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CA-MRSA increasingly prevalent in nursing homes

February 12, 2013

WASHINGTON — While most infection control measures are focused on hospitals, a new study points to the need for more targeted interventions to prevent the spread of drug-resistant bugs in nursing homes, as community-associated strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) are on the rise in these facilities, according to a press release.

ca-mrsaThe study was published in the March 2013 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the release stated.

According to the release, researchers at the University of California at Irvine assessed the frequency of CA-MRSA carriage among residents in a convenience sample of 22 of the 72 nursing homes in Orange County, California, during the period October 2008 through May 2011.

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Strains were found by swabbing the noses of 100 residents in each nursing home at a single visit and up to another 100 additional swabs from newly admitted residents; of the MRSA-positive swabs, 25 percent (208/824) were positive for CA-MRSA, the release noted.

"Community-type strains first arose among healthy community members without exposure to the healthcare system and have steadily infiltrated many hospitals," said Courtney R. Murphy, Ph.D., the study's lead researcher.

"We believe these at-risk facilities could benefit from further infection control interventions, such as enhanced environmental cleaning or skin decolonization," Murphy added.

Click here to read the release in its entirety.