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J Hosp Infect. 2001 Dec;49(4):255-61.

Survival of MRSA on sterile goods packaging.

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Working Group Technical Hygiene, Free University of Berlin, Germany.


For many years, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) has been a world-wide problem. Stringent infection control regimens need to be followed to prevent spread. One such measure is the disposal of unused, MRSA-contaminated single-use items, which is quite expensive. An alternative, less costly measure is to store these items temporarily, re-using them once the organism is non-viable. To establish survival times of MRSA on sterile goods packaging, paper and foil samples were contaminated with MRSA (approximately 10(8)-10(9) cfu/sample). The number of pathogens recoverable from the samples was measured at defined times. MRSA was demonstrated to survive on sterile goods packaging for more than 38 weeks. No MRSA was recoverable after 50 weeks. Temporary storage of MRSA-contaminated single-use items for such a long period of time is not an appropriate or reliable means of decontamination, but many be considered for items that would be costly to replace.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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