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To measure transmission frequencies and risk factors for household acquisition of community-associated and healthcare-associated (HA-) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Prospective cohort study from October 4, 2008, through December 3, 2012.
Seven acute care hospitals in or near Toronto, Canada.
Total of 99 MRSA-colonized or MRSA-infected case patients and 183 household contacts.
Baseline interviews were conducted, and surveillance cultures were collected monthly for 3 months from household members, pets, and 8 prespecified high-use environmental locations. Isolates underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec typing.
Overall, of 183 household contacts 89 (49%) were MRSA colonized, with 56 (31%) detected at baseline. MRSA transmission from index case to contacts negative at baseline occurred in 27 (40%) of 68 followed-up households. Strains were identical within households. The transmission risk for HA-MRSA was 39% compared with 40% (P=.95) for community-associated MRSA. HA-MRSA index cases were more likely to be older and not practice infection control measures (P=.002–.03). Household acquisition risk factors included requiring assistance and sharing bath towels (P=.001–.03). Environmental contamination was identified in 78 (79%) of 99 households and was more common in HA-MRSA households.
Household transmission of community-associated and HA-MRSA strains was common and the difference in transmission risk was not statistically significant.
Identifying features that differentiate patients with H1N1 influenza infection from those with other conditions may assist clinical decision making during waves of pandemic influenza activity.
From April 27 to June 15, 2009, nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from all adults presenting to two urban emergency departments (EDs) with illness including fever or respiratory symptoms. H1N1 infection was detected by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction. Chart review was performed to compare cases of H1N1 influenza (n = 117) to matched controls.
The median age of cases was 35 years versus 50 years for controls (p < .001). In those with pre-existing conditions, asthma was present in 31% of cases versus 14% of controls (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.3–5.4). Cough (OR 7.8, 95% CI 3.2–19), fever (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.7–5.4), headache (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2–3.2), and myalgias (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2–3.1) were significantly more common in H1N1 cases. The median white blood cell count was 5.7 × 109/mL versus 10.9 × 109/mL (p < .001). The combination of fever and cough had an OR of 5.3. Fever, cough, low white blood cell (WBC) count, and tachycardia had the highest OR at 11. The absence of both fever and cough had a negative predictive value of 99%, but this occurred in only 8% of controls.
In patients presenting to the ED, the combination of fever, cough, tachycardia, and WBC count < 10 × 109/mL was suggestive of H1N1 influenza infection. However, clinical features could not reliably distinguish influenza from other acute respiratory illnesses in adult ED patients.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), which is caused primarily by the Canadian methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-10 (CMRSA-10) strain (also known as the USA300 strain) has emerged rapidly in the United States and is now emerging in Canada. We assessed the prevalence, risk factors, microbiological characteristics and outcomes of CA-MRSA in patients with purulent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) presenting to emergency departments (EDs) in the Greater Toronto Area.
Patients with Staphylococcus aureus SSTIs who presented to 7 EDs between Mar. 1 and Jun. 30, 2007, were eligible for inclusion in this study. Antimicrobial susceptibilities and molecular characteristics of MRSA strains were identified. Demographic, risk factor and clinical data were collected through telephone interviews.
MRSA was isolated from 58 (19%) of 299 eligible patients. CMRSA-10 was identified at 6 of the 7 study sites and accounted for 29 (50%) of all cases of MRSA. Telephone interviews were completed for 161 of the eligible patients. Individuals with CMRSA-10 were younger (median 34 v. 63 yr, p = 0.002), less likely to report recent antibiotic use (22% v. 67%, p = 0.046) or health care–related risk factors (33% v. 72%, p = 0.097) and more likely to report community-related risk factors (56% v. 6%, p = 0.008) than patients with other MRSA strains. CMRSA-10 SSTIs were treated with incision and drainage (1 patient), antibiotic therapy (3 patients) or both (5 patients), and all resolved. CMRSA-10 isolates were susceptible to clindamycin, tetracycline and trimethoprimsulfamethoxazole.
CA-MRSA is a significant cause of SSTIs in the Greater Toronto Area, and can affect patients without known community-related risk factors. The changing epidemiology of CA-MRSA necessitates further surveillance to inform prevention strategies and empiric treatment guidelines.