An in vitro analysis of the effects of various topical antimicrobial agents on methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive strains of staphylococcus aureus

Michael Kaiser, Joel Gil, Ryan Treu, Jose Valdes, Stephen Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Infections of acute and chronic wounds have a substantial negative impact on patient outcomes. Because bacterial resistance to traditional antimicrobials continues to increase, an in vitro study was conducted to examine current sensitivities of various methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA and MSSA) to commonly used topical antimicrobial agents. Using fresh cultures of eight strains of MRSA and MSSA, the area of the zone of inhibition produced by various topical antimicrobials, including an aminoglycoside antibiotic, monocarboxylic acid antibiotic, pleuromutilin antibiotic, triple antibiotic ointment, and petrolatum ointment, was examined. Six culture plates per antimicrobial were prepared using the Kirby Bauer method; soy blood culture plates were inoculated with the bacteria, incubated for 24 hours at 37Ë C, and their zones of inhibition measured and calculated. Data were analyzed using ANOVA testing. Mupirocin treatment was the most effective antimicrobial, with areas of inhibition ranging from 30.34 cm2 to 61.70 cm2 (P <0.05), as compared to the next most effective, retapamulin, with areas of inhibition ranging from 11.97 cm2 to 23.54 cm2. This study provides current scientific data to help the development of a thoughtful rationale for the use of topical antimicrobials in wounds. Additional in vivo studies to substantiate these findings are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalOstomy Wound Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014



  • bacteria
  • drug resistance
  • methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus auerus
  • Staphylococcal skin infection
  • wound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nursing(all)

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