Vol. 64, No. 35
September 11, 2015
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Notice to Readers: The Effect of Falsified Clostridium difficile Infections Surveillance Data on Results Reported in MMWR
WeeklySeptember 11, 2015 / 64(35);987
In 2012, MMWR published the report, "Vital Signs: Preventing Clostridium difficile Infections," which examined Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) surveillance data. This report contained several errors pertaining to Emerging Infections Program (EIP) data. These errors occurred as a result of scientific misconduct by a former employee of the Oregon Health Authority. The Public Health Service Office of Research Integrity has determined that the former employee falsified or fabricated data for 56 Oregon EIP CDI case report forms (https://ori.hhs.gov/content/case-summary-asherin-ryan).
The authors re-analyzed the EIP data to determine if the removal of all Oregon CDI cases (57 total cases) from the 10,342 cases included in the original publication altered the previously reported results. It did not. Re-analysis confirms the conclusions in the original report. Data in the original report from sources other than the Oregon Health Authority (i.e., from other EIP sites, the National Healthcare Safety Network, and Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York CDI prevention programs) were not involved in the research misconduct.
Errata for the 2012 report have been published in this issue of MMWR.