Ointments as a source of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus spread

Abstract number: 1733_1430

Orth D.

Objectives: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has for several years been increasingly spreading at inpatient and outpatient healthcare facilities and constitutes a great epidemiological problem. Colonised and infected patients represent the most important reservoir and MRSA is transmitted by direct person-to-person contact, usually on the hands of healthcare workers. Long term carrier and recurrent infections/colonisations occur despite optimal preventive hygienic measurements. The source of MRSA spread is unknown in such cases. The aim of this study was to investigate the contamination of ointments as a source of MRSA spread in the University Hospital of Innsbruck.

Methods: During a six month period, ointments of MRSA-positive patients were screened for MRSA contamination. MRSA strains collected from patients and ointments were tested for in vitro susceptibility and the automated ribotyping was used for molecular typing. Ointments primary for skin care and other medical indications were applied for one patient only and used during hospitalisation.

Results: A total of 101 ointments from19 MRSA-positive patients were examined. Seven ointments specimens (6.9%) (Bepanthen®, Candio-Hermal® soft paste, Spoendlin'sche® nasal ointment and even Bactroban®) from 3 patients were found positive for MRSA. Four different ribotypes (RT 2, 6, 10, 12) were occurred in patients and 2 in ointments (RT2, 6). MRSA from the ointments were identical to MRSA collected from patients as shown by ribotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility profile in all cases.

Conclusions: Ointments, in use for patients care were contaminated with MRSA and could therefore contribute to MRSA spread in the patient-setting.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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