• Hospital Infection Society prevalence survey of Healthcare Associated Infection 2006: comparison of results between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

      Fitzpatrick, F; McIlvenny, G; Oza, A; Newcombe, R G; Humphreys, H; Cunney, R; Murphy, N; Ruddy, R; Reid, G; Bailie, R; et al. (Journal of hospital infection, 2008-07)
      As part of the Third Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Prevalence Survey of the United Kingdom and Ireland, HCAI point prevalence surveys were carried out in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI). Here we explore the potential benefits of comparing results from two countries with different healthcare systems, which employed similar methodologies and identical HCAI definitions. Forty-four acute adult hospitals in the RoI and 15 in NI participated with a total of 11 185 patients surveyed (NI 3644 patients and RoI 7541). The overall HCAI prevalence was 5.4 and 4.9 in NI and the RoI, respectively. There was no significant difference in prevalence rates of HCAI, device-related HCAI or HCAI associated with bloodstream infection but there was a difference in meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-related HCAI (P = 0.02) between the two countries. There were significantly more urinary tract infections and Clostridium difficile infections recorded in NI (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001). HCAIs were more prevalent in patients aged >65 years and in the intensive care unit in both countries. HCAIs were also more prevalent if patients were mechanically ventilated, had had recent non-implant surgery (RoI) or had more recorded HCAI risk factors. This is the first time that HCAI prevalence rates have been directly compared between NI and the RoI. By closely examining similarities and differences between HCAI prevalence rates in both countries it is hoped that this will influence healthcare planning and at the same time reassure the public that HCAI is important and that measures are being taken to combat it.
    • Low and decreasing vaccine effectiveness against influenza A(H3) in 2011/12 among vaccination target groups in Europe: results from the I-MOVE multicentre case-control study.

      Kissling, E; Valenciano, M; Larrauri, A; Oroszi, B; Cohen, J M; Nunes, B; Pitigoi, D; Rizzo, C; Rebolledo, J; Paradowska-Stankiewicz, I; et al. (2013)
      Within the Influenza Monitoring Vaccine Effectiveness in Europe (I-MOVE) project we conducted a multicentre case–control study in eight European Union (EU) Member States to estimate the 2011/12 influenza vaccine effectiveness against medically attended influenza-like illness (ILI) laboratory-confirmed as influenza A(H3) among the vaccination target groups. Practitioners systematically selected ILI / acute respiratory infection patients to swab within seven days of symptom onset. We restricted the study population to those meeting the EU ILI case definition and compared influenza A(H3) positive to influenza laboratory-negative patients. We used logistic regression with study site as fixed effect and calculated adjusted influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE), controlling for potential confounders (age group, sex, month of symptom onset, chronic diseases and related hospitalisations, number of practitioner visits in the previous year). Adjusted IVE was 25% (95% confidence intervals (CI): -6 to 47) among all ages (n=1,014), 63% (95% CI: 26 to 82) in adults aged between 15 and 59 years and 15% (95% CI: -33 to 46) among those aged 60 years and above. Adjusted IVE was 38% (95%CI: -8 to 65) in the early influenza season (up to week 6 of 2012) and -1% (95% CI: -60 to 37) in the late phase. The results suggested a low adjusted IVE in 2011/12. The lower IVE in the late season could be due to virus changes through the season or waning immunity. Virological surveillance should be enhanced to quantify change over time and understand its relation with duration of immunological protection. Seasonal influenza vaccines should be improved to achieve acceptable levels of protection.
    • A multi-country outbreak of Salmonella agona, February - August 2008.

      O'Flanagan, D; Cormican, M; McKeown, P; Nicolay, N; Cowden, J; Mason, B; Morgan, D; Lane, C; Irvine, N; Browning, L; et al. (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2008-08-14)
    • An outbreak of Norwalk-like viral gastroenteritis in holidaymakers travelling to Andorra, January-February 2002.

      Pedalino, B; Feely, E; McKeown, P; Foley, B; Smyth, B; Moren, A; European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) fellow, hosted by Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre - Northern Ireland (CDSC - NI). (2003-01)
      A retrospective cohort study was conducted to investigate an outbreak of Norwalk-like viral gastroenteritidis that occurred in Irish holidaymakers visiting Andorra, in January-February 2002. Preliminary results showed the risk exposure was higher for tourists who stayed in Soldeu and consumed ice cubes in their drinks (OR = 2.5, 95% CI [1.3-4.6)], after logistic regression and adjusting for sex and water consumption).
    • Pertussis outbreak in northwest Ireland, January - June 2010.

      Barret, A S; Ryan, A; Breslin, A; Cullen, L; Murray, A; Grogan, J; Bourke, S; Cotter, S; Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), Dublin, Ireland. annesophie.barret@hse.ie (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2010-09-02)
      We report a community pertussis outbreak that occurred in a small town located in the northwest of Ireland. Epidemiological investigations suggest that waning immunity and the absence of a booster dose during the second year of life could have contributed to the outbreak. The report also highlights the need to reinforce the surveillance of pertussis in Ireland and especially to improve the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of cases.