Screening of patients for carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) coupled with interventions such as contact isolation is widely regarded as a means of reducing rates of MRSA infection and inter-patient transmission. Recent studies in the Netherlands have shown that introduction of a national guideline in which uncomplicated carriage is treated with mupirocin nasal ointment and chlorhexidine soap solution, and complicated carriage is treated using the same regimen supplemented with two oral antibiotics, was successful, with up to 80% of patients being decolonized. Increased success was seen in patients, particularly those with complicated carriage, whose treatment adhered closely to the guideline. As the Netherlands has a low level of MRSA, further work is required to see if this regimen will be as effective at reducing carriage in countries with higher rates of endemic MRSA, where re-colonization may be expected to occur more often.
- infection control
- nosocomial infections