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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2013 May;68(5):1193-9. doi: 10.1093/jac/dks501. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Tea tree oil (5%) body wash versus standard care (Johnson's Baby Softwash) to prevent colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in critically ill adults: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Queen's University Belfast, Centre for Infection & Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences, Belfast, Northern Ireland. b.blackwood@qub.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether the daily use of 5% tea tree oil (TTO) body wash (Novabac 5% Skin Wash) compared with standard care [Johnson's Baby Softwash (JBS)] had a lower incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization.

PATIENTS:

The study setting was two intensive care units (ICUs; mixed medical, surgical and trauma) in Northern Ireland between October 2007 and July 2009. The study population comprised 391 patients who were randomized to JBS or TTO body wash.

METHODS:

This was a Phase 2/3, prospective, open-label, randomized, controlled trial.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ISRCTN65190967. The primary outcome was new MRSA colonization during ICU stay. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of MRSA bacteraemia and maximum increase in sequential organ failure assessment score.

RESULTS:

A total of 445 patients were randomized to the study. After randomization, 54 patients were withdrawn; 30 because of a positive MRSA screen at study entry, 11 due to lack of consent, 11 were inappropriately randomized and 2 had adverse reactions. Thirty-nine (10%) patients developed new MRSA colonization (JBS n = 22, 11.2%; TTO body wash n = 17, 8.7%). The difference in percentage colonized (2.5%, 95% CI - 8.95 to 3.94; P = 0.50) was not significant. The mean maximum increase in sequential organ failure assessment score was not significant (JBS 1.44, SD 1.92; TTO body wash 1.28, SD 1.79; P = 0.85) and no study patients developed MRSA bacteraemia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Compared with JBS, TTO body wash cannot be recommended as an effective means of reducing MRSA colonization.

PMID:
23297395
DOI:
10.1093/jac/dks501
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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