Original Article | Open Access
Andrea Saunders, Linda Panaro, Allison McGeer, Alana Rosenthal, Diane White, Barbara M Willey, Denise Gravel, Erika Bontovics, Barbara Yaffe, Kevin Katz, "A Nosocomial Outbreak of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus among Healthy Newborns and Postpartum Mothers", Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, vol. 18, Article ID 617526, 5 pages, 2007. https://doi.org/10.1155/2007/617526
A Nosocomial Outbreak of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus among Healthy Newborns and Postpartum Mothers
BACKGROUND: Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has increasingly been isolated from individuals with no predisposing risk factors; however, such strains have rarely been linked to outbreaks in the hospital setting. The present study describes the investigation of an outbreak of CA-MRSA that occurred in the maternal-newborn unit of a large community teaching hospital in Toronto, Ontario.METHODS: Screening and clinical specimens collected from mothers and newborns delivered during the outbreak period, as well as from staff on the affected unit, were submitted for microbiological testing. Computerized delivery logs and nursing notes were reviewed, and a case control study was conducted.RESULTS: Analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed 38 babies and seven mothers with MRSA colonization and/or infection by the same unique strain (Canadian MRSA-10-related) from September to December 2004. Isolates were characterized as having the staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec type IVa and were positive for the Panton-Valentine leukocidin gene. No one health care worker was associated with all cases; however, mothers and newborns exposed to one particular nurse (Nurse A) were almost 23 times (odds ratio 22.7, 95% CI 3.3 to 195.9) more likely to acquire MRSA than those with no such contact. MRSA was successfully isolated from Nurse A and from an environmental swab of a telephone recently used by Nurse A; both isolates matched the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern of the outbreak strain.CONCLUSION: The first nosocomial outbreak of CA-MRSA among healthy newborns and postpartum mothers in Canada is described. Effective control of sustained MRSA transmission within an institution may require prompt identification, treatment and monitoring of colonized and/or infected staff.
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