Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study shows

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Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Investigators at the Institut Pasteur in Paris tracked about 450 long-term care residents who were not colonized with Staphylococcus aureus at the time of admission. Of this group, 76 developed MRSA. In comparing the infected residents with a control group, the researchers identified fluoroquinolone use as a factor associated with the MRSA acquisition. More than 93% of the strains were resistant to fluoroquinolones, they found.

“The association between fluoroquinolone use and MRSA acquisition we found expands previous knowledge on risk factors for MRSA colonization/infection in tertiary care hospitals, [reinforcing] that antibiotic stewardship is essential whatever the setting,” the study authors wrote.

The findings appear in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has identified MRSA as one of the most dangerous antibiotic-resistant microorganisms. Resistance is caused primarily by antibiotic misuse and overuse. In addition to antibiotic stewardship, hand hygiene is a crucial safeguard against MRSA, as infections often are spread in healthcare settings through contaminated hands, according to the CDC. 

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