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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in hospitals: time for a culture change

John K Ferguson and Helen Van Gessel
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (1): 61-64.
Published online: 7 January 2008

To the Editor: The magnitude and distribution of the problem of health care-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Australia can be gauged from the report of a forum on MRSA control conducted at the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) in March 2007.1 This report contrasted approaches to control of health care-associated MRSA and quantified the population incidence rate of health care-associated MRSA bacteraemia across Australia from data derived from direct surveillance systems (Box). Reporting of MRSA infections is thought to be complete from all jurisdictions except Victoria and New South Wales. Figures for Victoria were extrapolated from accurate surveillance data representing 50%–60% of events. The degree of incompleteness of reporting in NSW could not be determined, and a range based on reports to NSW Health over 3 years was used. Overall morbidity of health care-associated MRSA in Australia is much higher, as only a minority of MRSA infections lead to bacteraemia.

  • John K Ferguson
  • Helen Van Gessel

  • 1 Department of Microbiology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW.
  • 2 Western Australia Office of Safety and Quality in Healthcare, Perth, WA.


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