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  • Open Access

The impact of active surveillance cultures in reducing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in a surgical intensive care unit in Singapore

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  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 3 and
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BMC Proceedings20115 (Suppl 6) :P233

  • Published:


  • Staphylococcus Aureus
  • Ionic Silver
  • Positive Patient
  • Mupirocin
  • Hand Hygiene Compliance

Introduction / objectives

Infection and colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To study the impact of active surveillance cultures (ASC), environmental cleaning and decolonization regimen in reducing MRSA infections in Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU).


The study was conducted in SICU. ASCs were performed from 20 Sep 10 to 28 Feb 11 on all patients admitted/transferred in/transferred out of SICU. ASC specimens consisted of swabs from anterior nares and axilla/groin. The swabs were inoculated onto chromogenic agar selective for MRSA (MRSASelect, Bio-Rad). MRSA positive patients were placed on contact precautions/isolation. Automatic hand sanitizers were installed in SICU to increase hand hygiene compliance. The decolonization regimen consisted of mupirocin ointment tds and daily Prontoderm (0.1% polyhexanide) for 5 days. Sureclean, an ionic silver disinfectant lasting 24 hours was used for environmental disinfection.


453 patients were screened on entry/transfer in. 45 patients (9.9%) were detected to be MRSA colonized on entry. 214 patients were screened on transfer out/death. 9 patients (4.2%) acquired MRSA on exit. There were 10 skin, 29 nasal and 15 skin/nasal carriers. There was an increase in overall hand hygiene compliance from 68.4% in Sep 10 to 90.9% in Feb 11. The incidence of MRSA Infection was reduced from 1.7/1000 patient days (Mar - Aug 10) to 0.9/1000 patient days (Sep 10 - Feb 11).


We demonstrated a significant reduction of MRSA Infections in SICU with implementation of ASC.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Authors’ Affiliations

Medicine, Changi General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore
Laboratory Medicine, Changi General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore
Infection Control Unit, Changi General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore


© Oh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.