Methicillin-resistant Staphlyococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in acute care settings. Older residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities possess many of the risk factors for colonization with these antibiotic resistant bacteria, and the potential exists for both transmission, via transiently colonized staff, within LTC, and subsequent reintroduction into hospitals. Infection control policies in LTC are primarily based on those used in acute care and may not be appropriate for this unique environment. Studies to determine which infection control procedures are effective at reducing the prevalence and transmission of MRSA and VRE in LTC are required.
Key words: long-term care, MRSA, VRE, colonization, infection control.