A case report published yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases highlights the increased risk of multidrug-resistant (MDR) organism transmission and infection posed by the conflict in Ukraine.
The report describes the analysis of blood and surveillance cultures from a service member from Ukraine who suffered multiple traumatic injuries, including full-thickness burns. After transfer to a US military hospital in Germany, doctors obtained blood, urine, respiratory, and peri-rectal surveillance cultures from the patient, which grew Acinetobacter baumannii, Enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and three distinct strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The gram-negative pathogens were nonsusceptible to most antibiotics tested, while the E faecium isolate was nonsusceptible to vancomycin.
Whole-genome sequencing identified an array of antibiotic resistance genes, including multiple carbapenemase and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase genes.
The study is one of several in recent months that have described MDR infections among soldiers and hospitalized patients in Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022. The study authors note that European healthcare networks now consider prior hospitalization in Ukraine to be a critical risk factor for colonization with MDR organisms.
Healthcare practitioners treating citizens of Ukraine need to be cognizant of the increased risk for MDR organism transmission and infection.
"Gaps in such services as infection control, caused by limited resources and personnel, are exacerbating the transmission of MDR organisms in Ukraine," researchers from Walter Reed Army Institute of Medical Research and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center wrote. "Healthcare practitioners treating citizens of Ukraine need to be cognizant of the increased risk for MDR organism transmission and infection imposed by the conflict in Ukraine and implement appropriate infection control measures to mitigate their spread."