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Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Jan 15;44(2):178-85. Epub 2006 Dec 14.

Randomized controlled trial of chlorhexidine gluconate for washing, intranasal mupirocin, and rifampin and doxycycline versus no treatment for the eradication of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization.

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University of Toronto, and Dept. of Microbiology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, M4N 3M5, Canada.



Eradication of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage may reduce the risk of MRSA infection and prevent transmission of the organism to other patients.


To determine the efficacy of decolonization therapy, patients colonized with MRSA were randomized (3:1 allocation) to receive treatment (2% chlorhexidine gluconate washes and 2% mupirocin ointment intranasally, with oral rifampin and doxycycline for 7 days), or no treatment. Follow-up samples for MRSA culture were obtained from the nares, perineum, skin lesions, and catheter exit sites monthly for up to 8 months. The primary outcome measure was detection of MRSA at 3 months of follow-up. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to identify variables associated with treatment failure.


Of 146 patients enrolled in the study, 112 patients (87 treated; 25 not treated) were followed up for at least 3 months. At 3 months of follow-up, 64 (74%) of those treated had culture results negative for MRSA, compared with 8 (32%) of those not treated (P=.0001). This difference remained significant at 8 months of follow-up, at which time, 54% of those treated had culture results negative for MRSA (chi2=64.4; P<.0001, by log-rank test). The results of the multivariable analysis indicated that having a mupirocin-resistant isolate at baseline was associated with treatment failure (relative risk, 9.4; 95% confidence interval, 2.8-31.9; P=.0003), whereas decolonization therapy was protective (relative risk, 0.1; 95% confidence interval, 0.04-0.4; P=.0002). Mupirocin resistance emerged in only 5% of follow-up isolates.


Treatment with topical mupirocin, chlorhexidine gluconate washes, oral rifampin, and doxycycline for 7 days was safe and effective in eradicating MRSA colonization in hospitalized patients for at least 3 months.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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