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EpideMiology and control measures of outBreaks due to Antibiotic-Resistant orGanisms in EurOpe (EMBARGO): a systematic review protocol.

Babu Rajendran N, Gladstone BP, Rodríguez-Baño J, Sifakis F, Voss A, Carmeli Y, Burkert FR, Gkolia P, Tacconelli E

Introduction: Improving our understanding of outbreaks due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and their control is critical in the current public health scenario. The threat of outbreaks due to ARB requires multifaceted efforts. However, a global overview of epidemiological characteristics of outbreaks due to ARB and effective infection control measures is missing. In this paper, we describe the protocol of a systematic review aimed at mapping and characterising the epidemiological aspects of outbreaks due to ARB and infection control measures in European countries.

Methods and analysis: The databases MEDLINE, Web of Knowledge and Cochrane library will be searched using a 3-step search strategy. Selection of articles for inclusion will be performed by 2 reviewers using predefined eligibility criteria. All study designs will be included if they report an outbreak and define the microbiological methods used for microorganism identification. The target bacteria will be methicillin-resistant and vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, ceftazidime-resistant and carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, ceftazidime-resistant and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, ciprofloxacin-resistant Escherichia coli, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, carbapenem-resistant and carbapenamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Data will be extracted using a tailored pilot tested form and the quality of reporting will be assessed using the ORION (Outbreak Reports and Intervention Studies Of Nosocomial infections) tool. Data will be synthesised and reported by the type of ARB, setting and country. Infection control measures and bundles of measures will be described. The effectiveness will be reported as defined by the authors. Regression analysis will be used to define independent factors associated with outbreaks' control. Heterogeneity between studies will be assessed by forest plots and I² statistics.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval is not applicable for this study. Findings will be disseminated through journal publication and conference presentations and talks.

Keywords: EPIDEMIOLOGY; antimicrobial resistance; outbreak.

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