The growing infection control challenges facing an ageing population
In this issue of the Journal, a study of multiresistant bacterial intestinal carriage by Stuart and colleagues adds important detail to the emerging picture of multiple antibiotic resistance in non-hospital settings.1 The higher colonisation rate they found for Escherichia coli than for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) or Clostridium difficile in residential aged care facilities is a timely reminder that our surveillance and infection control resources should not be exclusively targeted at VRE or C. difficile. The simultaneous presence of these potential pathogens in the same aged care population raises the ugly spectre of carriage of two or more resistant organisms. The risk of contemporaneous multiresistant E. coli, C. difficile-associated diarrhoea and faecal incontinence might be considered the perfect infection control storm.
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