Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts question value of common superbug control practices

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
The Lancet
Summary:
The jury is still out on the effectiveness of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) superbug control policies in hospitals, according to leading infectious disease experts. In particular, screening and isolating infected patients -- which have long been regarded as the gold standard MRSA prevention strategy and are required by law in some countries -- have poor evidence for their effectiveness, say the authors.

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) superbug control policies in hospitals, according to leading infectious disease experts in a Viewpoint published in The Lancet. In particular, screening and isolating infected patients -- which have long been regarded as the gold standard MRSA prevention strategy and are required by law in some countries -- have poor evidence for their effectiveness, say the authors.

After reviewing studies on preventing the spread of MRSA in hospitals over the past decade, the authors argue that although various approaches to tackle MRSA have been examined, most of the research has looked at bundles of control measures, and we don't yet know which individual components work best, or whether some of them could be omitted without increasing transmission.

Gerd Fätkenheuer, study co-author and Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital Cologne in Germany and President of the German Society of Infectious Diseases explains, "In the haste to do something against the rising tide of MRSA infection, measures were adopted that seemed plausible but were not properly assessed, bundling the effective and harmless with the ineffective and harmful. We know, for example, that isolating patients can result in anxiety and depression and fewer visits by doctors and nurses."

"We need better studies", says co-author Professor Bernard Hirschel, former Chief of the HIV unit at the Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland and current President of the Swiss Society of Infectious Diseases. "With the tide of MRSA receding and improved treatment options for the infection, a window of opportunity now exists to reassess whether masks, gowns, gloves, and single rooms add anything to the traditional infection control measures of hand hygiene and universal decolonisation (eg, a daily bath with an antibacterial agent) which have proved much more successful in reducing rates of MRSA."

In recent years, MRSA rates have declined and hospitals are facing multiple multidrug resistant pathogens. The key question now, say the authors, is whether scarce resources should focus on screening for one particular pathogen, or assume a broader approach focusing on reducing all hospital-acquired infections, not just MRSA.

According to co-author Professor Stephan Harbarth from Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland, "The lack of effectiveness of active detection and isolation should prompt hospitals to discontinue the practice for controlling the spread of MRSA in favour of evidence-based measures adapted to local conditions and settings, which weigh up effectiveness, costs, and adverse events. What is more, recommendations and guidelines should clearly state the uncertainties in this field, and legal mandates that dictate the use of specific control measures for MRSA should be abandoned."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Gerd Fätkenheuer, Bernard Hirschel, Stephan Harbarth. Screening and isolation to control meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: sense, nonsense, and evidence. The Lancet, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60660-7

Cite This Page:

The Lancet. "Experts question value of common superbug control practices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821090651.htm>.
The Lancet. (2014, August 21). Experts question value of common superbug control practices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821090651.htm
The Lancet. "Experts question value of common superbug control practices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821090651.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) — Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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