, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 260–264

Success of MRSA Eradication in Hospital Routine: Depends on Compliance


    • Hospital HygieneUniversity Hospital Essen
  • P.-I. Patzke
    • Hospital HygieneUniversity Hospital Essen
  • U. Werfel
    • Dept. of Internal Medicine IVKliniken Essen-Mitte
  • D. Benner
    • Hospital HygieneUniversity Hospital Essen
  • A. Brauksiepe
    • Hospital HygieneUniversity Hospital Essen
  • W. Popp
    • Hospital HygieneUniversity Hospital Essen
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/s15010-007-6273-y

Cite this article as:
Hansen, D., Patzke, P., Werfel, U. et al. Infection (2007) 35: 260. doi:10.1007/s15010-007-6273-y



To prevent transmission of MRSA, eradication by antiseptic washings and nasal ointment is recommended. There are few studies, which investigated the success of eradication of MRSA carriage during everyday clinical working conditions and results are controversial. We wanted to assess the effectiveness of MRSA eradication procedures – especially octenidine whole body washings and mupirocin nasal ointment – under conditions of everyday life.

Patients and Methods:

We retrospectively analyzed the files of all patients who were admitted to the medical department of a tertiary care hospital between 1999 and 2004 and who were infected or colonized by MRSA. According to hospital’s standards of care patients should have been washed with octenidine and should have got mupirocin nasal ointment only in case of nasal carriage. Patients were regarded as MRSA-eradicated when swabs taken on three consecutive days, earliest, three days after discontinuation of antiseptic and antiinfective procedures were without proof of MRSA.


Only 6% of patients were eradicated. MRSA could be cultured from swabs taken on dismissal of 60% of patients. Fifteen percent of patients had only one or two negative series of swabs. In 19% of patients success of eradication remained unknown. Besides we found that under every day clinical working conditions compliance with several tasks of the eradication protocol was insufficient.


Under every day clinical working conditions MRSA eradication is successful only in few patients. Whole body washings should be tested in detailed studies before they should become a recommendation for eradication of MRSA.

Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel München 2007