Kotloff et al, Pediatrics. 2019 Jan
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is the second leading cause of late-onset sepsis among infants in the NICU. Because colonization of nasal mucosa and/or skin frequently precedes invasive infection, decolonization strategies, such as mupirocin application, have been attempted to prevent clinical infection, but data supporting this approach in infants are limited. We conducted a phase 2 multicenter, open-label, randomized trial to assess the safety and efficacy of intranasal plus topical mupirocin in eradicating SA colonization in critically ill infants.
A total of 155 infants were randomly assigned. Mupirocin was generally well tolerated, but rashes (usually mild and perianal) occurred significantly more often in treated versus untreated infants. Primary decolonization occurred in 62 of 66 (93.9%) treated infants and 3 of 64 (4.7%) control infants (P < .001). Twenty-one of 46 (45.7%) treated infants were persistently decolonized compared with 1 of 48 (2.1%) controls (P < .001).
Application of mupirocin to multiple body sites was safe and efficacious in eradicating SA carriage among infants in the NICU; however, after 2 to 3 weeks, many infants who remained hospitalized became recolonized.