Prospective study of infection, colonization and carriage of methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus in an outbreak affecting 990 patients
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- Coello, R., Jiménez, J., García, M. et al. Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. (1994) 13: 74. doi:10.1007/BF02026130
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In the three years between November 1989 and October 1992, an outbreak of methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) affected 990 patients at a university hospital. The distribution of patients with carriage, colonization or infection was investigated prospectively. Nosocomial acquisition was confirmed in at least 928 patients, 525 of whom were identified from clinical specimens as being infected (n=418) or colonized (n=107) by MRSA. An additional 403 patients were identified from screening specimens, of whom 58 subsequently became infected and 18 colonized. Screening of the nose, throat and perineum detected 98 % of all carriers. Of the 580 infections in 476 patients, surgical wound, urinary tract and skin infections accounted for 58 % of the infections. Of the 476 infected patients, death was attributable to MRSA infection in 13 %. Colonization with MRSA was found in 127 patients and 42 % of 165 colonized sites were the skin. Auto-infection from nasal carriage or cross-infection, probably via staff hands, seemed to be the most common mode of acquisition of MRSA infections.