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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in children: Prevention and control

Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Section Editor
Morven S Edwards, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD


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 MRSA 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 Staphylococcus aureus and streptococcal skin and soft tissue infections in children >28 days: Evaluation and management" 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 percent NaCl

Broth microdilution tests with 2 percent sodium chloride

Agar dilution tests with 2 percent sodium chloride

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 11, 2017.
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