Healthcare-associated infections and antibiotic use in long-term care residents from two geographical regions in Switzerland

Journal Paper/Review - Aug 21, 2021


Héquet D, Petignat C, Schlegel M, Münzer T, Gardiol C, Qalla-Widmer L, Lemmenmeier E, Rettenmund G, Kessler S, Kohler P. Healthcare-associated infections and antibiotic use in long-term care residents from two geographical regions in Switzerland. J Hosp Infect 2021; 117:172-178.
Journal Paper/Review (English)
J Hosp Infect 2021; 117
Publication Date
Aug 21, 2021
Issn Electronic
Brief description/objective

The burden of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial use in Swiss long-term care facilities (LTCFs) is currently unknown. This study assessed the prevalence of HAIs and antibiotic use among LTCF residents in Switzerland.

A point-prevalence study was undertaken in LTCFs in eastern and western Switzerland from August to October 2019 according to the 'Healthcare-associated infections in long-term care facilities' (HALT) protocol. Characteristics of residents (age, sex, wounds, dementia, indwelling catheters) and institutions (specific factors, geographic region) were assessed. LTCF residents were screened for HAIs and current antibiotic treatment. Personal and institutional factors associated with HAIs were assessed.

In total, 1185 residents from 16 LTCFs (eight per geographic region) were screened for HAIs and antibiotic treatment. Median age was 87 years (interquartile range 79-91) and 71% were female. The prevalence of HAIs was 4.2% (west 4.3% vs east 4.2%; P=0.93), with mucocutaneous skin infections (36%) and respiratory tract infections (30%) being the most common. Independent risk factors for the presence of HAIs were presence of a chronic wound [odds ratio (OR) 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-5.0; P=0.02] and being immobile (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.0-3.3; P=0.04). Antibiotics were given to 2.9% of residents (west 3.9% vs east 1.8%; P=0.05) on the day of the survey. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were amoxicillin-clavulanic acid and quinolones.

The prevalence of HAIs in Swiss LTCFs is similar to that in other European countries, whereas antibiotic consumption is lower. Further point-prevalence surveys on a broader scale are recommended to improve understanding of the burden of HAIs and antibiotic consumption in this setting.