Outbreak of Ralstonia bacteraemia among chronic kidney disease patients in a haemodialysis unit in the Philippines
Ralstonia outbreak in a haemodialysis unit
Keywords:Ralstonia, bacteremia, hemodialysis, infection control
Ralstonia insidiosa is an opportunistic pathogen considered an emerging problem among clinically vulnerable populations such as those with chronic kidney disease. This study presents three cases of Ralstonia bacteraemia among chronic kidney disease patients in a haemodialysis unit in Baguio City, the Philippines. Case 1 was an elderly male who experienced chills during two concurrent dialysis sessions. Case 2 was a young female who also experienced chills and dizziness during a dialysis session; as this was thought to be related to hypotension, she was admitted. Case 3 was an elderly female with known hypertension and diabetes who had been newly diagnosed with chronic kidney disease; she was brought to the emergency room hypotensive, dyspnoeic and disoriented with deranged laboratory parameters and was admitted to the intensive care unit. All three cases had blood cultures positive for R. insidiosa with an attack rate of 1.67%. Drug and device tracing were conducted and environmental samples collected to identify the source of infection. A sample from the faucet of the reprocessing machine in the haemodialysis unit that was positive for Ralstonia spp. was the source of the outbreak. Control measures were implemented and the haemodialysis unit was thoroughly cleaned. No further cases were reported, with active surveillance continuing until January 2022. Taken with previously published outbreaks, these findings suggest that medical products and devices can be contaminated with Ralstonia spp. and cause illness. Early identification of cases and the source of infection is required to prevent large outbreaks in this vulnerable population.