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Universal Screening for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus by Hospitals

William R. Jarvis, MD; Carlene Muto, MD, MS
JAMA. 2008;300(5):503-506. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.504-a.
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To the Editor: The study by Dr Harbarth and colleagues1 and the accompanying editorial by Drs Diekema and Climo2 conclude that selective and incomplete expansion of MRSA screening may not prevent MRSA hospital-acquired infections. There are several issues that we believe require clarification.

First, the term “universal screening” for MRSA is misused and misleading. In this quasi-experimental study, 2 surgical subspecialty patient groups were screened for MRSA sequentially, not simultaneously. This is not universal screening of all hospital patients or even all surgical patients. A recent observational study using true universal MRSA screening (all patients on admission) found significantly reduced rates of MRSA hospital-acquired infections.3

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August 6, 2008
Rosemary Harris, MD
JAMA. 2008;300(5):503-506. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.503-a.
August 6, 2008
Cassandra D. Salgado, MD, MS; Margreet C. Vos, MD, PhD; Barry M. Farr, MD, MSc
JAMA. 2008;300(5):503-506. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.503-b.
August 6, 2008
Stephan Harbarth, MD, MS; Didier Pittet, MD, MS
JAMA. 2008;300(5):503-506. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.504-b.
August 6, 2008
Daniel J. Diekema, MD; Michael Climo, MD
JAMA. 2008;300(5):503-506. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.505.
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