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MRSA Frequently Carried to Home Care Settings

Last Updated: August 13, 2009.

Among inpatients who are discharged to home health care, prolonged colonization with hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is common and the organism can be transmitted to household contacts, according to a study published in the Aug. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

THURSDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Among inpatients who are discharged to home health care, prolonged colonization with hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is common and the organism can be transmitted to household contacts, according to a study published in the Aug. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Jean-Christophe Lucet, M.D., of Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris, and colleagues screened 1,501 inpatients prior to discharge to home health care, identified MRSA in 191 (12.7 percent), and followed 148 MRSA patients and their household contacts.

Within one year, the researchers found that 75 patients cleared the organism, and that median time to clearance was 282 days. They also observed MRSA acquisition in 36 (19.1) percent of 188 household contacts. Household contacts were more likely to acquire MRSA if they were older (adjusted odds ratio, 1.71 per life decade) or were involved in care of the patient (adjusted odds ratio, 3.58). However, the authors note, none of the household contacts developed MRSA infection and only four were identified as persistent carriers.

"Household contacts should apply infection control measures similar to those recommended in the hospital setting," Lucet and colleagues conclude.

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