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PWID; Longitudinal S Aureus Colonization Pattern and the Impact on Infection Frequency by Regular Showers With Chlorhexidine

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03940729
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : May 7, 2019
Last Update Posted : May 7, 2019
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Lund University

Brief Summary:

People who inject drugs (PWID) have increased risk of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) colonization, skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), and systemic infections like septicaemia and endocarditis. International research and data from Malmö needle exchange program (NEP) show a 60 - 70% lifetime SSTI prevalence. Longitudinal colonization pattern of S. aureus and its association with infection frequency among PWID is unknown. Cultures from the anterior nares, throat and perineum are used to indirectly assess S. aureus skin colonization. In PWID 28 - 45% are colonized in the nares, which increases risk of infections. Clinical significance of extra-nasal colonization, and persistent/intermittent colonization is uncertain.

The S. aureus genome can be characterized by whole genome sequencing (WGS). Certain types are associated with abscesses and systemic infections. The infection pattern among PWID is unknown.

S. aureus skin colonization level is decreased by chlorhexidine body wash and nasal mupirocin used as surgical prophylaxis and treatment of furunculosis. To our knowledge, disinfection effect on infections in PWID is not studied. However, the clinical impression is that severe infections have somewhat diminished since the NEP started distributing skin disinfectant tissues.


  1. Can repeated skin wash with chlorhexidine decrease infection frequency among PWID?
  2. Is the longitudinal S. aureus colonization pattern associated with infection prevalence among PWID?
  3. Can the risk of S. aureus-infections be predicted by quantification of bacterial level in anterior nares, throat, perineum or skin lesions/eczema?
  4. Can different types of S. aureus be identified, that are associated with colonization or infection among PWID (by WGS)?

METHODS AND TIME PHRAME Malmö NEP was established in 1986, and several studies assessing HIV, hepatitis and sociological questions have been conducted in this setting. In December 2016 continuous inclusion of 100 PWID for the actual study started at Malmö NEP. The study period is estimated to two years, with scientific papers expected for publication.

During the first year of the study, mapping of S. aureus colonization pattern among all study participants is conducted by repeated sampling, clinical evaluation of eczemas, and interviews regarding infections. Every third month samples are collected from nares, throat, perineum and skin lesions. Semi quantification of S. aureus takes place at the microbiological research laboratory at Lund University. BBL CHROMagar Staph aureus-plates are used and incubated in 35oC air for 48h. S. aureus-colonies are identified and quantified manually by pink colour change and Pastorex. MALDI-TOF will be used in unclear cases. Disk-diffusion will be used for resistance determination. Bacterial isolates will be frozen to -70oC for later WGS.

Intervention with chlorhexidine wash starts one year after inclusion for each study subject, and will continue for one additional year. Study participants with S aureus colonization will undergo regular showers with chlorhexidine (intervention group) at the needle exchange. In order to avoid bacterial resistance, muporicin will not be used. During the intervention, cultures, interviews and clinical evaluation will continue.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Intravenous Drug Abuse, S Aureus Colonization Drug: Chlorhexidine Topical Phase 4

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 61 participants
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: People Who Inject Drugs; Longitudinal Staphylococcus Aureus Colonization Pattern and the Impact on Infection Frequency by Regular Showers With Chlorhexidine
Actual Study Start Date : December 15, 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 30, 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : June 30, 2020

Arm Intervention/treatment
PWID colonized with S aureus
Repeated chlorhexidin showers for PWID colonized with S aureus
Drug: Chlorhexidine Topical
In the Malmö needle exchange program, people who inject drugs (PWID) are repeatedly screened for S aureus colonization during one year. Those colonized will repeatedly shower with chlorhexidine during the following year. The infection frequency will be compared between the two periods.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Infection frequency [ Time Frame: Two years ]
    Infections are regularly evaluated through interviews and Medical record reviews

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Hospital admittance [ Time Frame: Two years ]
    Evaluated through medical records

  2. Antibiotic prescription [ Time Frame: Two years ]
    Evaluated through medical records

  3. Death [ Time Frame: Two years ]
    Evaluated through medical records

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria: Participants in a needle exchange program who are willing to undergo study procedures -

Exclusion Criteria: No


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03940729

Sponsors and Collaborators
Lund University
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Study Director: Maria Josephson, MD VO Infektionssjukdomar SUS

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Responsible Party: Lund University Identifier: NCT03940729     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1
First Posted: May 7, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 7, 2019
Last Verified: May 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: IPD will not be shared with other researchers

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No
Keywords provided by Lund University:
S aureus
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Substance-Related Disorders
Substance Abuse, Intravenous
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Chlorhexidine gluconate
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Dermatologic Agents