MRSA eradication in dermatologic outpatients – theory and practice

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The dissemination of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an increasing challenge in medical care. Apart from hospital acquired MRSA, there has also been an increase in community acquired and livestock associated MRSA. While the risks of MRSA (e. g. wound infections) and consequences (e. g. rejection of patients) are well known, there are little data on the effectiveness of eradication procedures.

Patients and methods:

32 patients with proven MRSA colonization were monitored during eradication for the following aspects: (1) localization of MRSA (swabs from hairline, anterior nares, throat, axillae, groins, perineum, and wounds, if present), (2) presence of eradication-impairing factors, (3) length of time needed for eradication, (4) cost of eradication, (5) molecular fingerprint and risk assessment (spa-types).


We describe the successful eradication of MRSA in all 32 patients. Most positive nasal swabs were obtained from the anterior nares and the throat and only rarely from the hairline or axillae. The greater the number of positive swabs, the more time was needed for eradication. In most patients (37.5%), eradication with topical antiseptics was successful. The average time for eradication was 12.97 (± 7.6) days. Twelve patients required systemic antibiotic therapy. Treatment costs associated with the use of systemic antibiotics were significantly higher. The most frequent spa types were t032 and t003. Conclusions: We report successful MRSA eradication in outpatients. Systemic antibiotics are unnecessary in the majority of patients. A combined anti-MRSA strategy for inpatients and outpatients is recommended.

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