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Community-Associated Superbug Poses Threat

Proportion of resistant Staphylococcus aureus has nearly doubled in outpatients

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have nearly doubled in the last decade and are adding to the problem of hospital-associated MRSA, according to a study in the December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Eili Klein, from Princeton University in New Jersey, and colleagues analyzed data on the antimicrobial susceptibility of S. aureus from a national network of more than 300 microbiology laboratories in the United States between 1999 and 2006.

The researchers found that outpatient, community-associated MRSA infections increased by more than 90 percent over this period, from 26.8 to 52.4 percent. Among inpatients, the proportion of S. aureus isolates that were MRSA increased by 25 percent, from 46.7 to 58.5 percent over this period. In both cases, the increases were caused almost entirely by increases in isolates resistant only to oxacillin, which increased by more than seven-fold.

"This finding suggests that instead of replacing hospital-associated MRSA in the hospital, community-associated MRSA is adding to the overall presence of MRSA already found within the hospital population," Klein and colleagues conclude.

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