Essential central reference point for laboratory practice WHO 2011 Handbook for laboratory quality management systems. This is an excellent resource that provides sound guidance (only recently identified to HICSIG).

New Pre-operative Antimicrobial Guidelines A group made up of representatives from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Surgical Infection Society, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America have released updated guidelines for antimicrobial prophylaxis in surgery.

VRSA in Europe The first case of Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Europe has been reported in a 74 year old female from Portugal with diabetes and on dialysis. Following treatment for a foot ulcer with MRSA, she has had VRSA detected in pus from a toe amputation wound. The MIC for vancomycin was >256 μg/mL. The report is published in Lancet.

Patient Notification Toolkit The US CDC has released a toolkit to assist infection prevention and control staff with notifying patients about their possible exposure following an infection control lapse or disease transmission.

Latest edition of Healthcare Infection The table of contents is here.

Universal decolonisation vs targeted decolonisation in ICU A multi-centre study has found that universal decolonisation (with mupirocin to nares and daily wash with chlorhexidine-impregnated cloths) of all intensive care unit admissions was more effective at reducing MRSA-positive clinical cultures than targeted decolonisation. Published in NEJM. For an interesting analysis of the study and its deficiencies, see Controversies in Hospital Infection Prevention blog

Faecal Transplantation for C. difficile Infections A systematic review and meta-analysis of research into the success of faecal transplantation for recurrent Clostridium difficile infections, has found that although the treatment show great promise, randomized-controlled trials are still reqiured. The meta-analysis was carried out by Kaassam et al & published in the Am J Gastroenterol. For more information/research on faecal transplants, see C. difficile treatment.

New Influenza Strain A new strain of influenza, Influenza AH7N9, has been infecting humans in China. For more information, see the latest update from the WHO website. The CDC has also released Interim Guidance on the Use of Antiviral Agents for Treatment of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A (H7N9)

New Coronavirus Infection As of 8 May 2013, there have been 30 cases of human infection with a novel coronavirus. Links to the latest information and resources from the WHO and CDC are at Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This includes links to WHO infection control and clinical management guidance.

Additionally, see Antibiotic stewardship, Influenza 2013, MRSA, C. difficile and Hand hygiene.

Anaerobic_organisms provides an an exhaustive listing of all published and unpublished data on anaerobic organism susceptibility studies from Australia and New Zealand locations.