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Quantifying the Exposure to Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens Among Patients Discharged From a Single Hospital Across All California Healthcare Facilities



To assess the time-dependent exposure of California healthcare facilities to patients harboring methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) upon discharge from 1 hospital.


Retrospective multiple-cohort study of adults discharged from 1 hospital in 2005-2009, counting hospitals, nursing homes, cities, and counties in which carriers were readmitted, and comparing the number and length of stay of readmissions and the number of distinct readmission facilities among carriers versus noncarriers.


We evaluated 45,772 inpatients including those with MRSA (N=1,198), VRE (N=547), ESBL (N=121), and CDI (N=300). Within 1 year of discharge, MRSA, VRE, and ESBL carriers exposed 137, 117, and 45 hospitals and 103, 83, and 37 nursing homes, generating 58,804, 33,486, and 15,508 total exposure-days, respectively. Within 90 days of discharge, CDI patients exposed 36 hospitals and 35 nursing homes, generating 7,318 total exposure-days. Compared with noncarriers, carriers had more readmissions to hospitals (MRSA:1.8 vs 0.9/patient; VRE: 2.6 vs 0.9; ESBL: 2.3 vs 0.9; CDI: 0.8 vs 0.4; all P<.001) and nursing homes (MRSA: 0.4 vs 0.1/patient; VRE: 0.7 vs 0.1; ESBL: 0.7 vs 0.1; CDI: 0.3 vs 0.1; all P<.001) and longer hospital readmissions (MRSA: 8.9 vs 7.3 days; VRE: 8.9 vs 7.4; ESBL: 9.6 vs 7.5; CDI: 12.3 vs 8.2; all P<.01).


Patients harboring antibiotic-resistant pathogens rapidly expose numerous facilities during readmissions; regional containment strategies are needed.

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