Infection control association launches MRSA prevalence study
APIC seeks to determine latest data on hospital-acquired MRSA and gauge effectiveness of programs aimed at preventing the spread of the bacteria.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is launching a new study to gain updated information about hospital acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or HA-MRSA, in U.S. healthcare facilities.
APIC’s 2006 MRSA prevalence study found that 46 out of every 1,000 hospital patients were either infected or colonized with MRSA bacteria. The study, along with an earlier study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helped propel MRSA awareness and spur hospitals to enact programs to prevent the spread of MRSA.
The next study should shed further light on whether prevention efforts have been successful.
APIC encourages all U.S. hospitals to complete the survey. The deadline to participate is August 1, 2010. The survey results will be published in early 2011.
The MRSA staff bacteria can cause serious infections and is resistant to antibiotics including methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. MRSA and other staph infections occur most often among people in hospitals and healthcare facilities who have weakened immune systems, according to the CDC.
MRSA was responsible for 94,000 infections and about 19,000 deaths in 2005, according to the CDC’s population-based study published in JAMA in 2007. About 86 percent of the annual MRSA infections were acquired in a hospital and 14 percent were acquired through a “community setting” such as a prison or school facility.
“The new survey will provide the most up-to-date understanding of the prevalence of MRSA in U.S. healthcare facilities and whether prevention efforts have been effective since our original survey,” said APIC CEO Kathy Warye. ‘We plan to disseminate the results broadly to help hospitals improve their efforts to reduce the transmission of MRSA and to raise awareness of the need for adequately resourced infection prevention programs.”