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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2007 Mar;28(3):326-30. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Prevalence and clinical relevance of Staphylococcus warneri in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Author information

1
Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. jcimiott@nursing.upenn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the prevalence of Staphylococcus warneri on the hands of nurses and the clinical relevance of this organism among neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study that examined the microbial flora on the hands of nurses and clinical isolates recovered from neonates during a 23-month period (March 1, 2001, through January 31, 2003).

SETTING:

Two high-risk NICUs in New York City.

PARTICIPANTS:

All neonates hospitalized in the NICUs for more than 24 hours and all full-time nurses from the same NICUs who volunteered to participate.

INTERVENTION:

At baseline and then every 3 months, samples for culture were obtained from each nurse's cleaned dominant hand. Pulsed-field electrophoresis compared S. warneri isolates from neonates and staff.

RESULTS:

Samples for culture (n=834) were obtained from the hands of 119 nurses; 520 (44%) of the 1,195 isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci recovered were identified as S. warneri. Of the 647 clinically relevant isolates recovered from neonates, 17 (8%) of the 202 isolates that were identified to species level were S. warneri. Pulsed-field electrophoresis revealed a common strain of S. warneri that was shared among the nurses and neonates. Furthermore, 117 (23%) of 520 S. warneri isolates from nurses' hands had minimum inhibitory concentrations for vancomycin of 4 mu g/mL, which indicate decreasing susceptibility.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings that S. warneri can be pathogenic in neonates, is a predominant species of coagulase-negative staphylococci cultured from the hands of nurses, and has decreased vancomycin susceptibility underscore the importance of continued surveillance for vancomycin resistance and pathogenicity in pediatric care settings.

PMID:
17326024
PMCID:
PMC1995750
DOI:
10.1086/511998
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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