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J Hosp Infect. 2002 Jun;51(2):140-3.

Contamination of room door handles by methicillin-sensitive/methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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Department of Pharmacy, Yamaguchi University Hospital, 1-1-1 Minamikogushi, Ube 755-8505, Japan.


We investigated the contamination of room door handles by Staphylococcus aureus in wards of a university hospital. Door handles in 53 (27.0%) of 196 rooms were contaminated by methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and/or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); MSSA was detected on door handles of 41 rooms (20.9%), MRSA on door handles of 17 rooms (8.7%), and MSSA and MRSA on the same door handles of five rooms (2.6%). The density of MSSA contamination was 1-2.6x10(4) colony forming units (cfu)/door handle, and that of MRSA was 1-6.0x10(3) cfu/door handle. The MRSA contamination rate on door handles of rooms with patients with MRSA was 19.0% (4/21 rooms) while that on door handles of rooms with patients without MRSA was 7.4% (13/175); the difference was not significant. These results suggest extensive contamination of MSSA and MRSA in the hospital environment.

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