Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in children: Prevention and control
- Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
- Editor-in-Chief — Pediatrics
- Section Editor — Pediatric Infectious Diseases
- Professor and Vice Chairman for Clinical Affairs
- Baylor College of Medicine
The microbiology laboratory and the infection control departments play crucial roles in control of the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within an institution. The prevention and control of methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections in children will be discussed here. The epidemiology, clinical spectrum, and treatment of MRSA in children are discussed separately. (See "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in children: Epidemiology and clinical spectrum" and "Suspected methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft tissue infections: Evaluation and management in children >28 days" and "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in children: Treatment of invasive infections".)
Clinical microbiology laboratories provide several services that are important in controlling hospital-acquired transmission of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). MRSA must be differentiated from other strains of S. aureus because special infection control precautions are recommended for patients with MRSA. The preferred methods for routine testing of S. aureus isolates for their susceptibility to beta-lactams are [1,2]:
●Oxacillin/salt screening plates containing 6 mcg/mL oxacillin and 4% NaCl
●Broth microdilution tests with 2% sodium chloride
●Agar dilution tests with 2% sodium chloride
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