It may be prudent to advise those living in a home with
a patient with community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus to take contact precautions, as about one-quarter of household
contacts may become infected after the initial patient, according to a study
Jessica M. Nerby, MPH, of the Minnesota
Department of Health, and colleagues examined data on 236 children who were
treated for MRSA at 12 Minnesota hospitals, even though they did not have an
established health care-associated MRSA risk factor.
Overall, the researchers enrolled 236 households
consisting of 236 case-patients and 712 household contacts.
The researchers followed up with the patients 69 days
after symptom onset and found that 13% of case-patients and 12% of their
household contacts had MRSA nasal colonization. Nerby and colleagues noted
nasal colonization in more than one person in 25% of the households.
Household contacts who assisted the case-patient
to bathe or who shared balms/ointments/lotion with the case-patient were more
likely to be colonized, the researchers wrote.
However, they said those household contacts who used
antibacterial vs. non-antibacterial soap for hand washing were less likely to
be colonized with MRSA.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant