Open Access Research article

Surveillance of healthcare-associated infections in Piemonte, Italy: results from a second regional prevalence study

Lorena Charrier1*, Pier Angelo Argentero2, Enzo C Farina3, Roberto Serra3, Francesco Mana1 and Carla M Zotti1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health and Paediatrics, University of Torino, Via Santena 5 bis, Torino, Italy

2 Ospedale di Rivoli, ASL TO3, Via Rivalta 29, Rivoli, Italy

3 Azienda Ospedaliera Città della Salute e della Scienza, Corso Bramante 88/90, Torino, Italy

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:558  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-558

Published: 5 June 2014



A prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) was previously performed in the Piemonte region in 2000. In the decade following the survey, many studies were performed at both the regional and hospital levels, and training courses were developed to address issues highlighted by the survey. In 2010, a second regional prevalence study was performed. The aim of this paper is to present the results of the second prevalence study and discuss them within the context of the HAI prevention and control programmes that have been implemented in the decade since the original survey was conducted.


The study involved all public hospitals in the Piemonte region. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the main risk factors associated with HAIs, including both overall and site-specific infections.


A total of 7841 patients were enrolled: 6.8% were affected by at least one HAI. The highest prevalence of HAIs was found in intensive care units (18.0%, 95% CI 14.0-22.6), while UTIs presented the highest relative frequency (26.7%), followed by respiratory tract infections (21.9%). The age of the patient, hospital size and urinary and central venous catheter status were significantly associated with HAIs.


The study results showed an increase in HAI prevalence, despite prevention and control efforts, as well as training implemented after the first regional survey. Nevertheless, these data are consistent with the current literature. Furthermore, despite its limits, the prevalence approach remains an important means for involving healthcare workers, emphasising HAIs and revealing critical problems that need be addressed.

Healthcare-associated infections; Prevalence survey; Risk factors