Healthcare-associated transmission of Panton-Valentine leucocidin positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: the value of screening asymptomatic healthcare workers.
BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Sep 27;18(1):484
Authors: Papastergiou P, Tsiouli E
BACKGROUND: Three patients hospitalised in the coronary care unit of a general district hospital (England, UK) were tested positive for Panton-Valentine leucocidin methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonisation during their routine weekly screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The isolates were indistinguishable and all three patients have previously had negative screening tests. The outbreak investigation team considered exploring the possibility of PVL-MRSA transmission from members of staff to the patients and potentially between members of staff.
METHOD: As part of the investigations, healthcare workers on coronary care unit and intensive care unit were screened for MRSA carriage.
RESULTS: Among 134 screened healthcare workers, five staff members (3.7%) were MRSA colonised. Among these isolates, four were Panton-Valentine leukocidin positive. However, only two healthcare workers had an indistinguishable isolate with the isolate identified among the colonised patients. Decolonisation treatment was offered to all colonised patients and healthcare workers.
CONCLUSION: In low MRSA prevalence settings, healthcare workers may be a reservoir of MRSA and an important potential source of transmission to patients. Screening and decolonisation of colonised healthcare workers may provide a valuable strategy in managing linked hospital acquisitions and reduce the risk of occupationally acquired complications. MRSA mass screen of healthcare workers should be considered in transmission with a strain that has a potentially increased virulence, such as Panton-Valentine leucocidin methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
PMID: 30261854 [PubMed - in process]