MRSA Screening In Hospitals Is Not Effective

Armen Hareyan's picture

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus(MRSA)

Universal screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) doesn't prevent the infection from spreading in US hospitals.

About 1.7 million Americans are being MRSA infected a year and 100000 of those die each year. MRSA infection is treated with a few types of antibiotics. Hospitals take several measures to reduce the rates of infection, such as staff hand washing, equipment changing, and room cleaning.


Scientists from University of Geneva Hospitals and Medical School conducted a two year study to see how effective universal MRSA screening is. The results show that 85% of infections are hospital acquired and they are dangerous for weakened patients. This means that regular screenings of patients before hosting them in a hospital don't reduce the number of infections.

About 1.5% of all Americans are MRSA infected and they may spread the infection. They may have no visible symptoms. The study reported that 515 out of 21754 surgical patients were MRSA infected, 337 of those were not identified as infected.

The study showed that regular patient screenings did not significantly change patient infection rates. Hospitals handling regular screenings and prevention efforts reported 76 infections, compared to 93 infection cases in other hospitals.

"Overall, our real-life trial did not show an added benefit for widespread rapid screening on admission compared with standard MRSA control alone in preventing hospital MRSA infections in a large surgical department," said study leader Dr. Stephan Harbarth.