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Semin Respir Infect. 2000 Dec;15(4):308-13.

Staphylococcal infections in the intensive care unit.

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Department of Medicine, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci are among the most common causes of nosocomial infections in the intensive care unit (ICU). The clinical presentation of staphylococcal device-related infections, pneumonias, or surgical wound infections is not unique. However, treatment of these infections is increasingly problematic because of the resistance of clinical isolates to a widening number of antimicrobial agents. The confluence of critically ill patients and the need for multiple invasive procedures, as well as the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents in the ICU, set the stage for the emergence of these multidrug-resistant staphylococci. In the past 10 years, there has been a progressive increase in the overall resistance of staphylococci to antimicrobial agents. Conventional infection control measures, such as handwashing and isolation precautions, to prevent the spread of staphylococcal infections in the ICU setting remain of critical importance. New approaches, including the prophylactic use of topical antistaphylococcal agents to eliminate nasal colonization in high-risk ICU patients and the development of antistaphylococcal vaccines, are currently being investigated.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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