A recent countrywide MRSA spa-type 1081 outbreak in The Netherlands predominantly affected nursing homes, generating questions on how infection spreads within and between nursing homes despite a low national prevalence. Since the transfer of residents between nursing homes is uncommon in The Netherlands, we hypothesized that staff exchange plays an important role in transmission. This exploratory study investigated the extent of former (last 2 years) and current staff exchange within and between nursing homes in The Netherlands. We relied on a questionnaire that was targeted towards nursing-home staff members who had contact with residents. We found that 17·9% and 12·4% of the nursing-home staff formerly (last 2 years) or currently worked in other healthcare institutes besides their job in the nursing home through which they were selected to participate in this study. Moreover, 39·7% of study participants worked on more than one ward. Our study shows that, in The Netherlands, nursing-home staff form a substantial number of links between wards within nursing homes and nursing homes are linked to a large network of healthcare institutes through their staff members potentially providing a pathway for MRSA transmission between nursing homes and throughout the country. 

Authors: R.D. van Gaalen, H. A. Hopman, A. Haenen and C. van den Dool
Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands 

Voor volledige artikel, klik hier (Epidemiol Infect. 2016 Dec 5:1-7)

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