Infection Control Matters

We are a group of professionals who work in the field of infectious disease and infection prevention and control. In this podcast series, we discuss new research and issues on the topic of infection prevention and control. We will pick new papers of interest and will discuss them, often with an author of the paper who can give us some insights into the research that go beyond the written paper. Authors will include nurses, doctors, academics, clinicians, administrators and leaders. We should stress that all of our comments relate to our own opinions and that they do not necessarily reflect those institutions and employers that we relate to. We welcome comment, suggestions and ideas. Please consider subscribing for updates and to find collections of topic specific podcasts at

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Wednesday Nov 29, 2023

In this episode, Brett and Martin discuss a paper they were recently involved with - a systematic review and meta-analysis on prior room occupancy and the risk to the next person. This paper has been recently published in Infection, Disease and Health.
Findings provide some evidence to help inform a risk management approach when determining patient room allocation. The risk of pathogen acquisition appears to remain high, supporting the need for continued investment in this area.
Here is a link to the paper.
In our discussion, we also mentioned a paper about nurses views on the environment and risk:
Mitchell, B. G., Russo, P. L., Kiernan, M., & Curryer, C. (2021). Nurses' and midwives’ cleaning knowledge, attitudes and practices: An Australian study. Infection, disease & health, 26(1), 55-62. Link here: Nurses' and midwives’ cleaning knowledge, attitudes and practices: An Australian study

Wednesday Nov 15, 2023

In this week's episode, Martin talks to Dr Jon Otter, epidemiologist, scientst, blogger and Joint Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. We discuss a session at the recent ICPIC conference on the problems posed by plasmids in terms of outbreak detection, increasing antimicrobial resistance and environmental reservoirs. You can read more about Jon's thoughts in his excellent blog post at
A paper we discuss from Kalisvar Marimuthu and colleagies can be found here
You can listen to Kalis discussing it on a previous podcast in our genomics collection here:

Wednesday Nov 01, 2023

In this episode, Brett talks to Martin about a recent paper on the potential pitfalls of ice machines and following manufactures' instructions.
The paper we discuss is called "How clean is your ice machine?"
This paper was published in the journal of hospital infection:

Wednesday Oct 18, 2023

In this episode, Martin talks to Dr Jinny Moore from the National Health Security Agency in England about detecting pathogens in the ICU environment. They discuss a recent paper where whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on presumptive S. capitis NRCS-A isolates was collected from infants admitted to nationwide NICU and from environmental sampling in two distinct NICUs. The discussion includes details on the approach to sampling (neonates and environment).
Papers discussed:
Detection, survival, and persistence of Staphylococcus capitis NRCS-A in neonatal units in England
Other papers of interest:
Laurent F, Butin M. Staphylococcus capitis and NRCS-A clone: the story of an unrecognized pathogen in neonatal intensive care units. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019;25:1081-5.
Butin M, Martins-Simoes P, Rasigade JP, Picaud JC, Laurent F. Worldwide Endemicity of a Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus capitis Clone Involved in Neonatal Sepsis. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23:538-9.
Butin M, Martins-Simoes P, Pichon B, Leyssene D, Bordes-Couecou S, Meugnier H, et al. Emergence and dissemination of a linezolid-resistant Staphylococcus capitis clone in Europe. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017;72:1014-20. Van Der Zwet WC, Debets-Ossenkopp YJ, Reinders E, Kapi M, Savelkoul PH, Van Elburg RM, et al. Nosocomial spread of a Staphylococcus capitis strain with heteroresistance to vancomycin in a neonatal intensive care unit. J Clin Microbiol. 2002;40:2520-5.

Wednesday Oct 04, 2023

This week, Martin talks to Dr Jennifer Meddings, Associate Professor at University of Michigan Health and Internist at Ann Arbor about a recently published survey looking at what interventions are commonly used to prevent device-associated infections. We discuss the findings and focus in on prevention of urinary catheter-associated infections and new devices that may have an impact.
The paper can be found here:
Saint, S., M. T. Greene, S. L. Krein, K. E. Fowler, K. A. Linder, D. Ratz & J. Meddings (2023) What US hospitals are doing to prevent common device-associated infections during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: Results from a national survey in the United States. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol, 10.1017/ice.2023.65, 1-7.
Other areas and papers that we discuss are here:
New tools that have been developed and piloted in a large surgical collaborative in Michigan, in our project called SUCCESS:  Surgical Urinary Catheter Care Enhancement Safety Study, which has focused on improving urinary catheter safety even beyond CAUTI prevention, including focus on reducing unnecessary use for several common elective procedures, standardizing diagnosis and management of urinary retention, and practices to reduce traumatic injury from catheters and improve success on first catheterization attempt:
Kuriyama, A., K. E. Fowler, J. Meddings, H. Irie, D. Kawakami, H. Iwasaki, M. Sakuraya, K. Katayama, Y. Tokuda & S. Saint (2019) Reducing unnecessary urethral catheter use in Japanese intensive care units: A multicenter interventional study. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol, 40, 1272-1274.
Patel, P. K., A. Gupta, V. M. Vaughn, J. D. Mann, J. M. Ameling & J. Meddings (2018) Review of Strategies to Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) and Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) in Adult ICUs. J Hosp Med, 13, 105-116.
Patel, P. K., A. Gupta, V. M. Vaughn, J. D. Mann, J. M. Ameling & J. Meddings (2018) Review of Strategies to Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) and Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) in Adult ICUs. J Hosp Med, 13, 105-116.
Meddings, J., S. Saint, S. L. Krein, E. Gaies, H. Reichert, A. Hickner, S. McNamara, J. D. Mann & L. Mody (2017) Systematic Review of Interventions to Reduce Urinary Tract Infection in Nursing Home Residents. J Hosp Med, 12, 356-368.

Wednesday Sep 20, 2023

In this episode, Martin Kiernan talks to Dr Giorgia Gon, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine about a briefing paper that  identifies research priorities for healthcare cleaning in resource-limited settings. We discuss the process of determining the priorities, the groups involved and the final areas that should be targeted with research funding, including cost-effectiveness, the use of biocides or detergents and minimum requirements.
You can find a copy of the CLEAN Briefing here
Other papers of interest:
1. Cross S, Gon G, Morrison E, Afsana K, Ali SM, Manjang T, et al. An invisible workforce: the neglected role of cleaners in patient safety on maternity units. Glob Health Action. 2019;12:1480085.
2. Gon G, Kabanywanyi AM, Blinkhoff P, Cousens S, Dancer SJ, Graham WJ, et al. The Clean pilot study: evaluation of an environmental hygiene intervention bundle in three Tanzanian hospitals. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10:8.
3. Storr J, Kilpatrick C, Lee K. Time for a renewed focus on the role of cleaners in achieving safe health care in low- and middle-income countries. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10:59.

Wednesday Sep 06, 2023

In this episode, Martin talks to Giovanni-Battista Fucini about a recent paper from Germany that examined infection rates in critical care in which it was reported that hospitals without sinks in patient rooms have lower infection rates. Newer hospitals in Germany tend not to have sinks in the patient rooms in ICU.
The paper we discuss is here:
Giovanni-Battista, F., C. Geffers, F. Schwab, M. Behnke, W. Sunder, J. Moellmann & P. Gastmeier (2023) Sinks in patient rooms in the ICU are associated with higher rates of hospital-acquired infections. A retrospective analysis of 552 ICUs. J Hosp Infect, 10.1016/j.jhin.2023.05.018.
Other papers of interest are:
Kotay, S. M., H. I. Parikh, K. Barry, H. S. Gweon, W. Guilford, J. Carroll & A. J. Mathers (2020) Nutrients influence the dynamics of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase producing enterobacterales in transplanted hospital sinks. Water Res, 176, 115707.
Constantinides, B., K. K. Chau, T. P. Quan, G. Rodger, M. I. Andersson, K. Jeffery, S. Lipworth, H. S. Gweon, A. Peniket, G. Pike, J. Millo, M. Byukusenge, M. Holdaway, C. Gibbons, A. J. Mathers, D. W. Crook, T. E. A. Peto, A. S. Walker & N. Stoesser (2020) Genomic surveillance of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. in hospital sink drains and patients. Microb Genom, 6.
Mathers, A. J., K. Vegesana, I. German Mesner, K. E. Barry, A. Pannone, J. Baumann, D. W. Crook, N. Stoesser, S. Kotay, J. Carroll & C. D. Sifri (2018) Intensive Care Unit Wastewater Interventions to Prevent Transmission of Multispecies Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase-Producing Organisms. Clin Infect Dis, 67, 171-178.
Grabowski, M., J. M. Lobo, B. Gunnell, K. Enfield, R. Carpenter, L. Barnes & A. J. Mathers (2018) Characterizations of handwashing sink activities in a single hospital medical intensive care unit. J Hosp Infect, 100, e115-e122.
Kotay, S., W. Chai, W. Guilford, K. Barry & A. J. Mathers (2017) Spread from the Sink to the Patient: In Situ Study Using Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-Expressing Escherichia coli To Model Bacterial Dispersion from Hand-Washing Sink-Trap Reservoirs. Appl Environ Microbiol, 83.
Garvey, M. I., N. Williams, A. Gardiner, C. Ruston, M. A. C. Wilkinson, M. Kiernan, J. T. Walker & E. Holden (2023) The sink splash zone. J Hosp Infect, 135, 154-156.

Wednesday Aug 23, 2023

Martin chats to Phil in Melbourne following a recent presentation. Yes, two old farts reminiscing about the days of wearing out the boot leather collecting surveillance data talk with envy about the potential of HAI surveillance in the era of the electronic medical record, automation and artificial intelligence.
Phil refers to data in these two publications:
Designing Surveillance of Healthcare-Associated Infections in the Era of Automation and Reporting Mandates
The prevalence of healthcare associated infections among adult inpatients at nineteen large Australian acute-care public hospitals: a point prevalence survey

Wednesday Aug 09, 2023

We discuss One Health in this episode with Professor Tom Riley, using C.difficile as the example of explaining why the concept of One Health is so important.
Tom is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Australian Society for Microbiology, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Faculty of Science of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and has published over 400 book chapters and refereed publications.

Thursday Jul 27, 2023

This week, Martin talks to Jincy Jerry, Assistant Director of Nursing in Infection Prevention and Control at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Jincy is a pioneer in the use of Robotic Process Automation in clinical settings within Irish Healthcare. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate humans actions interacting with digital systems and software. In 2021, the project received Prix Hubert Tuor Innovation Academy Award at the 6th International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC), in Geneva.
We discuss the potential and actual benefits, including the freeing up of hours of IP time as well as the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the infection prevention world.
A review paper on this topic can be found here:
Piaggio, D., M. Zarro, S. Pagliara, M. Andellini, A. Almuhini, A. Maccaro & L. Pecchia (2023) The use of smart environments and robots for infection prevention control: A systematic literature review. Am J Infect Control, 10.1016/j.ajic.2023.03.005.


About us and contact

Feel free to contact us with suggestions on topics and or speakers. Use Twitter to contact any one or all of us:

Brett Mitchell @1healthau (Twitter link)

Martin Keirnan @emrsa15 (Twitter link)

Deb Friedman @friedmanndeb 

Phil Russo: @PLR_aus (Twitter link)



Martin Kiernan: Martin is a highly experienced nurse who has worked in the field of infection prevention and control since 1990 in the acute hospital community and, more recently, in academic and industry settings with GAMA Healthcare. Martin's reputation as a research collaborator is recognised both nationally and internationally.  Martin’s involvement in professional organisations such as the Infection Prevention Society and the Healthcare Infection Society has enhanced his reputation as a key opinion leader, teacher, leader, and researcher. As a result, he has been invited to act in leadership and mentoring roles to support his colleagues throughout the world in terms of infection prevention.



Professor Brett Mitchell:  Brett is a Professor of Nursing with over 150 peer reviewed journal and oral conference presentations, authored several books, and has been an invited speaker at numerous infection prevention and control conferences in Australia and internationally. He is a Fellow of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control and the Australian College of Nursing. Professor Mitchell is also Editor-in-Chief of Infection, Disease and Health. Professor Mitchell has experience leading nursing teams, research teams and infection prevention and control teams in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Further details: 



Associate Professor Philip Russo:  Phil is Director of Research, Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Victoria, Australia and Director of Nursing Research, Cabrini Health. A/Prof. Russo is the Past President of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control. He has worked in both state and national positions, notably leading the establishment of the VICNISS Surveillance Program in Victoria followed by overseeing the successful implementation of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative sponsored by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care. Recently he has been an advisor at both a State and National level in the pandemic response. Further details:

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