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The Effect of Total Household Decolonization on Clearance of Colonization With Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

  • Valerie C. Cluzet (a1), Jeffrey S. Gerber (a2) (a3) (a4), Joshua P. Metlay (a5), Irving Nachamkin (a6), Theoklis E. Zaoutis (a2) (a3) (a4), Meghan F. Davis (a7), Kathleen G. Julian (a8), Darren R. Linkin (a1) (a2), Susan E. Coffin (a2) (a4), David J. Margolis (a2) (a3) (a9), Judd E. Hollander (a10), Warren B. Bilker (a2) (a3), Xiaoyan Han (a2) (a3), Rakesh D. Mistry (a11), Laurence J. Gavin (a12), Pam Tolomeo (a2), Jacqueleen A. Wise (a2), Mary K. Wheeler (a2), Baofeng Hu (a6), Neil O. Fishman (a1), David Royer (a13), Ebbing Lautenbach (a1) (a2) (a3) and for the CDC Prevention Epicenters Program...



To determine the impact of total household decolonization with intranasal mupirocin and chlorhexidine gluconate body wash on recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection among subjects with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection.


Three-arm nonmasked randomized controlled trial.


Five academic medical centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania.


Adults and children presenting to ambulatory care settings with community-onset MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection (ie, index cases) and their household members.


Enrolled households were randomized to 1 of 3 intervention groups: (1) education on routine hygiene measures, (2) education plus decolonization without reminders (intranasal mupirocin ointment twice daily for 7 days and chlorhexidine gluconate on the first and last day), or (3) education plus decolonization with reminders, where subjects received daily telephone call or text message reminders.


Owing to small numbers of recurrent infections, this analysis focused on time to clearance of colonization in the index case.


Of 223 households, 73 were randomized to education-only, 76 to decolonization without reminders, 74 to decolonization with reminders. There was no significant difference in time to clearance of colonization between the education-only and decolonization groups (log-rank P=.768). In secondary analyses, compliance with decolonization was associated with decreased time to clearance (P=.018).


Total household decolonization did not result in decreased time to clearance of MRSA colonization among adults and children with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection. However, subjects who were compliant with the protocol had more rapid clearance

Trial registration. identifier: NCT00966446

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;1–8


Corresponding author

Address correspondence to Valerie Cluzet, MD, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Division of Infectious Diseases, 3400 Spruce St, 3rd Fl, Silverstein Bldg, Ste E, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (


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Presented in part: IDWeek 2014 Scientific Conference; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; October 11, 2014 (Abstract 1336).



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