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ICEID: S. Aureus Pneumonia May Be Increasing Problem

Review of pediatric patients shows high rate of pneumonia caused by methicillin-resistant strains

THURSDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium has been estimated to account for 3 percent to 5 percent of all cases, but the actual figure may be significantly higher and may include infections caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains, according to research presented this week at the 2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta.

Alexander Kallen, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed the charts of 249 patients who were admitted to one of the three Atlanta children's hospitals from October 1, 2006 to April 1, 2007 with S. aureus from a sterile site or respiratory specimen.

The researchers identified 53 episodes of S. aureus CAP, including 48 episodes of primary CAP. Of the primary CAP episodes, 46 percent were MRSA. They included 37 (77 percent) patients with prior medical diagnoses and 18 with cystic fibrosis.

"Coverage for MRSA should be considered in children, particularly those with underlying medical conditions, admitted with CAP during the influenza season," the authors conclude.

Abstract -- Board 301
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