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September 14, 1979

Gentamicin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Author Affiliations

Center for Disease Control Atlanta

JAMA. 1979;242(11):1141. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300110015017

To the Editor.—  The report of gentamicin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in an intensive-care nursery by Faden et al (241:143, 1979) illustrates an increasingly frequent nosocomial infection.1-4 Gentamicin-resistant S aureus still appears to be present in the authors' hospital, however, despite the emphasis on hand washing, institution of a special room for colonized babies, and the restriction of movement of nurses. It might be of value to obtain nasal cultures from personnel to identify one or more possible carriers. Also, it is likely that asymptomatic babies are carriers, and as long as they are kept outside of the room for carriers, transmission will continue. A nasal or umbilical culture of all infants simultaneously will aid in the identification of asymptomatic carriers.It is important to distinguish patients who are carriers from numbers of strains isolated. As the authors note, cultures from sites such as the trachea are obtained "every two or