Focus on MRSA
Over recent years, the occurrence of hospital infections caused by methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been increasing steadily, representing around 20 to 55% of the isolates in Europe and in the USA.
Leading cause of nosocomial infections, especially in intensive care units, the MRSA sources are either endogenous (the patient) or through cross contamination (environmental or by person to person contact).
The major issue with this pathogen is its resistance to a large panel of antibiotics, among them beta-lactam antibiotics, limiting the therapeutic options for clinicians.
MRSA Epidemiologic Issues
Early detection of patient contamination is essential for controlling
the spread of MRSA, providing appropriate care, and avoiding complex
and expensive treatments. Pre-admission screening for MRSA has proved
to be an effective method for reducing the hospital burden of
MRSA-colonised patients. The savings due to consistent decolonisation
before elective admission outweigh the costs of screening. Today, in
the US, the extra-expenses linked to difficult treatments of MRSA
infections are estimated at $2.4 billion for about 370,000 hospital
stays. (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, August 2009).
In the UK, the estimation of the additional cost of discharging every hospital patient who acquires MRSA is £9,000.