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Epidemiol Infect. 1990 Oct;105(2):215-28.

Outbreaks of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on neonatal and burns units of a new hospital.

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Clinical Microbiology and Public Health Laboratory, John Bonnett Clinical Laboratories, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


Multiple introductions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains occurred to a new hospital in Hong Kong. Two years of clinical microbiological surveillance of the resulting outbreaks was combined with laboratory investigation by phage and antibiogram typing, and plasmid profiling. The outbreaks on the special care baby (SCBU) and burns (BU) units were studied in detail, and colonization of staff and contamination of the environment were investigated. MRSA were spread by the hands of staff on the SCBU, where long-term colonization of dermatitis was important, but were probably transmitted on the BU by a combination of the airborne, transient hand-borne and environmental routes. Simple control measures to restrict hand-borne spread on the SCBU were highly effective, but control was not successful on the BU.

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