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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012 Mar;33(3):268-75. doi: 10.1086/664045. Epub 2012 Jan 6.

A crossover trial of antimicrobial scrubs to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus burden on healthcare worker apparel.

Author information

1
Epidemiology and Infection Control, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia WI 53705, USA. gbearman@mcvh-vcu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The impact of antimicrobial scrubs on healthcare worker (HCW) bacterial burden is unknown. Objective. To determine the effectiveness of antimicrobial scrubs on hand and apparel bacterial burden.

DESIGN:

Prospective, crossover trial.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Thirty HCWs randomized to study versus control scrubs in an intensive care unit.

METHODS:

Weekly microbiology samples were obtained from scrub abdominal area, cargo pocket, and hands. Mean log colony-forming unit (CFU) counts were calculated. Compliance with hand hygiene practices was measured. Apparel and hand mean log CFU counts were compared.

RESULTS:

Adherence measures were 78% (910/1,173) for hand hygiene and 82% (223/273) for scrubs. Culture compliance was 67% (306/460). No differences were observed in bacterial hand burden or in HCWs with unique positive scrub cultures. No difference in vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and gram-negative rod (GNR) burden was observed. A difference in mean log methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) CFU count was found between study and control scrubs for leg cargo pocket (mean log CFUs, 11.84 control scrub vs 6.71 study scrub; [Formula: see text]), abdominal area (mean log CFUs, 11.35 control scrub vs 7.54 study scrub; [Formula: see text]), leg cargo pocket at the beginning of shift (mean log CFUs, 11.96 control scrub vs 4.87 study scrub; [Formula: see text]), and abdominal area pocket at the end of shift (mean log CFUs, 12.14 control scrubs vs 8.22 study scrub; [Formula: see text]).

CONCLUSIONS:

Study scrubs were associated with a 4-7 mean log reduction in MRSA burden but not VRE or GNRs. A prospective trial is needed to measure the impact of antimicrobial impregnated apparel on MRSA transmission rates.

PMID:
22314064
DOI:
10.1086/664045
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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