Previously known as “hospital acquired infection” or “nosocomial infection”, the “healthcare-associated infections” term (HAI) reflects the fact that a great deal of healthcare is now performed outside the hospital setting.
One increasing concern is the infections acquired after the admission of patients to a healthcare setting, e.g. hospitals, nursing homes or even the patient's own home. Since the 1950s numerous programmes of continued surveillance and infection testing programmes were implemented and turned out to be instrumental in decreasing the impact of these infections but also in helping the prioritization of resources and efforts to improve overall medical care.
The HAI can be localized or systemic and can be associated for instance with medical devices (presence of biofilms) or with blood product transfusion. They are responsible for acute pathologies such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
- Design and validation of in-vitro diagnostic tests.
- Detection of infectious agents responsible for HAI.