An outbreak of staphylococcal bullous impetigo occurred over a period of five months in a maternity ward involving seven infected and two colonised neonates. The skin lesions were due to epidermolytic toxin A-producing Staphylococcus aureus. Infection control measures were implemented and a retrospective case-control study performed. Contact with an auxiliary nurse was the only risk factor for cases of bullous impetigo (P<0.01). The nurse cared for all seven cases and was an asymptomatic nasal carrier of the epidemic strain. Repeated courses of decontamination treatment failed to eradicate carriage. Nine months after the last case, another neonate developed a more severe form of bullous impetigo and the auxiliary nurse was reassigned to an adult ward.