According to a Journal of the American Medical Association report, hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections decreased by 9.4% per year from 2005 to 2008.

The incidence of healthcare-associated or community-onset MRSA infections decreased by 5.7%.

Authors of the report said could not explain why infection rates have dropped.

Patient safety authorities speculate the decline might be due to a combination of infection control efforts such as wider use of alcohol-based hand rubs, better hand hygiene compliance, campaigns targeted at eliminating central line-associated bloodstream infections and improved antimicrobial stewardship programs.