The study, which looked at 10 nursing homes in Orange County, California, found that 31 percent of the residents who were tested were carrying MRSA (meaning they could pass the bacteria along to others, but were not necessarily sick with infection).
That rate is substantially higher than rates found in hospitals and even intensive care units, according to Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at the University of California Irvine Medical Center and one of the study's authors.
The study also found, however, that carriage rates in each of the individual facilities in the study varied widely, from a high of 52 percent in one facility to a low of 7 percent in another.
"The high overall levels of MRSA are reason for concern," Huang said. "But the variation in rates between facilities may be good news because it suggests some facilities are finding effective ways to contain the bacteria."
Nursing homes have long been considered high risk facilities for MRSA infections. However, few studies have compared multiple facilities in one area to look for variation in MRSA carriage.
The researchers took nasal swabs from a sample of 100 residents in each of the 10 homes. They also took samples from 50 people at each home at the time they were admitted to get an idea of how much MRSA was coming into each facility.
The study found that a nursing home's rate of MRSA carriage was not simply a result of how much MRSA came in with new residents, and suggests that some homes do a better job than others of containing the bacteria once it arrives. For example, two nursing homes in the study had identical MRSA intake rates of 12 percent, but one of those homes had an overall MRSA carriage among its established residents of 22 percent, while the other had a rate of 42 percent.
The next step, Huang said, is to find out exactly what these facilities are doing to better contain MRSA.
"The social environment in a nursing home has a positive influence on residents, who are encouraged to frequently mingle," Huang said. "We don't want to stymie that residential feel which can be very important to mental and physical health, but we think there's more to be learned about what nursing homes can do to contain MRSA."
Courtney Reynolds, Victor Quan, Diane Kim, Ellena Peterson, Julie Dunn, Matthew Whealon, Leah Terpstra, Hildy Meyers, Michele Cheung, Bruce Lee, and Susan S. Huang, "Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Carriage in 10 Nursing Homes in Orange County, California." Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 32:1.
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology provides original, peer-reviewed scientific articles for anyone involved with an infection control or epidemiology program in a hospital or healthcare facility. It is published by a partnership between The Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America and The University of Chicago Press.
Kevin Stacey | EurekAlert!
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy