Researchers Examine Impact of Roommate Status on MRSA and VRE Colonization and Contamination in Nursing Homes

Multiple room occupancy is common in nursing homes (NHs), and its role in transmission of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is unclear. Cassone, et al. (2021) investigated prevalence of patient colonization and environmental contamination with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in NH roommates, compared it with expected prevalence, and determined specific body and environmental sites that may act as sources of roommate colonization.

According to the researchers, roommate contamination was associated with index patient’s colonization (relative risk (RR): 2.57 (95% CI 1.04–6.37)) for MRSA, and index patient’s immediate environment contamination for VRE (RR: 3.60 (95% CI 1.59–8.12)). When specific index patient sites associated with roommate colonization were investigated, the side table (Fisher’s p = 0.029 and 0.047 for VRE and MRSA, respectively) and the nurse call button (p = 0.001 and 0.052) stood out, together with patient hands in the case of VRE (p = 0.026). They say that future studies should be carried out to establish whether these sites should be a specific target of infection prevention campaigns in NHs with multiple occupancy rooms.

Reference: Cassone M, et al. Not too close! Impact of roommate status on MRSA and VRE colonization and contamination in Nursing Homes. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. Vol. 10, article number 104. 2021.