RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Mupirocin ointment with and without chlorhexidine baths in the eradication of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in nursing home residents.

BACKGROUND: Mupirocin ointment has been shown to be effective in eradicating Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in residents of a long-term care facility. Antiseptic soaps have been used as adjunct to this therapy. We compared the efficacy of short-term intranasal mupirocin ointment with and without chlorhexidine baths in the eradication of S. aureus nasal carriage with follow-up for 12 weeks.

METHODS: Residents in four nursing homes known to have endemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus were screened for nasal carriage of S. aureus. Residents who had anterior nares cultures positive for S. aureus on two separate occasions were divided into two groups. Both groups received intranasal mupirocin ointment twice daily for 5 days and one group also received chlorhexidine baths for the first 3 days. Cultures of anterior nares, axilla, and groins were performed before treatment and 1 day and 1, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after treatment.

RESULTS: After treatment, S. aureus nasal carriage was eradicated in all residents. Recolonization with S. aureus had occurred at 12 weeks in 24% of residents receiving mupirocin ointment alone (6/25) and in 15% of residents receiving mupirocin ointment plus chlorhexidine baths (4/27).

CONCLUSIONS: A short course of mupirocin ointment was effective in eradicating nasal carriage of S. aureus in nursing home residents. There were no statistical differences in efficacy between the two regimens with respect to the eradication of nasal carriage and prevention of recolonization with S. aureus.

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