Control Strategies Targeting High-Risk ICU Patients May Help Reduce MRSA Prevalence

Close-up of vital signs monitor with senior patient in the background at hospital

The presence of nosocomial pathogens in many intensive care units poses a threat to patients and public health worldwide. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important pathogen endemic in many hospital settings. Patients who are colonized with MRSA may develop an infection that can complicate their prior illness. A mathematical model to describe transmission dynamics of MRSA among high-risk and low-risk patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) via hands of healthcare workers was developed. Chamchod and Palittapongarnpi (2019) sought to explore the effects of the proportion of high-risk patients, the admission proportions of colonized and infected patients, the probability of developing an MRSA infection, and control strategies on MRSA prevalence among patients.

The increasing proportion of colonized and infected patients at admission, along with the higher proportion of high-risk patients in an ICU, may significantly increase MRSA prevalence. In addition, the prevalence becomes higher if patients in the high-risk group are more likely to develop an MRSA infection. The researchers say their results also suggest that additional infection prevention and control measures targeting high-risk patients may considerably help reduce MRSA prevalence as compared to those targeting low-risk patients.

The proportion of high-risk patients and the proportion of colonized and infected patients in the high-risk group at admission may play an important role on MRSA prevalence. Control strategies targeting high-risk patients may help reduce MRSA prevalence, the researchers conclude.

Reference: Chamchod F and Palittapongarnpim P. Effects of the proportion of high-risk patients and control strategies on the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in an intensive care unit
BMC Infectious Diseases. Vol. 19, No. 1026. 2019.

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