Epidemiological investigation of nosocomial outbreak of staphylococcal skin diseases in neonatal ward
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- Kurlenda, J., Grinholc, M., Krzysztoń-Russjan, J. et al. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (2009) 95: 387. doi:10.1007/s10482-009-9318-7
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During a 1-month period, eight neonates developed staphylococcal skin disease diagnosed as a bullous impetigo in the maternity unit of the Provincial Hospital in Gdansk. An epidemiological investigation based on phenotyping and genotyping methods was performed. All neonates involved in the outbreak, their mothers and 15 staff members were screened for carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by nasal swabs. Isolated strains were compared with strains cultured from affected skin and purulent conjunctiva of infected newborns. Isolates were analyzed for the presence of the etA and etB genes using polymerase chain reaction and genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and coa gene polymorphism. The analyzed S. aureus strains were methicillin-sensitive and could be divided into two groups according to antibiotyping, phage typing, coa polymorphism and PFGE pattern. The first group consisted of etA and etB negative strains, and the second one involved only the etB positive ones. Our results have shown that there were two different clusters of infection caused by two populations of S. aureus strains. Among the 15 medical staff members screened we have found seven carriers. However, phage typing revealed that distinct strains unrelated to the outbreak isolates were carried. Although we have not been able to establish the source of bacteria involved in the outbreak, our results suggest that for both groups, mothers could be the source of the infecting strains.