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Effect of Screening for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Carriage by Polymerase Chain Reaction on the Duration of Unnecessary Preemptive Contact Isolation

  • Ilker Uçkay (a1), Hugo Sax, Anne Iten (a2), Véronique Camus (a1), Gesuele Renzi (a3), Jacques Schrenzel (a3), Arnaud Perrier (a2) and Didier Pittet (a1)...


A high prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage at hospital readmission among previous MRSA carriers warrants screening and preemptive isolation precautions. The replacement of culture on chromogenic agar with rapid quantitative polymerase chain reaction for readmission screening reduces the number of unnecessary preemptive isolation-days by 54% (from 6.88 to 3.14 isolation-days) and related costs by 45% (from US$113.2 to US$62.1) for patients who test negative for MRSA.


Corresponding author

Infection Control Program, University of Geneva Hospitals and Facuty of Medicine, 24 Rue Micheli-du-Crest 1211, Geneva 14, Switzerland (


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