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Topical therapy for MRSA colonization: impact on infection risk
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2009;30(7):623-32
Date: 2009-06-22   Read: 164838

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2009 Jul;30(7):623-32

Topical therapy for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization: impact on infection risk

Robicsek A, Beaumont JL, Thomson RB Jr, Govindarajan G, Peterson LR

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the usefulness of topical decolonization therapy for reducing the risk of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection among MRSA-colonized inpatients.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING AND INTERVENTION: Three hospitals with universal surveillance for MRSA; at their physician's discretion, colonized patients could be treated with a 5-day course of nasal mupirocin calcium 2%, twice daily, plus chlorhexidine gluconate 4% every second day.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: MRSA carriers were later retested for colonization (407 subjects; study 1) or followed up for development of MRSA infection (933 subjects; study 2). Multivariable methods were used to determine the impact of decolonization therapy on the risks of sustained colonization (in study 1) and MRSA infection (in study 2).

RESULTS: Independent risk factors for sustained colonization included residence in a long-term care facility (odds ratio [OR], 1.8 [95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-3.2]) and a pressure ulcer (OR, 2.3 [95% CI, 1.2-4.4]). Mupirocin at any dose decreased this risk, particularly during the 30-60-day period after therapy; mupirocin resistance increased this risk (OR, 4.1 [95% CI, 1.6-10.7]). Over a median follow-up duration of 269 days, 69 (7.4%) of 933 patients developed infection. Independent risk factors for infection were length of stay (hazard ratio [HR], 1.2 per 5 additional days [95% CI, 1.0-1.4]), chronic lung disease (HR, 1.7 [95% CI, 1.0-2.8]), and receipt of non-MRSA-active systemic antimicrobial agents (HR, 1.8 [95% CI, 1.1-3.1]). Receipt of mupirocin did not affect the risk of infection, although there was a trend toward delayed infection among patients receiving mupirocin (median time to infection, 50 vs 15.5 days; P=.06).

CONCLUSIONS: Mupirocin-based decolonization therapy temporarily reduced the risk of continued colonization but did not decrease the risk of subsequent infection.

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