The researchers also obtained surface samples from 21 household items they presumed to be frequently handled by household members. They also tested household pets.
They recovered S aureus from at least 1 household surface for 32 (64%) of the households. They recovered exclusively MRSA in 8 (16%) households and MRSA and MSSA in 15 (30%) households, for a total of 23 (46%) households with MRSA contamination. They recovered exclusively MSSA in 9 households (18%).
MRSA was most commonly found on bed linens (18%), television remote controls (16%), and bathroom hand towels (15%).
S aureus had colonized in 6 (23%) of 26 dogs tested and 1 (7%) of 14 cats tested; 1 of the 6 colonized dogs had had a skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) during the past 6 months. In comparison, 4 dogs out of 33 noncolonized pets had had an SSTI in the past 6 months.
In total, the researchers recovered 212 isolates of 7 distinct S aureus strains from children, pets, and household surfaces.