Molecular epidemiology tools in the management of healthcare-associated infections: Towards the definition of recommendations

Stefania Boccia, Cesira Pasquarella, Marco Colotto, Martina Barchitta, Annalisa Quattrocchi, Antonella Agodi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and have a significant economic impact for health systems. Molecular epidemiology tools have a central role in HAI prevention programs. In order to give an overview of their specific advantages and disadvantages we reported current and new molecular typing methods for HAI outbreak detection and epidemiological surveillance. Methods. The current review was drafted as a short version of a longer document written by the Public Health Genomics (GSP) working group, and the Italian Study Group of Hospital Hygiene (GISIO), entitled Molecular epidemiology of Healthcare Associated Infections: recommendations from the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI). This text considers various aspects related to HAIs: the role of genotyping and bioinformatics, the organizational levels of laboratories, as well as ethical and economic aspects. Conclusions. The use of molecular epidemiology represents a key tool in the management of HAIs, to be used as a complement to conventional control measures. The present contribution aims to increase knowledge on the proper use of such methods, given the major challenge HAI represents for National Health systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalEpidemiologia e prevenzione
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Genotyping methods
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Molecular epidemiology


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