Routine screening for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus

Nancy A. Parks, Martin Croce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of asymptomatic carriers of methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the general population is increasing and now is estimated to be 5%-10%. Although the overall prevalence of MRSA infections in hospitals may be decreasing, it remains important, as asymptomatic carriers are at risk for infections of the skin and soft tissues, including surgical site infections (SSIs). Given the morbidity and cost of such infections, it has been hypothesized that identification of the carrier state, and subsequent eradication, will decrease the risk of MRSA infection. Methods: Review of pertinent English-language literature. Results: Asymptomatic MRSA carriers are at approximately 30-fold greater risk of SSI. However, the literature is conflicting as to whether identification of the MRSA carrier state, with targeted intervention thereafter, reduces the incidence of subsequent MRSA infection. Screening with polymerase chain reaction-based methodology is rapid and more accurate than conventional swab cultures (usually of the nares) but also more expensive. Conclusion: Screening programs for MRSA colonization are expensive and of dubious utility. Universal screening of large populations is not cost-effective, whereas targeted screening of high-risk populations may deserve additional study. Standard infection control practices, diligent hand hygiene, and careful antimicrobial stewardship remain the tenets of prevention of MRSA infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Infections
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

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Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Surgical Wound Infection
Carrier State
Infection
Population
Hand Hygiene
Costs and Cost Analysis
Soft Tissue Infections
Infection Control
Cross Infection
Language
Morbidity
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Skin
Incidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Routine screening for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. / Parks, Nancy A.; Croce, Martin.

In: Surgical Infections, Vol. 13, No. 4, 01.08.2012, p. 223-227.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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