Detection of Staphylococcus aureus Including MRSA on Environmental Surfaces in a Jail Setting

Source: Marilyn Felkner, Kiersten Andrews, Leanne H. Field, Jeffery P. Taylor, Tamara Baldwin, Ana Maria Valle-Rivera, Jessica Presley, Sky Newsome, Eric Casey, Journal of Correctional Health Care, Vol. 15, No. 4, published online October 1, 2009
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From the abstract:
We examined jail environmental surfaces to explore whether they might serve as reservoirs of viable methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We swabbed 132 surfaces, inoculated primary and secondary mannitol salts and oxacillin-resistant screening agar, and used API tests to identify S. aureus and E-tests to determine methicillin/oxacillin resistance. We recovered S. aureus from 10 (7.6%) surfaces; eight (6.1%) isolates were MRSA. We ran pulsed-field gel electrophoresis on six resistant isolates and observed three patterns, one of which was identical to that identified in a previous study of inmates’ nasal specimens. Finding MRSA-contaminated surfaces on a variety of environmental surfaces in the absence of an overt outbreak emphasizes that correctional facilities should have protocols for environmental cleaning as a component of MRSA prevention.

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