S. aureus decolonization: Review of the benefits

In the December 2011 Lancet ID, Andrew Simor from the University of Toronto reviewed articles listed in PubMed from 1989-2010 assessing the benefits of S. aureus decolonization. There were no surprising results. In fact, most of the conclusions were hedged.  For example he says that "some data support the use of decolonisation in surgical patients colonised with S aureus, particularly in those undergoing cardiothoracic procedures" and  "patients undergoing chronic haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis might benefit from decolonisation, although repeated courses of treatment are needed, and the effects are modest." The hedging is not a criticism of the author, but rather due to the lack of funding for proper infection prevention studies.  What is surprising is that this is a single-author paper.  Any systematic review should be completed by more than one author, in my opinion. Another limitation is the lack of summary odds ratios. However, this is a very good literature review and a wonderful resource.

Source:  Simor AE, Lancet ID December 2011


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