controlled multicentre intervention trial. BMJ Open 2013;3:e003126.