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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1993 Jul;14(7):369-75.

An outbreak of mupirocin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on a dermatology ward associated with an environmental reservoir.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate a cluster of mupirocin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on a dermatology ward.

DESIGN:

An outbreak of mupirocin-resistant S aureus was noted on the dermatology ward during a prospective epidemiologic study of methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) and borderline methicillin-susceptible S aureus (BMSSA). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of whole-cell DNA digested with Sma I was used as a marker of strain identity.

SETTING AND PATIENTS:

An 850-bed university hospital with a 12-bed inpatient dermatology ward. Most patients have severe, exfoliating dermatologic disorders.

RESULTS:

MRSA or BMSSA were isolated from 13 patients on the dermatology ward over a 14-month period. Eleven of these isolates (84.6%) were mupirocin-resistant. Nine isolates were present on admission (81.8%); 8 of these patients had been hospitalized on the same ward within the last two months. Nasal and hand cultures from 36 personnel were negative for mupirocin-resistant MRSA or BMSSA. Extensive environmental culturing revealed that a blood pressure cuff and the patients' communal shower were positive for mupirocin-resistant BMSSA. PFGE of all mupirocin-resistant isolates demonstrated that the nine patients and both environmental sources had identical DNA typing patterns.

INTERVENTIONS:

Changing of blood pressure cuffs between patients and more stringent cleaning of communal areas was initiated. Repeat environmental cultures were negative.

CONCLUSIONS:

S aureus is not usually associated with an environmental reservoir; however, these patients all had severe desquamation, which may have prolonged environmental contamination.

PMID:
8354867
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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