Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRSA Screening Downplayed As Effective Infection Control Intervention

Date:
October 30, 2008
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
Epidemiologists are downplaying the value of mandatory universal nasal screening of patients for MRSA, arguing that proven, hospital-wide infection control practices can prevent more of the potentially fatal infections.

Three Virginia Commonwealth University epidemiologists are downplaying the value of mandatory universal nasal screening of patients for MRSA, arguing that proven, hospital-wide infection control practices can prevent more of the potentially fatal infections.

Related Articles


In a report published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the team, composed of internationally acclaimed epidemiologists Richard P. Wenzel, M.D., Gonzalo Bearman, M.D., and Michael B. Edmond, M.D., of the VCU School of Medicine, said "hospitals get more bang for their buck with evidence-based infection control prevention."

Some states, including Pennsylvania, Illinois, California and New Jersey, are mandating universal nasal screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in hospitalized patients. MRSA is a strain of Staph bacteria that does not respond to penicillin and related antibiotics, but can be treated with other drugs.

"The key safety question today, since it is possible to reduce the total risk of hospital infections by half with a broad-based infection control program, is what is the incremental benefit of a component focusing on a single antibiotic-resistant pathogen?" said Wenzel.

Using epidemiological principles and focusing on deadly bloodstream infections, the team modeled a focused-screening program that was assumed to be effective in reducing MRSA rates by 50 percent and compared it to a hospital-wide program designed to reduce the rates of all infections by half.

According to Wenzel, chair of internal medicine at the VCU School of Medicine and immediate past president of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, MRSA infections cause only 14 percent of hospital infections, and investing huge resources into their control would be less effective than implementing programs that would reduce the burden of all infections by 50 percent.

Also in the model, the MRSA screening was inferior to the general infection control programs, preventing fewer infections, fewer deaths and was also less effective in reducing years of life lost from infections. The MRSA screening tests have false positives – leading to the isolation of patients who are non-MRSA carriers – as well as false negatives – missing some true carriers.

Further, the cost of nasal swabbing tests for all patients in a screening program was estimated to be two to three times that of adding additional infection control nurses for a broad infection control program.

The authors acknowledge that there are some instances in which MRSA screening and topical antibiotic treatment of nares of carriers may add incremental benefit to a hospital wide, evidence-based program. For example, in a patient going for open heart surgery who is a MRSA carrier, a post-operative infection would be devastating.

Wenzel and his colleagues' broad perspective is that a focused screening program would have made more sense in the late 1980s and early 1990s since MRSA was the key in antibiotic-resistant pathogen. However, in the last 15 years hospitals are facing multiple bacteria with broad resistance (Vancomycin-resistant enterococci, imipenam-resistant pseudomonas, totally drug resistant Acinetobacter and others), and efforts need to be broad based with a goal of reducing the overall burden of infections.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "MRSA Screening Downplayed As Effective Infection Control Intervention." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023100900.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2008, October 30). MRSA Screening Downplayed As Effective Infection Control Intervention. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023100900.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "MRSA Screening Downplayed As Effective Infection Control Intervention." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023100900.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins