GPs must 'control' community-associated MRSA

Community-associated MRSA will pose as great a threat as hospital infections unless an England-wide policy to tackle infections is introduced, the clinical lead for infection control at Guy's and St Thomas' has warned.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Tomas Bercic
Photograph: iStockphoto/Tomas Bercic

Although community-associated infections are not yet common, their prevalence is increasing, according to Professor Gary French, consultant in microbiology and clinical lead for infection control at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

‘It is already here in the UK and it is doubling every year,’ Professor French said last week at a conference organised by The Lancet Infectious Diseases. ‘Unless we urgently produce policies to address this issue, we will end up with community-associated MRSA causing the same number of problems as hospital-acquired MRSA.’

Speaking after the conference, Professor French said that GPs have an important role to play in controlling community-associated infections by following guidelines developed by the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The guidelines provide advice on when to suspect MRSA infection in the community, when and what cultures should be performed and what should be the management options, including the need for hospitalisation.

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