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Infection Control

MRSA transmission in gyms unlikely

March 07, 2011
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WASHINGTON — People concerned about catching the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the community do not need to avoid their local gym, according to a press release.

MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to severe infections: It is most commonly associated with hospitals, however, it can also be acquired in the community, the release noted.

U.S. researchers set out to investigate whether the surfaces of community gymnasium equipment could harbor staphylococcal colonies and to assess whether disinfection lowers the rate of bacterial transmission, the release stated.

According to the article, a total of 240 samples were collected from three local gyms, before and after cleaning, at three different times and each sample was analyzed for MRSA and MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus): Not one of the 240 samples taken was positive for MRSA or MSSA.

"Despite the increasing incidence of community-acquired MRSA/MSSA infections, the gyms that we studied did not appear to be significant sources of staphylococcal infection," said lead investigator, Dr. Kathleen Ryan, of the University of Florida.

"Aggressive and expensive surface disinfection programs may not be warranted in certain gymnasium settings," Ryan added.

Click here to read the complete release.

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