Curbing Patient-to-Patient Transition Doesn't Stop S. aureus, Study Finds

Patient-to-patient transmission accounts for less than one-quarter of in-hospital cases of Staphylococcus aureus, which means traditional patient-centered infection control practices for stopping the spread of the bacteria may be less useful than previously supposed, according to research published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.


Researchers screened more than 1,000 intensive care unit patients for S. aureus upon admission over a 14-month period, recording the genotype of each strain. Of the nearly 200 patients who tested positive for S. aureus, only 18.7 percent had an infection contracted from another patient. The source of the remaining infections remains untraced.

The study concluded more work must be done to identify the source of hospital-acquired S. aureus infections, as the low percentage of patient-to-patient transmission means infection control efforts must be refocused for maximum effectiveness. 


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