The problem, the consequences, and rapid testing solutions
Worldwide, it is estimated that between 2-53 million people carry Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and rates are increasing rapidly. This makes MRSA the most commonly identified, antibiotic-resistant pathogen in Europe, the Americas, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.1
Patients infected with multi-drug resistant organisms such as MRSA are likely to have longer and more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to die as a result of the infection.2 MRSA is problematic in healthcare facilities where patients with open wounds, invasive devices and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public.
The multi-drug resistance capability of MRSA means there are limited treatment options and Vancomycin is often the last line of defense against the infection.Continued inappropriate use and overuse of Vancomycin makes it inevitable that resistance will emerge, and Vancomycin-resistant MRSA has been reported in some countries.3
Your patient has a S. aureus infection diagnosed by the laboratory. You suspect it might be Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is resistant to most antibiotics. Which diagnostic pathway do you choose for your patient?
It is essential that MRSA infections are identified as early as possible and steps are taken to ensure the correct treatment is implemented. Rapid MRSA testing aids in reducing the empirical use of Vancomycin and permits cost-effective decisions for optimal patient management.4
The Alere™ PBP2a SA Culture Colony Test is a rapid immuno-chromatographic assay that uses monoclonal antibodies to assist in the detection of MRSA directly from bacterial isolates in five minutes. In a U.S. study, results were available at least one day sooner than standard antimicrobial susceptibility tests, and were used to effectively modify and improve treatment regimens for patients with S. aureus infections .5
- Grundmann, H. et al. (2006) Emergence and resurgence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The Lancet, Vol.368, pp.874-85 [Online] DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68853-3
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012) About Antimicrobial Resistance: A Brief Overview. [Online]. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html (Accessed: 13 Feb 2013)
- Howden, B.P. et al. (2010) Reduced Vanocmycin Susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus including Vancomycin-intermediate and Heterogeneous Vancomycin-Intermediate Strains: Resistance Mechanisms, Laboratory Detection, and Clinical Implications. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 23(1)99 [Online] DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00042-09
- Lodise, T.P. and McKinnon, P.S. (2005) Clinical and economic impact of methicillin resistance in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Vol.52, pp.113-122 [Online] doi:10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2005.02.007
- Barrett, H.L., Trienski, T.L. and DiPersio, J.R. (2012) Laboratory use of a rapid PBP2a immunochromatographic assay: Efficacy and clinical impact. American Society of Microbiology 2012
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