MRSA thriving among one-quarter of nursing home residents, study results show

Share this content:
Nearly one in every four nursing home residents has been colonized by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a recently published report from Queen's University Belfast.

After taking samples from 1,111 residents and 553 staff members at 45 nursing homes in Ireland, researchers discovered that roughly 24% of residents and 7% of staff carry the tough-to-treat disease. According to report authors, 24% is the median rate of colonization, with individual nursing home results running the gamut: three nursing homes were entirely free of MRSA, while at least one had a 73% rate of resident colonization. Similarly, staff members at only 28 of the nursing homes that were tested were found to carry the disease; the highest rate of colonization was 28%.

In the first week of 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services released infection control guidelines designed to stem the spread of certain hospital-acquired infections, including MRSA (McKnight's, 1/8). The Queen's University Belfast report appears in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.