Infection

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 159–164

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Europe: which infection control measures are taken?

  • S. Hansen
  • F. Schwab
  • A. Asensio
  • H. Carsauw
  • P. Heczko
  • I. Klavs
  • O. Lyytikäinen
  • M. Palomar
  • I. Riesenfeld-Orn
  • A. Savey
  • E. Szilagyi
  • R. Valinteliene
  • J. Fabry
  • P. Gastmeier
Clinical and Epidemiological Study

DOI: 10.1007/s15010-010-0001-8

Cite this article as:
Hansen, S., Schwab, F., Asensio, A. et al. Infection (2010) 38: 159. doi:10.1007/s15010-010-0001-8

Abstract

Background

The prevalence of hospital-acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections shows a huge variety across Europe. Some countries reported a reduction in MRSA frequency, while in others countries increasing MRSA rates have been observed. To reduce the spread of MRSA in the healthcare setting, a sufficient MRSA management is essential. In order to reflect the MRSA management across Europe, MRSA prevention policies were surveyed in ten countries.

Materials and methods

The survey was performed by questionnaires in European intensive care units (ICUs) and surgical departments (SDs) in 2004. Questionnaires asked for availability of bedside alcohol hand-disinfection, isolation precautions, decolonization and screening methods. The study was embedded in the Hospital in Europe Link for Infection Control through Surveillance (HELICS) Project, a European collaboration of national surveillance networks. HELICS was initiated in order to harmonize the national surveillance activities in the individual countries. Therefore, HELICS participants developed surveillance modules for nosocomial infections in ICUs and for surgical site infections (SSI). The coordination of this surveillance has now been transferred to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Results

A total of 526 ICUs and 223 SDs from ten countries sent data on organisational characteristics and policies, demonstrating wide variations in care. Substantial variation existed in availability of bedside alcohol hand-disinfection, which was much higher in participating ICUs rather than in SDs (86 vs. 59%). Surveillance cultures of contact patients were obtained in approximately three-fourths of all SDs (72%) and ICUs (75%). Countries with decreasing MRSA proportions showed especially strict implementation of various prevention measures.

Conclusion

The data obtained regarding MRSA prevention measures should stimulate infection control professionals to pursue further initiatives. Particularly, the vigorous MRSA management in countries with decreasing MRSA proportions should encourage hospitals to implement preventive measures in order to reduce the spread of MRSA.

Keywords

MRSA Infection control measures Europe 

Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Hansen
    • 1
  • F. Schwab
    • 1
  • A. Asensio
    • 2
  • H. Carsauw
    • 3
  • P. Heczko
    • 4
  • I. Klavs
    • 5
  • O. Lyytikäinen
    • 6
  • M. Palomar
    • 7
  • I. Riesenfeld-Orn
    • 8
  • A. Savey
    • 9
  • E. Szilagyi
    • 10
  • R. Valinteliene
    • 11
  • J. Fabry
    • 12
  • P. Gastmeier
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Hygiene and Environmental MedicineCharité–University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Preventive Medicina MadridPuerta de Hierro-Majadahonda University HospitalMadridSpain
  3. 3.Scientific Institute of Public HealthBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Institute for MicrobiologyJagiellonian University Medical CollegeCracowPoland
  5. 5.Institute of Public Health of the Republic of SloveniaLjubljanaSlovenia
  6. 6.Department of Infectious Disease EpidemiologyNational Public Health InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  7. 7.Department of Intensive CareHospital Vall d’HebronBarcelonaSpain
  8. 8.National Board of Health and Welfare, Communicable Disease Prevention and ControlStockholmSweden
  9. 9.Université Lyon 1, Hospices Civils de LyonSaint Genis-LavalFrance
  10. 10.Department of Hospital EpidemiologyNational Center for EpidemiologyBudapestHungary
  11. 11.Institute of HygieneVilniusLithuania
  12. 12.Laboratoire d’Epidémiologie et de Santé PubliqueUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1LyonFrance

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