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Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major cause of healthcare-associated infections in Europe. Many examples have demonstrated that the spread of MRSA within healthcare settings can be reduced by targeted infection control measures. The aim of this systematic literature analysis and review was to summarise the evidence for the use of bacterial cultures for active surveillance the benefit of rapid screening tests, as well as the use of decolonisation therapies and different types of isolation measures. We included 83 studies published between 2000 and 2012. Although the studies reported good evidence supporting the role of active surveillance followed by decolonisation therapy, the effectiveness of single-room isolation was mostly shown in non-controlled studies, which should inspire further research regarding this issue. Overall, this review highlighted that when planning the implementation of preventive interventions, there is a need to consider the prevalence of MRSA, the incidence of infections, the competing effect of standard control measures (e.g. hand hygiene) and the likelihood of transmission in the respective settings of implementation.


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