Date: 14 Feb 2008

MRSA and the environment: implications for comprehensive control measures

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Environmental contamination with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is established soon after colonized or infected patients become resident. There are many studies that detail the mechanisms of spread and environmental survival of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA); this knowledge translates directly into the same findings for MRSA. The potential ubiquity of MRSA in a health-care setting poses challenges for decontamination. Whereas patients and medical staff are important sources for MRSA spread, the environmental burden may contribute significantly in various contexts. Effective control measures must therefore include consideration for MRSA in the environment.