Nasal Decolonization's Broadening Application: Replacing Contact Precautions


Important progress has been made in patient infection prevention. However, evidence indicates more can be done, for example, to increase safety and lower costs in addressing Staph aureus colonization.

MRSA surveillance alone can leave patients at risk from pathogens. Contact isolation precautions (CP) can adversely affect patient care, utilization of staff and costs. Research shows that universal skin and nasal decolonization can point to solutions. Despite the continued growth of evidence that universal patient decolonization is more effective than targeted screen and isolate protocols in reducing HAIs, concerns for antibiotic over-use has fostered the reluctance of some to adopt the universal approach. With the availability of a nonantibiotic nasal decolonization alternative suitable for universal application, infection preventionists, infectious disease personnel, nursing managers and other professionals responsible for patient care and safety have reason to re-consider the advantages of universal decolonization. These advantages extend to areas in which reducing MRSA infection and transmission are paramount and can include responsible evidenced-based reduction in the use of contact precautions.

This Whitepaper will discuss:

  • The history of MRSA surveillance and contact precautions for patients 
  • Negative impacts associated with the use of contact precautions
  • The role of universal nasal decolonization on the road to reducing the use of contact precautions

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