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Open Access Research

Population-based laboratory surveillance of Hafnia alvei isolates in a large Canadian health region

Kevin B Laupland1235*, Deirdre L Church124, Terry Ross5 and Johann DD Pitout24

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, University of Calgary and Calgary Health Region, Calgary Alberta, Canada

2 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary and Calgary Health Region, Calgary Alberta, Canada

3 Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Calgary and Calgary Health Region, Calgary Alberta, Canada

4 Division of Microbiology, Calgary Laboratory Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

5 Centre for Anti-microbial Resistance, University of Calgary, Calgary Health Region, and Calgary Laboratory Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2006, 5:12  doi:10.1186/1476-0711-5-12

Published: 18 May 2006

Abstract

Background

Hospital-based series have characterized Hafnia alvei primarily as an infrequent agent of polymicrobial nosocomial infections in males with underlying illness.

Methods

We conducted population-based laboratory surveillance in the Calgary Health Region during 2000–2005 to define the incidence, demographic risk factors for acquisition, and anti-microbial susceptibilities of Hafnia alvei isolates.

Results

A total of 138 patients with Hafnia alvei isolates were identified (2.1/100,000/year) and two-thirds were of community onset. Older age and female gender were important risk factors for acquisition. The most common focus of isolation was urine in 112 (81%), followed by lower respiratory tract in 10 (7%), and soft tissue in 5 (4%), and the majority (94; 68%) were mono-microbial. Most isolates were resistant to ampicillin (111;80%), cephalothin (106; 77%), amoxicillin/clavulanate (98; 71%), and cefazolin (95; 69%) but none to imipenem or ciprofloxacin.

Conclusion

Hafnia alvei was most commonly isolated as a mono-microbial etiology from the urinary tract in women from the community. This study highlights the importance of population-based studies in accurately defining the epidemiology of an infectious disease.