A study has investigated whether a commercial real-time polymerase chain reaction test for MRSA could be used as a point of care test.
GeneXpert systems, used to carry out the MRSA test, were installed on four wards at the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and in the microbiology laboratory.
Nasal samples were collected from patients onto the four study wards. One swab was tested on the ward and the other was tested by the microbiology laboratory staff.
Researchers collected 988 nasal swabs, and 947 gave a valid result in the laboratory and ward. There was over 97% agreement between results obtained from the ward and from the laboratory.
The authors noted that the major benefit of MRSA point of care testing was the reduction in the time to obtain a result compared with the laboratory.