Decrease in infections with the introduction of mupirocin cream at the peritoneal dialysis catheter exit site

Linda Uttley, Anand Vardhan, Sundeep Mahajan, Ben Smart, Alastair Hutchison, Ram Gokal
Journal of Nephrology 2004, 17 (2): 242-5

UNLABELLED: Staphylococcus aureus associated peritonitis and catheter exit site infections (ESI) are an important cause of hospitalization and catheter loss in the patients undergoing chronic peritoneal dialysis (PD). We aimed to determine the potential effectiveness of the application of mupirocin cream at the catheter exit site in preventing exit site infection and peritonitis.

METHODS: This prospective historically controlled study was done in a total of 86 patients who entered our PD program from April 1999 to January 2001. They were instructed to apply Mupirocin cream 2% to the exit site daily or on alternate days. The patients were not screened to determine whether they were staphylococcus aureus carriers. One hundred and thirteen patients on PD prior to April 1999 acted as historical controls. Both groups were followed prospectively for a period of 22 months.

RESULTS: In the study group application of mupirocin lead to a significant reduction in the incidence rate of both exit site infections overall (0.43 vs. 0.09; p<0.0001) and ESI due staphylococcus aureus (0.14 vs. 0.02; p=0.004) amounting to a relative reduction of 79% and 85% respectively. Although the overall incidence of peritonitis did not change (0.28 vs. 0.26; p=0.7) there was a significant reduction in peritonitis caused by staphylococcus aureus (0.07 vs. 0; p=0.01) Although only one catheter required removal in the mupirocin group as against 5 in the control group, this was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Mupirocin application at the exit site significantly lowers the incidence of ESI and peritonitis caused by staphylococcus aureus without any significant side effects.

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