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Detection and Treatment of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Carriage in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit: A 6-Year Prospective Survey

  • Gilles Troché (a1), Luc-Marie Toly (a1), Michèle Guibert (a1) and Jean-Fabien Zazzo (a1)

To describe, during a 6-year period, multidrug-resistant bacterial carriage in an intensive care unit (ICU).


Prospective survey of 2,235 ICU patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E).


A surgical ICU in a tertiary-care teaching hospital.


All admitted patients.


Nasal and rectal swabs were performed at admission and weekly thereafter. There was nasal application of mupirocin for MRSA carriers and selective digestive decontamination with local antibiotics for ESBL-E carriers.


The swab compliance rate was 82% at admission and 51% during ICU stay. The rates of MRSA carriage or infection were 4.2 new cases per 100 admissions and 7.9 cases per 1,000 patient-days during ICU stay. The rates of ESBL-E carriage or infection were 0.4 new case per 100 admissions and 3.9 cases per 1,000 patient-days during ICU stay. Importation of MRSA increased significantly over time from 3.2 new cases per 100 admissions during the first 3 years to 5.5 during the last 3 years. The rate of ICU-acquired ESBL-E decreased from 5.5 cases per 1,000 patient-days during the first 3 years to 1.9 cases during the last 3 years. Nasal and digestive decontamination had low efficacy in eradicating carriage.


MRSA remained poorly controlled throughout the hospital and was not just a problem in the ICU. MRSA thus requires more effective measures throughout the hospital. ESBL-E was mainly an ICU pathogen and our approach resulted in a clear decrease in the rate of acquisition in the ICU over time.

Corresponding author
Medico-surgical Intensive Care Unit, André Mignot Hospital, 177 rue de Versailles, 78157 Le Chesnay Cedex, France.
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
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