Risk of Organism Acquisition from Prior Room Occupants: An Updated Systematic Review

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Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control



Evidence from a previous systematic review indicates that patients admitted to a room where the previous occupant had a multidrug-resistant bacterial infection resulted in an increased risk of subsequent colonisation and infection with the same organism for the next room occupant. In this paper, we have sought to expand and update this review.


A systematic review and meta-analysis was undertaken. A search using Medline/PubMed, Cochrane and CINHAL databases was conducted. Risk of bias was assessed by the ROB-2 tool for randomised control studies and ROBIN-I for non-randomised studies.


From 5175 identified, 12 papers from 11 studies were included in the review for analysis. From 28,299 patients who were admitted into a room where the prior room occupant had any of the organisms of interest, 651 (2.3%) were shown to acquire the same species of organism. In contrast, 981,865 patients were admitted to a room where the prior occupant did not have an organism of interest, 3818 (0.39%) acquired an organism(s). The pooled acquisition odds ratio (OR) for all the organisms across all studies was 2.45 (95% CI: 1.53–3.93]. There was heterogeneity between the studies (I2 89%, P < 0.001).


The pooled OR for all the pathogens in this latest review has increased since the original review. Findings from our review 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.

infection, hospital acquired infection, healthcare associated infection, environmental, cleaning

Mitchell, B. G., McDonagh, J., Dancer, S. J., Ford, S., Sim, J., Thottiyil Sultanmuhammed Abdul Khadar, B., Russo, P. L., Maillard, J., Rawson, H., Browne, K., & Kiernan, M. (2023). Risk of organism acquisition from prior room occupants: An updated systematic review. Infection, Disease & Health, 28(4), 290-297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idh.2023.06.001

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