Don't Touch That Remote! Household Surfaces May Spread MRSA

The researchers also obtained surface samples from 21 household items they presumed to be frequently handled by household members. They also tested household pets.

They recovered S aureus from at least 1 household surface for 32 (64%) of the households. They recovered exclusively MRSA in 8 (16%) households and MRSA and MSSA in 15 (30%) households, for a total of 23 (46%) households with MRSA contamination. They recovered exclusively MSSA in 9 households (18%).

MRSA was most commonly found on bed linens (18%), television remote controls (16%), and bathroom hand towels (15%).

S aureus had colonized in 6 (23%) of 26 dogs tested and 1 (7%) of 14 cats tested; 1 of the 6 colonized dogs had had a skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) during the past 6 months. In comparison, 4 dogs out of 33 noncolonized pets had had an SSTI in the past 6 months.

In total, the researchers recovered 212 isolates of 7 distinct S aureus strains from children, pets, and household surfaces.