Surveillance and isolation for the prevention of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a controversial topic, one that causes heated debate and appears to be surrounded by both politics and industrial conflicts-of-interest. There have been calls from numerous authors for a movement away from rigid mandates and toward an evidence-based medicine approach. However, much of the evidence can be viewed with an entirely different interpretation. Two major studies with negative findings have had an adverse impact on recommendations regarding active detection and isolation (ADI) for MRSA. However the negative findings in these studies can be explained by shortcomings in study implementation rather than the ineffectiveness of ADI. The use of daily chlorhexidine bathing has also been proposed as an alternative to ADI in ICU settings. There are shortcomings regarding the evidence in the literature concerning the effectiveness of daily chlorhexidine bathing. One of the major concerns with universal daily chlorhexidine bathing is the development of bacterial resistance. The use of surveillance and isolation to address epidemics and common dangerous pathogens should solely depend upon surveillance and isolation's ability to prevent further spread to and infection of other patients through indirect contact. At present, there is a preponderance of evidence in the literature to support continuing use of surveillance and isolation to prevent the spread of MRSA.
Kavanagh, K. T., Calderon, L. E., & Saman, D. M. (2015). Viewpoint: A response to “Screening and isolation to control methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: Sense, nonsense, and evidence”. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 4(1), 4. doi:10.1186/s13756-015-0044-9