This study aims to assess the association between patient contact and intestinal carriage of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) by sampling healthcare personnel (HCP) and staff without patient contact.


For this observational study, we recruited 400 HCP who worked in our 200-bed research hospital and 400 individuals without patient contact between November 2013 and February 2015. Participants submitted two self-collected perirectal swabs and a questionnaire. Swabs were processed for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Questionnaires explored occupational and personal risk factors for MDRO carriage.


Among 800 participants, 94.4% (755/800) submitted at least one swab, and 91.4% (731/800) also submitted questionnaires. Extended spectrum β-lactamase-producing organisms were recovered from 3.4% (26/755) of participants, and only one carbapenemase-producing organism was recovered. No VRE were detected. The potential exposure of 68.9% (250/363) of HCP who reported caring for MDRO-colonized patients did not result in a rate of MDRO carriage among HCP (4.0%; 15/379) significantly higher than that of staff without patient contact (3.2%; 12/376; p 0.55).


This is the largest US study of HCP intestinal MDRO carriage. The low colonization rate is probably reflective of local community background rates, suggesting that HCP intestinal colonization plays a minor role in nosocomial spread of MDROs in a non-outbreak setting.

Decker BK, Lau AF, Dekker JP, Spalding CD, Sinaii N, Conlan S, Henderson DK, Segre JA, Frank KM, Palmore TN.

In: Clin Microbiol Infect. 2017 May 12. pii: S1198-743X(17)30270-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2017.05.010.

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