To review the incidence and trends of MRSA during a 12-year (1989-2000) period at a university teaching hospital and the relationship between strain distribution by antibiogram and molecular typing.
Retrospective review of laboratory-based surveillance records on MRSA isolation and characterization of strains by antimicrobial susceptibility and PFGE. A patient episode was counted at the time when MRSA was first isolated.
A 1,350-bed university teaching hospital in Hong Kong.
Those with clinical isolates of MRSA.
During 1989 to 2000, the hospital recorded 1,203,175 deaths and discharges (D&D) and encountered 5,707 patient episodes of new MRSA isolation. The overall incidence of patient episodes of MRSA was 0.47/100 D&D. In 1989, the incidence was 0.81/100 D&D and fell to a low of 0.33/100 D&D in 1995, but then rose to 0.50/100 D&D in 2000. Antibiogram and DNA typing identified 5 major types. PFGE type A constituted 68% (211/312) of isolates and was present throughout the 12-year period. PFGE type B constituted 13% (40/312) of isolates and was only present from 1995 to 2000. These isolates form a distinct clone and had unique antibiotic resistance profiles.
The study showed the establishment of a dominant MRSA clone (PFGE type A group) in the intensive care, medical, and surgical units and the appearance of a new MRSA strain in 1995 (PFGE type B), which partly explained the rise in incidence of MRSA cases and a disproportionate rise in MRSA bacteremia from 1995 to 2000.