How often do asymptomatic healthcare workers cause methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus outbreaks? A systematic evaluation

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2006 Oct;27(10):1123-7. doi: 10.1086/507922. Epub 2006 Sep 21.


A systematic search was performed to identify outbreaks of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection and colonization caused by healthcare workers (HCWs). Of 191 outbreaks identified, 11 had strong epidemiological evidence that HCWs were the source. In 3 of these outbreaks, asymptomatic carriers were the cause. The frequent practice of screening asymptomatic HCWs should be reconsidered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State / microbiology*
  • Cross Infection / transmission*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient*
  • Methicillin Resistance
  • Staphylococcal Infections / transmission*