Outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in two nursing homes in Central Norway.J Hosp Infect 2005; 60(4):312-6JH
Until recently, infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have mainly been associated with hospital outbreaks in Norway. However, increasingly cases are contracted outside hospitals. This paper reports the first two outbreaks of MRSA in two nursing homes in central Norway, affecting 23 residents and five staff members. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis showed that all strains from nursing home A were identical and that the strains from nursing home B were genotypically similar with one or two band differences. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) showed that the strains from the two nursing homes belong to clonal complex 45, with each strain being a single-locus variant of sequence type 45 (ST 45), a well-known European epidemic strain. No evident source of the two outbreaks was found, and there was no obvious connection between the two outbreaks. The latter is also supported by the minor differences observed by MLST, suggesting a connection at some time in the past. The outbreaks led to a heavier workload and economic strain on both nursing homes. The outbreak in nursing home A was brought to an end, whereas two residents remained colonized in nursing home B despite several eradication attempts. These outbreaks show the potential for MRSA spread in a nursing home. If the prevalence of MRSA in Norway continues to increase, nursing home staff and residents may have to be included in the groups to be screened for MRSA upon hospital admission.