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DNA sequencing helped to limit spread of MRSA in a neonatal unit

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7746 (Published 14 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7746
  1. Krishna Chinthapalli
  1. 1BMJ

Researchers have used whole genome sequencing to trace the spread of an outbreak of meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in an NHS hospital’s special care baby unit. Prospective sequencing then led them to screen staff and identify the potential source of infection, says a study in Lancet Infectious Diseases.1

Speaking at press briefing on the study, Sharon Peacock, professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge and one of the study’s authors, said, “Our study indicates the considerable potential of sequencing for the rapid identification of MRSA outbreaks.”

She said that this was the first time she knew that DNA sequencing had been used to follow an outbreak in real time and help to contain it.

Previously her group had shown that …

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