Italian journal of pediatrics

Rapid containment of nosocomial transmission of a rare community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) clone, responsible for the Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS).

PMID 28061866


The aims of this study were to identify the source and the transmission pathway for a Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS) outbreak in a maternity setting in Italy over 2 months, during 2014; to implement appropriate control measures in order to prevent the epidemic spread within the maternity ward; and to identify the Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) epidemic clone. Epidemiological and microbiological investigations, based on phenotyping and genotyping methods, were performed. All neonates involved in the outbreak underwent clinical and microbiological investigations to detect the cause of illness. Parents and healthcare workers were screened for Staphylococcus aureus to identify asymptomatic carriers. The SSSS outbreak was due to the cross-transmission of a rare clone of ST5-CA-MRSA-SCCmecV-spa type t311, exfoliative toxin A-producer, isolated from three neonates, one mother (from her nose and from dermatological lesions due to pre-existing hand eczema) and from a nurse (colonized in her nose by this microorganism). The epidemiological and microbiological investigation confirmed these as two potential carriers. A rapid containment of these infections was obtained only after implementation of robust swabbing of mothers and healthcare workers. The use of molecular methodologies for typing was able to identify all carriers and to trace the transmission.