1. Singh Joy, Subhashni D.


According to this study:


* Treating nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus at hospital admission can lead to reduced surgical site infections.



Article Content

Hospital-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infection is common, and evidence shows that the presence of S. aureus organisms in patients' nasal passages can increase their risk for developing health care-associated infections. To further investigate this connection, Bode and colleagues screened 6,771 patients for S. aureus on admission at two general hospitals in the Netherlands between October 2005 and June 2007. Patients were screened using a nasal swab sample, which was immediately tested using real-time polymerase chain reaction assay.


A total of 917 patients with positive screening results were included in the study; 808 of these underwent surgery. Of the 917 patients, 504 were treated with mupirocin ointment and chlorhexidine gluconate soap, while 413 received placebo ointment and soap. The first dose of ointment was given within 24 hours of admission and patients were told to use the soap the next time they bathed. Treatment was administered for five days.


The incidence of health care-related S. aureus infection was higher in the placebo group (7.7%) than in the treatment group (3.4%). This result was slightly more evident among the 808 surgical patients, with 8.4% of placebo patients and 3.6% of treated patients acquiring a surgical site infection. Overall hospital stays were similar and no significant differences in all-cause mortality occurred between the groups.


While treatment in this study didn't completely prevent infection, it did significantly reduce its incidence and should be considered for helping to decrease these nosocomial infections.


Bode LGM, et al. N Engl J Med 2010;362(1):9-17.