Household contamination linked with recurrent MRSA infections

Household environmental contamination was associated with an increased rate of recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The researchers conducted their study from Nov. 1, 2011, to June 30, 2014. The study included 82 patients at New York-based Columbia University Medical Center who tested positive for MRSA within 72 hours of visiting the hospital and were followed up with for six months.

Among the 82 households in which a patient tested positive for a MRSA infection, a clinical isolate of the strain was identified in the environment in 20 homes (24.4 percent) and absent in 62 homes (75.6 percent).

During the follow-up, 35 patients (42.7 percent) experienced a recurrent MRSA infection, 15 (42.9 percent) of whom required hospitalization. Thirteen of the recurrent infections were from the 20 households (65 percent) with environmental contamination, and 22 recurrent infections were from the 62 households (35.5 percent) without contamination.

Ultimately, the researchers found environmental contamination increased the rate of recurrent MRSA infection.

"Environmental decontamination should be considered as a strategy to prevent future MRSA infections, particularly among households where an infection has occurred," the authors concluded.



More articles on staph infections:
Intervention reduces staph infections in hospital NICU: 5 things to know
3 quality, patient safety indicators for treating staph infections
Research helps explain why MRSA takes hold post-implant surgery

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