Key messages

  • Environmental reservoirs have been implicated in hospital CPE outbreaks internationally. Within Victoria, environmental contamination is suspected to have contributed to patient acquisition of CPE on a number of occasions.
  • Victorian healthcare facilities have undertaken or considered environmental screening as a component of their outbreak investigations, but a lack of local or international standards on environmental sampling and testing methodologies for CPE has made it difficult for health services to undertake environmental and to interpret the results where environmental screening has been conducted.
  • This guideline was developed to assist Victorian healthcare facilities considering or undertaking environmental screening as part of CPE investigations.
  • All suspected and confirmed isolates of CPE from environmental samples are required to be referred to Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL) for confirmatory testing.

This guideline has been produced based on review of available literature on environmental screening; protocols developed by three Victorian healthcare facilities that have undertaken extensive environmental screening; and additional data on the sensitivity of CPE selective media for the identification of CPE from human clinical and screening samples gathered by the MDU PHL and from the literature.

Forms referred to within the guideline are available to be downloaded below.

Victorian guideline on environmental sampling for CPE

CPE environmental isolate referral form

The following form is to be used by diagnostic laboratories when referring any environmental isolates of CPE to the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL). Note that there are different forms for human and environmental isolates and the form below is only for environmental samples.