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To better understand the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization or infection in different patient populations, to perform quantitative analysis of MRSA in nasal cultures, and to characterize strains using molecular fingerprinting.
Prospective, multicenter study.
Eleven different inpatient and outpatient healthcare facilities.
MRSA-positive inpatients identified in an active surveillance program; inpatients and outpatients receiving hemodialysis; inpatients and outpatients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; patients requiring cardiac surgery; and elderly patients requiring long-term care.
Nasal swab samples were obtained from January 23, 2006, through July 27, 2007; MRSA strains were quantified and characterized by molecular fingerprinting.
A total of 444 nares swab specimens yielded MRSA (geometric mean quantity, 794 CFU per swab; range, 3-15,000,000 CFU per swab). MRSA prevalence was 20% for elderly residents of long-term care facilities (25 of 125 residents), 16% for HIV-infected outpatients (78 of 494 outpatients), 15% for outpatients receiving hemodialysis (31 of 208 outpatients), 14% for inpatients receiving hemodialysis (86 of 623 inpatients), 3% for HIV-infected inpatients (5 of 161 inpatients), and 3% for inpatients requiring cardiac surgery (6 of 199 inpatients). The highest geometric mean quantity of MRSA was for inpatients requiring cardiac surgery (11,500 CFU per swab). An association was found between HIV infection and colonization with the USA300 or USA500 strain of MRSA (P ≤ .001). The Brazilian clone was found for the first time in the United States. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns for 11 isolates were not compatible with known USA types or clones.
Nasal swab specimens positive for MRSA had a geometric mean quantity of 794 CFU per swab, with great diversity in the quantity of MRSA at this anatomic site. Outpatient populations at high risk for MRSA carriage were elderly residents of long-term care facilities, HIV-infected outpatients, and outpatients receiving hemodialysis.
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