Organisms of Concern

Staphylococcus aureus

Staph infections can be serious and/or fatal in healthcare settings. Complications by cause of Staph aureus include bacteremia or sepsis, pneumonia, endocarditis and osteomyelitis. Certain groups are at a higher risk for developing staph infections, including people with weakened immune systems, patients who have recently undergone surgery and people with chronic conditions.19

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium commonly found in the environment in soil and water. It can cause serious infections in the lungs, blood stream and other parts of the body, most often in patients who have recently undergone surgery. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is becoming increasingly resistant to several types of antibiotics. If this continues, the bacteria can become multi-drug resistant which is an extremely dangerous threat to the public.20


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a strain of staph bacteria that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics (including methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin). MRSA commonly causes skin infections which can lead to more serious complications including bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, pneumonia and sepsis if left untreated. It has been reported that on average in the United States there are 80,461 severe MRSA infections per year, leading to 11,285 deaths annually.2122


Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci are bacterium that are normally found in human intestines, soil, water, etc. VRE often cause infections in people who have recently undergone surgery, been treated with antibiotics for long periods of time and people with compromised immune systems. There are about 20,000 VRE drug-resistant infections per year in the United States, which result in around 1,300 deaths annually.23


Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines which results in severe diarrhea and vomiting. These infections spread very rapidly and cannot be treated with antibiotics. Other symptoms of norovirus include stomach cramping, fever, chills and headache. These symptoms often last between 24 and 60 hours. Healthcare facilities are at a high risk of a norovirus outbreak because of heightened person to person contact.2425

Influenza H1N1

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, can cause mild to severe illness and can lead to death in some cases. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and in some cases, people can experience vomiting and diarrhea. Complications that result from influenza include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, heart or muscle tissues and multi-organ failure. People over the age of 65, pregnant women, children and people with chronic medical conditions are at risk of developing these serious complications.26


Adenoviruses are known to cause mild to severe illness with symptoms that include fever, sore throat, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, acute gastroenteritis, and other flu-like symptoms. These viruses are usually spread through personal contact, the air by sneezing and coughing.27


Rhinovirus infections cause what is known as the common cold. Symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, headaches and body aches. People with asthma, respiratory conditions and weakened immune systems who contract rhinovirus infections are at risk of developing more serious conditions such as pneumonia or bronchitis.28

Candida auris

Candida auris presents a major global health threat as an emerging multidrug-resistant fungus. It has a history of causing severe outbreaks in healthcare settings due to the fungus being difficult to identify and as a result, often misdiagnosed C. auris infections can lead to severe bloodstream infections. More than 1 in 3 patients with an invasive C. auris infection die.2930

Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, is a type of bacteria that causes life-threatening diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. The symptoms of a C. diff infection include diarrhea, fever, stomach tenderness, loss of appetite and nausea. There are around 500,000 infections per year resulting in about 15,000 deaths annually. C. diff mostly effects people who have had recent medical care and antibiotics.31

Mycobacterium bovis

Mycobacterium bovis is a type of mycobacterium that can cause tuberculosis disease, which can affect the lungs, lymph nodes, the intestines and other parts of the body, depending on the part of the body that has been affected by the disease.32

Trichophyton interdigitale

Trichophyton interdigitale is the second leading cause of superficial fungal infections of different parts of the human body. It is the common cause of tinea pedis, more commonly known as athletes foot.34