This study, he said in an interview, should change practice. 'This study shows that testing people for MRSA and isolating them is not an effective way to control MRSA in the hospital, which we've been arguing all along."
In an interview, however, Edmond said he is "a little worried, because I think that widespread use of mupirocin will likely lead to development of a lot of resistance." His hospital uses routine chlorhexidine baths in the ICU, but not mupirocin.
MRSA colonization is a major target in quality measurement because bloodstream infections are common and are lethal in more than 20% of cases. Increased length of stay can add costs of as much as $30,000 per patient.
A decade ago, the CDC estimated 90,000 invasive MRSA infections, most of them acquired in hospitals, with 19,000 deaths per year. Hand hygiene and other strategies have reduced those rates by 28% between 2005 and 2008 and again 28% in 2011.