Contaminated household fomites may cause recurrence of S. aureus skin infections | Infectious Disease

Patients with Staphylococcus aureus skin infection were more likely to experience a recurrence if the household fomites were contaminated with MRSA, according to new data.

“Our findings suggest that environmental decontamination, and perhaps not body decolonization, may be a key component of future successful S. aureus and MRSA prevention efforts,” the researchers wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases. “Given the high rate of recurrent skin infections in our population, prospective trials of household environmental decontamination should be undertaken in order to improve our ability to prevent these extremely common and potentially life-threatening infections.”

Loren G. Miller, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a prospective, longitudinal cross-sectional study that included adults and children after they were treated for S. aureus skin infections, and their household contacts. Patients were identified from Chicago and Los Angeles. The researchers performed home visits for consenting patients within 21 days of study enrolment. The patients provided cultures from the nares and oropharynx and inguinal cultures. The researchers also swabbed common household fomites to test contamination. Repeat visits were performed at 3 months and 6 months.