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Study finds fire stations contaminated with MRSA
Date:6/1/2011

negative Staphylococcus spp. [CoNS]).

At the first sampling, 26 (4.3%) of the 600 surface samples were MRSA positive, with MRSA positive samples found in all nine areas sampled. The most common area for MRSA contamination was the medic trucks with 13 (50%), the kitchens with 3 (11.5%) and other areas such as computer keyboards and computer desks with 2 (7.7%).

At the second sampling, 18 (3.9%) of the 464 surface samples were MRSA positive, with MRSA positive samples again found in all nine areas sampled. The kitchen and outer gear both had 4 (22%) MRSA positive samples, while the medic truck had 3 (16.6%), other areas had 1-2 MRSA positive samples each. Two samples contained a strain of MRSA (MRSA SCCmec type II), which is commonly found in hospitals, and were isolated from the fire truck/engine and garage areas.

Thirty percent of the nasal cultures were positive for MRSA (9 samples) or S. aureus (3 samples). The majority (58%) of the nasal MRSA and S. aureus were genetically related to environmental surface isolates suggesting transmission between personnel and the environmental surfaces may be occurring.

Investigators conclude that "Fire personnel interact with both hospital and community population as part of their job and thus have the potential for exposure to MRSA from both sourcesMRSA SCCmec type II isolates, commonly found in the hospital, were also identified in the study, demonstrated that both community- and hospital-like MRSA can contaminate the fire station surfaces. The isolation of the same strain in the fire apparatuses and garage as well as the living quarters suggests that the transmission of MRSA may be occurring between these two areasClearly more research is needed to determine if the current findings are representative of fire stations surfaces and personnel throughout the country."

MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to severe infections and is associated with approximatel
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Contact: Liz Garman
egarman@apic.org
202-454-2604
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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