MRSA screening of 'no benefit'

Universal MRSA screening of patients on admission to hospital is of 'no benefit' according to a Swiss study.

The finding calls into question the efficacy of universal screening as a method of reducing rates of hospital-acquired MRSA, a method that has been proposed by the DoH.

The study, carried out between July 2004 and May 2006, included 21,754 surgical patients at a Swiss teaching hospital.

Despite better identification of MRSA carriers, there was no reduction in MRSA infection rates during the screening period, compared with a six-month period when only usual infection control measures were applied.

Professor Mark Enright from the Division of Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care at Imperial College, London said: ‘It's disappointing that they didn't see an outcome in terms of transmission.'

GPletters@haymarket.com

JAMA 2007; 299:1149-57

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