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Determine the prevalence and relatedness of Staphylococcus aureus anterior nares colonization in individuals with community-associated staphylococcal skin and soft-tissue infection (SSTI)
US Army soldiers undergoing infantry training.
Trainees who developed SSTI from May 2010 to January 2012.
Participants underwent anterior nares culture at the time of presentation for purulent SSTI. We determined the prevalence of S. aureus nasal colonization and strain relatedness between colonizing and clinical isolates with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
We enrolled 1,203 SSTI participants, of whom 508 had culture-confirmed S. aureus SSTI. Overall, 70% (357/508) were colonized with S. aureus. Phenotypically, concordant colonization was more common with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA; 56%; 122/218) than methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) SSTI (41%; 118/290; P < .01). With PFGE, 48% (121 of 254) of clinical-colonizing pairs were indistinguishable, and concordant colonization was more common with MRSA (53%; 92/173) than MSSA SSTI (36%; 29/81; P < .01). Restricting analysis to concomitant MRSA-MRSA or MSSA-MSSA pairs, 92% (92/100) of MRSA SSTI were indistinguishable, and 40% (29/72) MSSA SSTI were indistinguishable (P < .01). All 92 MRSA pairs were USA300.
On the phenotypic level, concordant anterior nares colonization with incident staphylococcal SSTI is more common in MSSA than MRSA; however, the opposite is observed when accounting for molecular typing, and MRSA SSTI displays greater concordance. USA300 was responsible for strain concordance with MRSA SSTI. Studies are needed to examine the roles of nasal and extra-nasal carriage, colonization preceding infection, and increased virulence in the pathogenesis of MRSA SSTI.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01105767.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(10):1251–1256
Military trainees are at high risk for skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs), especially those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A multicomponent hygiene-based SSTI prevention strategy was implemented at a military training center. After implementation, we observed 30% and 64% reductions in overall and MRSA-associated SSTI rates, respectively.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pulsed-field type (PFT) USA300 causes skin and soft tissue infections in military recruits and invasive disease in hospitals. Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) is used to reduce MRSA colonization and infection. The impact of CHG on the molecular epidemiology of MRSA is not known.
To evaluate the impact of 2% CHG—impregnated cloths on the molecular epidemiology of MRSA colonization.
Marine Officer Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia, in 2007.
Thrice-weekly application of CHG-impregnated or control (Comfort Bath; Sage) cloths over the entire body.
Baseline and serial (every 2 weeks) nasal and/or axillary swab samples were assessed for MRSA colonization. Molecular analysis was performed with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
During training, 77 subjects (4.9%) acquired MRSA, 26 (3.3%) in the CHG group and 51 (6.5%) in the control group (P = .004). When analyzed for PFT, 24 subjects (3.1%) in the control group but only 6 subjects (0.8%) in the CHG group (P = .001) had USA300. Of the 167 colonizing isolates recovered from 77 subjects, 99 were recovered from the control group, including USA300 (40.4%), USA800 (38.4%), USA1000 (12.1%), and USA100 (6.1%), and 68 were recovered from the CHG group, including USA800 (51.5%), USA100 (23.5%), and USA300 (13.2%).
CHG decreased the transmission of MRSA—more specifically, USA300—among military recruits. In addition, USA300 and USA800 outcompeted other MRSA PFTs at incident colonization. Future studies should evaluate the broad-based use of CHG to decrease transmission of USA300 in hospital settings.
Application of CHG-impregnated or control (Comfort Bath; Sage) cloths applied over entire body thrice weekly.
Recruits were monitored daily for SSTI. Baseline and serial nasal and/or axillary swabs were collected to assess S. aureus colonization.
Of 1,562 subjects enrolled, 781 (from 23 platoons) underwent CHG-impregnated cloth application and 781 (from 21 platoons) underwent control cloth application. The rate of compliance (defined as application of 50% or more of wipes) at 2 weeks was similar (CHG group, 63%; control group, 67%) and decreased over the 6-week period. The mean 6-week SSTI rate in the CHG-impregnated cloth group was 0.094, compared with 0.071 in the control group (analysis of variance model rate difference, 0.025 ± 0.016; P = .14). At baseline, 43% of subjects were colonized with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), and 2.1% were colonized with MRSA. The mean incidence of colonization with MSSA was 50% and 61% (P = .026) and with MRSA was 2.6% and 6.0% (P = .034) for the CHG-impregnated and control cloth groups, respectively.
CHG-impregnated cloths applied thrice weekly did not reduce rates of SSTI among recruits. S. aureus colonization rates increased in both groups but to a lesser extent in those assigned to the CHG-impregnated cloth Intervention. Antecedent S. aureus colonization was not a risk factor for SSTI. Additional studies are needed to identify effective measures for preventing SSTI among military recruits.
Clinical Trials Registration.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00475930.
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