Environmental cleaning approaches for reducing MRSA transmission: 5 study insights

A new study, published in BMC Infectious Diseases, examines the efficacy of different approaches for cleaning environmental surfaces to prevent contact transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other hospital-acquired infections.

Researchers constructed a mathematical model to study MRSA concentration dynamics on:

•    High-touch and low-touch surfaces
•    The hands and noses of two patients in two hospitals rooms
•    A healthcare worker in a hypothetical hospital environment

They examined two cleaning interventions — whole room cleaning and wipe cleaning of touched surfaces.

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Here are five insights from the study:

1. Whole room cleaning just before first patient care activities of the day was more effective than whole room cleaning at other times.

2. Whole room cleaning reduced the number of MRSA transmitted to the susceptible patient by 54 percent.

3. Frequent wipe cleaning of touched surfaces was more effective than whole room cleaning.

4. Additionally, wipe cleaning high-touch surfaces was more effective than wipe cleaning low-touch surfaces, when the frequency of cleaning was the same.

5. Thus, daily whole room cleaning reduces the number of MRSA transmitted via the contact route, and it should be supplemented with "frequent targeted cleaning of high-touch surfaces," the study authors conclude.

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