When Water Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

When Water Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

Water is the essence of life—nothing can live without it, but what happens when water becomes the source of life-threatening infections? Environmental reservoirs have been linked to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), with water being one of the key accomplices....
To Screen or Not to Screen

To Screen or Not to Screen

When investigating HAI outbreaks, your decisions have significant consequences. Implementing disruptive precautionary measures without confirming clonality can be costly and unnecessary. But failing to deal with real outbreaks early can lead to patient safety concerns...
Just can’t seem to shake it off?

Just can’t seem to shake it off?

If you’ve been in infection control for a while, you know what it feels like when you seem to have a persistent outbreak and just can’t seem to shake it off… But how do you know it’s actually an ongoing outbreak? Are the new cases you are seeing related to the prior...
What is up with NTM?

What is up with NTM?

Recently, we received multiple requests to help with Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) healthcare-associated infection (HAI) investigations from hospitals located in different parts of the country, all within a short period of time. It’s not the first time we’ve been...
Unmasking promiscuous bacterial species in HAI investigations

Unmasking promiscuous bacterial species in HAI investigations

When it comes to determining relatedness between isolates in an HAI investigation, you know by now that we believe there is no better tool than whole-genome sequencing (WGS). But in some cases, WGS alone may not be enough. Although WGS allows you to see variations of...
Stop HAIs in their tracks…

Stop HAIs in their tracks…

As the pandemic starts to clear, infection control and microbiology labs are finally getting a chance to examine what was learned about healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) during the pandemic. One learning is that at least some types of HAIs such as central...
Sequencing costs are down to $0…

Sequencing costs are down to $0…

We always believed that whole genome sequencing based surveillance would be the most cost-effective strategy for infection control, but we didn’t realize that the cost can go all the way down to $0. Before you think we’ve gone mad, let’s clarify what we actually mean....
PFGE, MLST and the Alphabet Soup of HAIs

PFGE, MLST and the Alphabet Soup of HAIs

It can be confusing to make sense of the alphabet soup of methods used to test if samples are actually part of an outbreak. In speaking with customers, we have heard a range of methods being used, from antibiograms without any further testing to custom SNP (Single...
Looking for STEC in all the right places

Looking for STEC in all the right places

Fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) are remarkably effective treatment options for recurrent C. diff infections. However, a series of recent FDA safety alerts in 2019 and 2020 highlight the potentially serious risks associated with the procedure, namely the risk of...
When is a MRSA not a MRSA?

When is a MRSA not a MRSA?

Hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections remain a significant source of morbidity for neonates in the intensive care unit. So when a MRSA outbreak is suspected, it is extremely important to act fast and make the right call....