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J Hosp Infect. 2013 Oct;85(2):141-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2013.07.005. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Sustained meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus control in a hyper-endemic tertiary acute care hospital with infrastructure challenges in Singapore.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, National University Health System, Singapore; Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Infection Control Team, National University Health System, Singapore. Electronic address: mdcfda@nus.edu.sg.



Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been entrenched in Singapore hospitals since the 1980s, with an excess of 600 non-duplicate cases of infections (120 bacteraemia episodes) each year in our 995-bed university hospital. Approximately 5% of our hospital beds are used as isolation facilities.


To study the impact of an MRSA control bundle that was implemented via gradual geographic extension across hospital wards.


The bundle included active surveillance on admission and transfer/discharge to identify ward-based acquisition of MRSA, isolation and cohorting of MRSA-infected patients, enhanced hand hygiene initiatives, and publicly displayed feedback of MRSA acquisition and hand hygiene compliance rates. Implementation was between October 2006 and June 2010 in order to provide lead-time for the incremental development of infrastructural capacity, and to develop an ethic of infection prevention among staff. Results were analysed via interrupted time-series analysis.


MRSA infections fell midway through the implementation, with MRSA bacteraemia declining from 0.26 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.18-0.34] cases per 1000 inpatient-days in the first quarter of 2004 to 0.11 (95% CI: 0.07-0.19) cases per 1000 inpatient-days in the first quarter of 2012. MRSA acquisition rates fell a year after the programme had been fully implemented, whereas hand hygiene compliance rose significantly from 47% (95% CI: 44-49) in the first quarter of 2009 to 69% (95% CI: 68-71) in the first quarter of 2012.


Successful staged implementation of an MRSA bundle in a hyper-endemic setting is sustainable and represents a model that may be adapted for similar settings.

Copyright © 2013 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Active surveillance; Cohorting; Hand hygiene; Infection control; Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Time-series analysis

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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