In the early stages of treating patients with SARS-CoV-2, limited information was available to guide antimicrobial stewardship interventions. The COVID-19 Task Force and Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, at a 988-bed academic medical center, implemented the use of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal swab polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to assist with the de-escalation of anti-MRSA therapy in patients with suspected superimposed bacterial pneumonia in COVID-19. A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the impact of MRSA nasal swab PCR testing on the rate of anti-MRSA therapy between 13 April 2020 and 26 July 2020. A total of 122 patients were included in the analysis. Of the patients included in the final analysis, 58 (47.5%) had anti-MRSA therapy discontinued and 41 (33.6%) avoided anti-MRSA therapy completely due to a negative swab result. With the implementation of MRSA nasal swab PCR testing in COVID-19 patients, anti-MRSA therapy was reduced in 81% of patients in this study. In patients who continued with anti-MRSA therapy, nasal swabs were either positive for MRSA or an alternative indication for anti-MRSA therapy was noted. Only three patients in the cohort had MRSA identified in a sputum culture, all of whom had anti-MRSA therapy continued. MRSA nasal swab PCR testing may serve as an effective antimicrobial stewardship tool in COVID-19 pneumonia.
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DeKerlegand, Alaina; Johnston, Emily; Mellor, Britney; Schrack, Melanie Rae; and O’Neal, Catherine, "Implementation of MRSA Nasal Swabs as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Intervention to Decrease Anti-MRSA Therapy in COVID-19 Infection" (2023). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 647.