Risk of Organism Acquisition from Prior Room Occupants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Mitchell, B. G., Dancer, S., Anderson, M., & Dehn, E. (2015). Risk of organism acquisition from prior room occupants: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Hospital Infection, 91(3), 211-217. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2015.08.005

ISSN: 0195-6701


060502 Infectious Agents| 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)| 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)| 111706 Epidemiology| 111716 Preventive Medicine| 160508 Health Policy

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle Research Centre

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A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to determine the risk of pathogen acquisition for patients associated with prior room occupancy. The analysis was also broadened to examine any differences in acquisition risk between Gram-positive and Gram–negative organisms. A search using MEDLINE/Pubmed, Cochrane and CINHAL yielded 2,577 citations between 1984 and 2014. Reviews were assessed in accordance with the international prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO). Just seven articles met the inclusion criteria namely, (a) papers were peer reviewed, (b) pathogen acquisition prevalence rates were reported, (c) articles were written in English; and (d) had minimal or no risk of bias based on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). One study was an extension of a previous study and was discarded. Employing NOS provided little difference between the studies, with five studies receiving eight-star, and 2 studies receiving seven-star ratings, respectively. Overall, pooled acquisition odds ratio for study pathogens (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; vancomycin-resistant enterococcus; Clostridium difficile; Acinetobacter; ESBL-producing coliforms; Pseudomonas) was 2.14 (95% CI = 1.65–2.77). When comparing data between Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms, the pooled acquisition odds ratio for Gram-negatives was 2.65 (95% CI = 2.02–3.47) and 1.89 (95% CI = 1.62–2.21) for Gram-positives. The findings have important implications for infection control professionals, environmental cleaning services and patients, given that current practices fail to adequately reduce acquisition risk. While there may be non-preventable sources of acquisition, revised practices require collaborative work between all responsible staff in order to reduce this risk to a minimum.


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