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The HALT-project

National Centre for Epidemiology participates in this project by its Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Hygiene. Rita Szabó (MsN, BsN) is the programme coordinator


HALT is a project funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). It aims supporting the control of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI), Antimicrobial Resistant organisms (AMR), Antibiotic (AB) use and to process indicators for Infection Control (IC) practices in Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) in Europe.

The HALT project has two accounts:

  • It validates and disseminates a surveillance methodology which should be relevant for LTCFs,
  • It links together national and regional organizations involved in the safety of elderly residents.


Background of the project

Antimicrobial resistance is a serious health threat for elderly people living in LTCFs because they are frequently transferred to acute care hospitals and when returning to the LTCF, they can import resistant pathogens to the facility.Therefore the ECDC plans to carry out repeated Point Prevalence Surveys (rPPS) on Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI), antibiotic use (AB), antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and current infection control resources in these LTCFs for follow-up. It is the task of the HALT-project. This project is partially based on former work achieved by the IPSEWP7 and ESAC Nursing Home surveys combining the experience and methodologies of these two complementary European projects.


Pre-test of the project

In November 2009: during the second ESAC PPS (antibiotic use in Nursing Homes) the proposed HALT methodology has been tested.Being a pre-test, the study was only conducted in a specific type of long-term care facility, namely nursing homes.Data have been collected for each resident with antimicrobial treatment and/or signs of infection on the day of the survey. On a given day, a resident questionnaire has been completed for each resident in the LTCF receiving an AB-treatment and/or presenting signs or symptoms of infection.

Each participating LTCFs had to complete an institutional questionnaire. In each wards, a ward list has been used to collect data on the presence of specific risk factors for every residents in the ward.

The data have been collected using paper forms specifically designed for optical character recognition (OCR form). The completed forms have been sent to the Scientific Institute of Public Health (Brussels) where the data are being extracted and added to the HALT database.

A total of 14 countries for 147 nursing homes accepted to participate in the HALT pre-test.

Hungaryparticipated with 4 nursing homes.


The repeated Point Prevalence Surveys on May 2010

Based on the lessons learned from the pre-test study, the HALT methodology was optimized for the repeated PPS (May 2010).

The aims for rPPS were to extend the survey by inviting a large number of institutions across European countries.

Hungary participated with 42 nursing homes.


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