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Detection of Staphylococcus Aureus Including MRSA on Environmental Surfaces in a Jail Setting

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Health Care Volume: 15 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2009 Pages: 310-317
Marilyn Felkner, DrPH; Kiersten Andrews; Leanne H. Field, Ph.D.; Jeffery P. Taylor, M.P.H.; Tamara Baldwin; Ana Maria Valle-Rivera, Ph.D.; Jessica Presley; Sky Newsome; Eric Casey
Date Published
October 2009
8 pages
This study examined the role of contaminated environmental surfaces in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (S.) aureus (MRSA) transmission in correctional settings.
Results found S. aureus and MRSA in the jail environment. Swabs recovered S. aureus from 10 surfaces (7.6 percent); 8 isolates (6.1 percent) were MRSA. Additionally, tests were conducted on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis on six resistant isolates resulting in the observation of three patterns, one of which was identical to that identified in a previous study of inmates' nasal specimens. Finding MRSA-contaminated surfaces on a variety of environmental surfaces in the absence of an overt outbreak emphasizes that correctional facilities should have infection control guidelines that include protocols for environmental surface cleaning. Such guidelines should include routine cleaning of surfaces in bathroom and living areas and shared equipment with a bleach solution or an Environmental Protection Agency-registered disinfectant, inspecting living and bathroom areas routinely and rectifying any lapses in sanitation, and covering vehicle seats with an impermeable disposable sheet when transporting infected inmates. Data were collected by swabbing 132 surfaces. Tables and references