Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS) 2017 ReportNov172017

The following message is from Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Systems, Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control, Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Branch, Public Health Agency of Canada

Dear CPHLN Members,

I am pleased to provide you with a copy of the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS) – 2017 Report. The executive summary is now available on

This year’s report provides a snapshot of 2015 and 2016 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and use (AMU) data from the different Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) surveillance systems and its national laboratory reference services. 

Although the overall level of AMR in Canada is similar or lower than rates reported by other developed countries, there are some areas of concern.  Upward trends were seen in the rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infection (BSI) in pediatric hospitals and the rate of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus BSI in adults.   In addition, the rate of drug-resistant gonorrhea increased between the years 2014 and 2015.  There also remain significant data gaps that prevent our ability to provide a comprehensive picture of the current situation and emerging risks of AMR in Canada. Strengthening the surveillance of AMR and AMU in humans and animals is a priority for PHAC and the yearly CARSS Report serves to highlight the attained progress and future steps in addressing these gaps. 

I trust that you will find the CARSS- 2017 Report informative and useful. On behalf of PHAC and our many partners, I wish to express my thanks for the valuable contributions that you have made, and continue to make, toward improving our understanding of this significant threat to human and animal health.


Antibiotic-related News Stories and Journal ArticlesNov102017

In the past month, there has been lots of news related to antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance, and the hunt for new developments to replace antibiotics. Here is a selection of news stories and journal articles you may find interesting:

What is a “phage wrangler”? The hunt for a bacteriophage to attack antibiotic-resistant Burkholderia cepacia. News

“Molecular pencil sharpener” releases antibiotic. News | Journal

Boosting antibiotic potency with light: intracellular light-activated quantum dots (QDs)  News Journal

Scientists discover new drug combination to tackle antimicrobial resistance. News | Journal

Uncovering bacterial cell wall secrets to combat antibiotic resistance. News

New antibiotic resistance genes found. News

Endogenous infection marker can help guide antibiotic use. News | Journal

‘Smart bandage’ developed in B.C. changes colour at first signs of infection. News | Journal

Scientists make significant breakthrough on road to new superbug-killing antibiotic teixobactin. News

Canadian researchers make progress in the search for alternatives to antibiotics for livestock . News

Electric field based dressing disrupts mixed-species bacterial biofilm infection and restores functional wound healing. News | Journal

Antibiotics given before low-risk operations do not seem to breed postoperative antibiotic resistance in surgical patients  News release | Journal

Anti-Candida activity of antimicrobial impregnated central venous catheters. Journal

Antibiotic therapy for Staphylococcal bloodstream infections: Doing the same with less. News

Antibiotic resistance: clear negative relationship between population density and mutation rate. News | Journal

Identification of 76 novel B1 metallo-β-lactamases through large-scale screening of genomic and metagenomic data. Journal

WHO urges farmers urged to stop antibiotic use in healthy animals. News

USDA chief scientist claims WHO animal antibiotic guideline disregards science. News

Europe is reducing antibiotic use in animals ahead of schedule. News

Antibiotic resistant gonorrhea spreading rapidly. News

Detection of tetracycline resistance genes, aminoglycoside modifying enzymes, and coagulase gene typing of S. aureus. Journal

Antimicrobial activity of carbon monoxide-releasing molecule [Mn(CO)3(tpa-κ3N)]Br versus multidrug-resistant isolates of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli and its synergy with colistin. Journal  

Study outlines ‘perfect storm’ that led to Colombia’s antibiotic resistance epidemic. Journal

Six ideas to fight the end of antibiotics: News

Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR): Antimicrobial resistance and One Health



Antibiotic Awareness Week: ResourcesNov102017

Antibiotics Awareness Week is Nov 13-19, 2017, and below are many resources you can use:

The WHO has lots of great resources including posters, animated gifs, videos, articles, facts sheets, a quiz, and more… be sure to check out their great web page!


PHSA has several antibiotic-related videos on YouTube:

The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) has provided an extensive list of resources:


New study: Nursing home staff often fail to change glovesSep082017

From Infection Control Today:

Dirty glovesThe failure to change gloves is common among certified nursing assistants, and may be a significant cause of the spread of dangerous pathogens in nursing homes and long-term healthcare settings, according to a new study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are often the main providers of care in long-term care facilities (LTCFs), with significant patient contact. If a CNA uses gloves incorrectly, pathogens can easily be spread to patients and the environment, leading to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Researchers estimate that between 1.6 million and 3.8 million infections occur in LTCFs annually. Infections in LTCFs cause approximately 388,000 deaths per year and cost between $673 million and $2 billion annually.
“Gloves are an essential component of standard precautions, and proper use of gloves is a critical component of best practices to prevent HAIs,” said Linda Greene, RN, MPS, CIC, FAPIC, the 2017 APIC president. “This is especially important in long-term care, where residents are more vulnerable to infection and stay for extended periods. Facilities must continually educate healthcare providers about the importance of appropriate glove use to prevent infection and monitor adherence to this practice.”
In the first-of-its-kind prospective study by Deborah Patterson Burdsall, PhD, RN-BC, CIC, of the University of Iowa College of Nursing, researchers examined the degree of inappropriate glove use in a random sample of 74 CNAs performing toileting and perineal care at one LTCF. Inappropriate glove use — defined as a failure to change gloves, and when surfaces were touched with contaminated gloves — was frequently observed in this study.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends standard precautions requiring all CNAs to wear personal protective equipment, especially gloves, to avoid contact with blood, secretions, excretions, or other potentially infectious materials that may contain pathogens. CNAs must change gloves as a standard precaution at the following glove change points during patient care: when the gloves have touched blood or body fluids; after the CNA completes a patient task; after the gloves touch a potentially contaminated site; and in between patients.
“Glove use behavior is as important as hand washing when it comes to infection prevention,” said Burdsall. “These findings indicate that glove use behavior should be monitored alongside hand hygiene. The observations should be shared with staff to improve behaviors and reduce the risk of disease transmission.” 
While CNAs wore gloves for 80 percent of touch points, they failed to change gloves at 66 percent of glove change points. More than 44 percent of the gloved touch points were observed as contaminated, with all contaminated touches being with gloved hands. Of note, gloves were readily available on all units in public areas, shower rooms, patient rooms, and patient bathrooms to enhance availability and workflow.
To measure inappropriate glove use, the PI developed and validated the glove use surveillance tool (GUST), allowing them to record the type of surface, the sequence in which they touched surfaces during a patient care event, whether they wore gloves, and whether they changed gloves.
The frequency of contaminated gloved touches illustrates the significant potential for cross-contamination between patients and the healthcare environment from inappropriate glove use. This study supports the findings of earlier studies that describe inappropriate glove use by healthcare personnel. Based on information from such studies, infection prevention staff and educators should develop training programs using adult learning principles and evidence-based instructional methods to improve glove use.