Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Outpatients, United States, 1999-2006

Source: Eili Klein, David L. Smith, and Ramanan Laxminarayan, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 15, No. 12, December 2009

From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation summary:
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has become a major problem in U.S. hospitals already dealing with high levels of hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). Using antimicrobial drug susceptibility data for 1999-2006 from The Surveillance Network, the authors characterized the relationship between outpatient and inpatient levels of CA-MRSA nationally. In outpatients, the frequency of CA-MRSA isolates has increased more than seven times during 1999-2006, which suggests that outpatients have become a major reservoir for CA-MRSA. However, contrary to results in other reports, although CA-MRSA increases are associated with decreases in the frequency of HA-MRSA in hospitals, the decreases are only modest. This finding suggests that instead of replacing HA-MRSA in the hospital, CA-MRSA is adding to the overall presence of MRSA already found within the hospital population.

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