Nurse Researcher Leads in Preventing Transmission of Drug-Resistant Bugs

Jason Farley, PhD ’08, MPH ’03, ARNP, is a man on a mission. This Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing assistant professor is working to identify, seek out and destroy drug-resistant infections in hospitals and in the community. And Farley believes this goal is best accomplished by translating sound nursing science into evidence-based nursing education and practice.

In an overview of the epidemiology, presentation, and treatment of drug-resistant infections in the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practi-tioners, he notes that the spread of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has evolved from a hospital problem into a community and public health concern about which clinicians-including nurse practitioners-need to be increasingly cognizant. Gleaned from a review of 40 years of research, he highlights current thinking about MRSA risk factors, the skin and soft tissue infections hallmark of community-acquired MRSA, and current best practices in diagnosis and treatment, providing a unique roadmap to understand, recognize and potentially prevent MRSA transmission.

With prevention on his mind, Farley and colleagues from The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine assessed the effectiveness of two rapid MRSA screening tools among newly arrested men in correctional facilities. Their findings in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology suggest more research is needed on currently available rapid molecular assays to determine if they are sufficiently sensitive for use as screening tools for infection control decision making and clinical treatment. Farley highlights the importance of effective quick assays in a just-released study of MRSA colonization among newly arrested men in Baltimore City. The data, reported in the American Journal of Infection Control, found a nearly 16% MRSA rate, significantly higher than earlier estimates of community-based MRSA.

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