Great Basin is developing a rapid, inexpensive primary nasal swab screening test that will identify the species of Staphylococcus aureus present as well as the presence of the gene, mecA. A nasal or perianal swab will be placed into a transfer solution. The transfer solution will be placed into the cartridge and the assay will be initiated; no additional hands-on steps are required.
About Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
MRSA can quickly and easily spread through direct contact with skin or with contaminated equipment, resulting in potentially life-threatening infections. MRSA may be colonizing the nasal tract of incoming patients, providing a potential route of transmission to other patients. Rapid identification of MRSA carriers has several benefits:
- For MRSA colonized patients, immediate isolation from the general population can occur and contact precautions and other preventive measures may be implemented to reduce the spread of the bacterium. This strategy has been shown to save $10,000 to $35,000 per patient by preventing MRSA infections. Additionally, appropriate antibiotics may be administered; MRSA carriers are associated with 13-fold increased risk of developing an infection and SA carriers four-fold increased risk compared to non-carriers.
- For non MRSA colonized patients, expensive and demoralizing isolation can be avoided. No unnecessary antibiotic treatment should occur, reducing the risk of developing resistance.