Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Their development is facilitated by the severity of an underlying illness, the vulnerability of the patient (in particular, premature babies, the elderly, and immunocompromised patients), and exposure to invasive medical procedures.
Urinary tract infections are the most frequently noted, predominantly related to the use of urethral catheters.
bioMérieux is a key player in the fight against healthcare-associated infections, offering a comprehensive product range (prevention, monitoring and diagnosis) for healthcare professionals.
We play an active role in initiatives to raise awareness about this major public health issue. bioMérieux has run communication campaigns targeting the general public and, since 2007, has organized the World HAI Forum, which brings together more than 70 world-renowned specialists.
► Ongoing project: bioMérieux coordinates the collaborative R&D project “Smart Bandage”, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This project aims at developing a microbial biosensor embedded in a dressing for exuding wounds allowing early detection of resistant bacteria associated to nosocomial infections.
The healthcare challenge
- Healthcare-associated infections have a major impact:
- in healthcare terms: contributing to increasing morbidity and mortality rates,
- in economic terms: healthcare-associated infections diagnosed in intensive care units alone account for 15% to 20% of hospital spending.
- Between 5% and 10% of patients hospitalized in industrialized countries develop a healthcare-associated infection.
- Preventive measures must be implemented to avoid these infections.
The role of in vitro diagnostics
- bioMérieux works closely with healthcare professionals in the three areas of healthcare-associated infection control:
- Prevention: screening of patients at risk of healthcare-associated infections and environmental monitoring,
- Surveillance: management of information (alerts, epidemiology studies, etc.),
- Intervention: diagnosis of healthcare-associated infections and management of outbreaks.
- Diagnostic tests are paramount in successfully fighting against HAI. They contribute to:
- decreasing or stabilizing the number of healthcare-associated infections,
- reducing hospital costs,
- appropriate patient management and treatment,
- implementing preventive measures,
- improving healthcare quality and patient safety in the long term.
- Our diagnostic tests help to:
- identify the infectious agent responsible and decide which antibiotic to use,
- accurately determine the origin of the infection,
- spot potential epidemics,
- monitor the environment (air, water, surfaces).