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Scientific Articles   |    
Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus Colonization in Orthopaedic Surgeons and Their PatientsA Prospective Cohort Controlled Study
Ran Schwarzkopf, MD, MS1; Richelle C. Takemoto, MD1; Igor Immerman, MD1; James D. Slover, MD, MS1; Joseph A. Bosco, MD1
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street, Suite 1500, New York, NY 10003. E-mail address for R. Schwarzkopf: schwarzk@gmail.com
View Disclosures and Other Information
Disclosure: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity.

A commentary by Bassam A. Masri, MD, FRCSC, is available at www.jbjs.org/commentary and as supplemental material to the online version of this article.
Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY

Copyright ©2010 American Society for Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2010 Aug 04;92(9):1815-1819. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.I.00991
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Abstract

Background: 

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus surgical site infections are an increasing health problem in the United States. To date, no study, as far as we know, has evaluated the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonization in orthopaedic surgeons. The purpose of our study was to assess the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus colonization in orthopaedic surgery attending surgeons and residents at our institution compared with that in our high-risk patients.

Methods: 

We performed nasal swab cultures in seventy-four orthopaedic attending surgeons and sixty-one orthopaedic surgery residents at our institution, screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. We compared these results with a prospective database of nasal cultures of patients undergoing joint replacement and spine surgery.

Results: 

A total of 135 physicians were screened. Of those physicians, 1.5% were positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 35.7% were positive for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. None of the sixty-one residents were positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. However, 59% were positive for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Of the seventy-four attending surgeons, 2.7% were positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 23.3%, for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Previous studies at our institution have demonstrated a 2.17% prevalence of nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and an 18% rate of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus in high-risk patients. Thus, no difference was found between the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in residents or attending surgeons and that in the high-risk patients. However, the prevalence of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus colonization in the surgeons (35.7%) was significantly higher than that in the high-risk patient group (18%) (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: 

At a major teaching hospital, a higher prevalence of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus colonization was found among attending and resident orthopaedic surgeons compared with a high-risk patient group, but the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization was similar.

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    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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