Mupirocin-Based Decolonization of Staphylococcus aureus Carriers in Residents of 2 Long-Term Care Facilities: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Mody, Lona; Kauffman, Carol A.; McNeil, Shelly A.; Galecki, Andrzej T.; Bradley, Suzanne F.
December 2003
Clinical Infectious Diseases;12/1/2003, Vol. 37 Issue 11, p1467
Academic Journal
Mupirocin has been used in nursing homes to prevent the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), despite the lack of controlled trials. In this double-blind, randomized study, the efficacy of intranasal mupirocin ointment versus that of placebo in reducing colonization and preventing infection was assessed among persistent carriers of S. aureus. Twice-daily treatment was given for 2 weeks, with a follow-up period of 6 months. Staphylococcal colonization rates were similar between residents at the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs (VA) Extended Care Center, Michigan (33%), and residents at a community-based long-term care facility in Ann Arbor (36%), although those at the VA Center carried MRSA more often (58% vs. 35%; P = .017). After treatment, mupirocin had eradicated colonization in 93% of residents, whereas 85% of residents who received placebo remained colonized (P < .001). At day 90 after study entry, 61% of the residents in the mupirocin group remained decolonized. Four patients did not respond to mupirocin therapy; 3 of the 4 had mupirocin-resistant S. aureus strains. Thirteen (86%) of 14 residents who became recolonized had the same pretherapy strain; no strain recovered during relapse was resistant to mupirocin. A trend toward reduction in infections was seen with mupirocin treatment.


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