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Prevalence and acquisition rate of extended spectrum beta lactamase producing gram-negative organisms (ESBL-GNO) in general medical patients in Switzerland

Introduction / objectives

We aimed to determine the prevalence and acquisition rate of ESBL-GNO amongst patients admitted to general medical units at our hospital.


Patients consecutively admitted to 13 medical wards from March-June 2010 were screened for ESBL-GNO via rectal swab within 48hours of admission, and 36 hours of discharge.


Of 1967 patients, swabs were obtained in 1111(56%) at admission and 491(25%) at discharge with 441(22%) having both. Mean age was 64 years and 58% were male. 6.8% (75/1111) of patients were positive for an ESBL-GNO at admission of whom 86%, for whom data were available (24/28), had an ESBL-GNO detected in the previous 6 months. 3.7%(18/487) of patients acquired an ESBL-GNO, having positive cultures at discharge but not at admission. On univariate regression, acquisition of an ESBL-GNO was associated with admission from home (OR 0.2 [95%CI 0.1-0.6], p=.005), transfer from another unit (OR 8.3[95% CI 2-33], p=.003) and receipt of a first or second-generation cephalosporin (OR 7.2 [95% CI 1-37],p=.017). Receipt of a first or second-generation cephalosporin was the only factor independently associated with ESBL-GNO acquisition (OR 7.1[95% CI 1-40], p=.03). Age, sex, intensive care, provenance and receipt of other antibiotics were not associated with ESBL carriage or acquisition.


Carriage and acquisition of ESBL-GNO is a problem amongst medical patients at our hospital. No risk factors for ESBL-GNO carriage were identified.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Author information

Correspondence to J Pasricha.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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About this article


  • Public Health
  • Cephalosporin
  • Medical Patient
  • Positive Culture
  • Acquisition Rate