Elimination of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from a neonatal intensive care unit after hand washing with triclosan

J Paediatr Child Health. 1994 Feb;30(1):59-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1994.tb00568.x.


Evaluating hand wash products in terms of user acceptability and effectiveness against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been part of a long-term strategy to eliminate endemic MRSA from the neonatal intensive care unit at the Royal Women's Hospital (Brisbane). Following the introduction of a new hand wash disinfectant (triclosan 1% wt/vol), new cases of MRSA colonization were monitored for 12 months. In addition, the use of antibiotics, the incidence of multi-resistant Gram-negative cultures and neonatal infections were noted. No changes were made to any procedures or protocols during the trial. All babies colonized with MRSA had been discharged from the nursery within 7 months of the introduction of triclosan and in the subsequent 9 months no new MRSA isolates had been reported. Reduction in the use of vancomycin has resulted in a cost saving of approximately $A17,000. The total number of Gram-negative isolates has not increased, although Pseudomonas aeruginosa is now reported more often. Compared with the previous 12 months, fewer antibiotics were prescribed and fewer nosocomial infections recorded (P < 0.05).

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / standards*
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Queensland
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Triclosan*


  • Triclosan