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.'
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