How long is the incubation period with a hospital germ? | Multiresistant hospital germs

How long is the incubation period with a hospital germ?

The incubation period of hospital germs, using MRSA as an example, is about 4 to 10 days. The incubation period is the time between infection with a pathogen and the appearance of the first symptoms.

3-MRGN and 4-MRGN

MRGN stands for multi-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. It is a collective term for several different bacteria that also occur in the body of healthy people. Examples are Pseudomonas aeruginosa or E. coli.

The common feature of these bacteria is their resistance to many antibiotics, so it is difficult to find a suitable drug to eliminate them in case of infection. A distinction is made between 3-MRGN and 4-MRGN, this refers to the resistance to various antibiotics: Since resistances occur especially where many antibiotics are used, these pathogens are a big problem, especially in hospitals. As with MRSA, a distinction is made in MRGN between infection and colonisation.

In the case of colonisation, the bacteria do not cause any symptoms of disease, but can be transmitted. Surgery or an immune deficiency can then lead to an infection. – 3-MRGN are resistant to three antibiotic groups

  • 4-MRGN are resistant to four antibiotic groups. They are therefore even more difficult to treat.

Hospital germs after an operation

Even in otherwise healthy people who undergo standard operations such as appendectomy or knee surgery, hospital germs can cause problems. The pathogens enter the patient’s bloodstream via the wound caused by the operation and thus settle in the wound. This leads to an infection and thus to a delay in wound healing.

Depending on the pathogen, the infection must be treated with antibiotics. However, this can be difficult because some hospital germs have developed resistance to a variety of antibiotics. This can delay the process of wound healing even further.

Wound infections after operations are among the most common hospital infections (nosocomial infections). The germs can either be present in the patient before the operation but have not yet caused any symptoms (colonisation) or they are only acquired in hospital, e.g. through contact with other patients or nursing staff. Strict hygiene measures are considered an important measure against wound infections after surgery.

Diarrhoea caused by hospital germs

Diarrhoea in hospital is not uncommon and often caused by viruses such as the Norovirus. Norovirus causes gastro-intestinal inflammation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and can be transmitted quickly, especially in hospital. Diarrhoea can also occur after antibiotic treatment.

Responsible for this is the bacterium Clostridium difficile, a common hospital germ. The natural intestinal flora is partially killed by antibiotics and Clostridium difficile can multiply unhindered. It produces toxins and attacks the intestinal mucosa. This can have different effects depending on the patient, ranging from mild diarrhoea to a potentially life-threatening, toxic megacolon.