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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Eradication of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from a health center ward and associated nursing home.

BACKGROUND: Long-term health care facilities have been recognized as reservoirs of multiresistant bacterial strains, especially methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Efforts to control MRSA in this setting usually have been only partially effective. We describe herein the eradication of epidemic MRSA from a Finnish health care center ward and affiliated nursing home. METHODS: The methods to control MRSA included (1) contact isolation precautions, (2) screening for asymptomatic carriage, (3) eradication of carriage, and (4) education of staff on hygienic measures. The first 6 patients with MRSA-positive findings were referred without delay to the Infectious Diseases Unit of the adjacent university hospital for eradication treatment. Later, an isolation unit of 6 rooms was founded in the health care center, where the MRSA-colonized patients were nursed as a separate cohort until they, in succession, were referred to the Infectious Diseases Unit for decolonization. RESULTS: From May 20 through August 17, 1993, the epidemic MRSA strain was isolated from 8 long-term patients on the 40-bed ward of the health care center, 4 of the 59 residents of the nursing home, and 1 member of the staff. Eradication of carriage was successful in all except 1 patient with dementia, who was nursed in contact isolation in the health care center until his death 21 months later. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to eradicate MRSA from a long-term health care facility even after 13 cases by applying strict control measures. Our experience may be valuable in the future decision-making process for control of new and more challenging multiresistant bacteria, eg, vancomycin-resistant strains of MRSA.[1]


  1. Eradication of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from a health center ward and associated nursing home. Kotilainen, P., Routamaa, M., Peltonen, R., Evesti, P., Eerola, E., Salmenlinna, S., Vuopio-Varkila, J., Rossi, T. Arch. Intern. Med. (2001) [Pubmed]
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