News Scan for Apr 02, 2019

Deadly Saudi MERS
Stewardship in French ICUs

MERS infects 2 more in Saudi Arabia, 1 fatally

Saudi Arabia today reported two more MERS-CoV cases, one of them fatal, according to a Ministry of Health (MOH) update to its epidemiologic week 14 report.

The fatal MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) case involves a 39-year-old man from Jazan in southwestern Saudi Arabia. An investigation found the source of the man's virus to be primary, meaning he wasn't likely exposed to another sick person.

The second patient is a 50-year-old man from the city of Rania in Taif region, located in the west central part of the country. The man's exposure is also listed as primary. Neither man had recent camel contact, the MOH said.

So far this year Saudi Arabia has reported 116 MERS-CoV cases, 57 of them linked to a large outbreak in Wadi ad-Dawasir, including many healthcare-related cases.
Apr 2 MOH report

In other Saudi MERS-CoV developments, the country's agriculture ministry reported an outbreak in camels that began on Mar 11 at a farm in An Nabhaniyah, located in central Saudi Arabia, according to a notification today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus was found in two of five susceptible camels.
Apr 2 OIE report


Survey finds French ICUs short on key stewardship elements

A nationwide survey has found that elements of antibiotic stewardship programs have been implemented in most French intensive care units (ICUs), but to varying degrees, French researchers reported yesterday in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

The cross-sectional online survey was sent to French ICU specialists in January 2018, and 113 out of 206 (55%) responded. Access to local epidemiology regarding bacterial resistance was reported in 84% of ICUs, but routine access to antibiotic prescribing guidelines and antibiotic consumption data—two essential elements of stewardship programs—were reported in only 54% and 65% of ICUs, respectively. In addition, only 46% reported limiting the duration of antibiotic therapy.

Other notable findings included 94% of ICUs reporting an antibiotic stewardship program leader, 62% and 59% of ICUs reporting the availability of molecular biology and mass spectrometry techniques for rapid identification of bacteria, and 46% reporting therapeutic drug-monitoring of beta-lactams. Only 43% of respondents knew the expression antimicrobial/antibiotic stewardship.

The authors of the study say the findings suggest that antibiotic stewardship measures implemented at the hospital level are not necessarily rolled out in all departments and that monitoring of core elements of stewardship programs might be needed, particularly in key departments such as ICUs.
Apr 1 J Antimicrob Chemother abstract

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