Study: Broad MRSA testing may not help

A new study suggests that despite widely held beliefs to the contrary, universal testing for MRSA may not be clinically or cost-effective. The study, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded that broad testing of patients for MRSA in a Swiss hospital didn't reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections and didn't save money. 

To conduct the study, Swiss researchers screened 10,193 surgery patients admitted to the University of Geneva Hospitals between October 2004 and May 2006, while reviewing the histories of an additional control group of more than 10,000 surgery patients who didn't get tested. When patients tested positive for MRSA, the Geneva Hospital put them in isolation, scrubbed them with disinfectant and gave them special antibiotics. Regardless, the rate of hospital-acquired MRSA infections didn't differ for the two groups.

Right now, many hospitals are voluntarily rolling out costly MRSA-testing programs for all inpatients, and some states are requiring that they do so. This study calls such strategies into question, researches suggested.

To find out more about the study:
- read this Chicago Tribune article

Related Articles:
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VA program slashes MRSA infection rates. Report
Study: Disinfectant cuts down on MRSA. Report

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