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Report Finds Invasive MRSA Infections on the Rise in Iowa

Increase of community-associated infections, particularly USA300, seen as unique public threat

MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Invasive community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is an increasing public health threat in Iowa, according to a study in the October issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Philip Van De Griend, of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, and colleagues tested 1,666 MRSA isolates which were submitted to their laboratory between 1999 and 2006.

The researchers found that from 1999 to 2005 through 2006, the proportion of MRSA isolates from invasive infections that were either USA300 or USA400 isolates increased significantly, and that these isolates were resistant to at least three non-β-lactam antimicrobial drug classes. They also found that in 2006, community-associated MRSA infections were more likely to occur during the summer, and that residents younger than age 69 years were at increased risk (odds ratio, 5.1).

"Our study demonstrated that community-associated MRSA no longer causes only skin and soft tissue infections but now causes an increased proportion of invasive infections in a rural state," the authors conclude. "This finding is particularly disconcerting in light of the severity of these infections and the reports of necrotizing pneumonia caused by USA300 after influenza or influenza-like illness. Surveillance systems must continue to monitor the number and incidence of infections caused by USA300 and to monitor these isolates for changes in antimicrobial susceptibility. The relationship between seasons and community-associated MRSA warrants further study."

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