Background: In this study, we explored the role of colonization in health care workers (HCWs) in transmission of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) to neonates at a level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods: All available screening and clinical MSSA isolates, from the period March 2015 through April 2016, isolated from HCWs and neonates at the level IV NICU, were included. MSSA isolates were initially genotyped using spa typing, and for the most prevalent spa types, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed. Results: From March 2015 through April 2016, 159 neonates and 115 HCWs were found positive for MSSA, and all isolates were typed by means of spa typing. Twenty-three spa types were found in both HCWs and neonates. Within the most prevalent spa types (t002, t015 and t2787), 4 WGS clusters of genetically indistinguishable MSSA isolates were found in which 4 HCWs and 35 neonates were involved. A total of 10 neonates included in the 4 WGS clusters suffered from bacteremia. Conclusions: We showed that HCWs carried the same MSSA isolates as those found in neonates, and that HCWs might serve as a reservoir for transmission of MSSA to neonates. Ten neonates suffered from a bacteremia caused by a MSSA previously detected in a HCW.

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Keywords Health care worker, Infection prevention, Neonatal intensive care unit, Transmission, Whole-genome sequencing
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Journal American Journal of Infection Control
Slingerland, B.C.G.C, Verkaik, N.J, Klaassen, C.H.W. (Corné H.W.), Zandijk, W.H.A, Reiss, I.K.M, & Vos, M.C. (2019). Neonatal Staphylococcus aureus acquisition at a tertiary intensive care unit. American Journal of Infection Control. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2019.11.011