Staphylococci are still a leading cause of hospital infection. The success of nasal mupirocin for the control of epidemic methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (EMRSA), the prevention of colonization of central venous cannulae, and the prevention of septicaemia in haemodialysis patients should encourage the use of minimal dose regimens to minimize the emergence of mupirocin resistance. Mupirocin applied to the anterior nares 4-times daily usually eliminates S. aureus, including EMRSA, within 48 h. Elimination is sustained for several weeks in patients and staff. We recently found that a single dose, or a regimen of 4-times daily for 2 days, eliminated nasal carriage of S. aureus within 24 h; 7 days after a single dose, 92% of the subjects were still cleared; 7 days after the 2-day course, 96% remained free of nasal S. aureus. Ward personnel who are nasal carriers of EMRSA can, provided that other carriage sites are negative, return to work after 2 days of a 4-times daily intranasal regimen. The UK guidelines, recently published in this Journal, recommend an aggressive approach to identifying and eliminating EMRSA, including the elimination of nasal carriage. This approach is increasingly associated with the control of EMRSA in the UK and elsewhere.

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Staphylococcus aureus: Resources
Journal of Hospital Infection
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

W. Casewell, M., & Hill, R. L. R. (1991). Minimal dose requirements for nasal mupirocin and its role in the control of epidemic MRSA. Journal of Hospital Infection, 19, 35–40. Retrieved from