Utility of a single nasal polymerase chain reaction assay in predicting absence of skin and environmental contamination in hospitalized patients with past methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus

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We evaluated hospitalized patients with a history of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for persistent colonization and need for contact precautions. Up to 3 daily cultures of nares, skin, and any present wounds were compared with a single nasal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Most patients (76.2%) were no longer colonized with MRSA. A single PCR assay was sufficient to exclude persistent colonization and environmental contamination and remove the contact precautions.

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