WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Staphylococcus aureus infections are still a concern in the United States, despite a decline seen in hospital-onset methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections since 2005, according to two reports published in the March 5 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In the first study, Athena P. Kourtis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues describe trends in the incidence of MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) bloodstream infections. The authors note that an estimated 119,247 S. aureus bloodstream infections occurred in 2017, with 19,832 associated deaths. From 2005 to 2012, there was a 17.1 percent decrease in the rates of hospital-onset MRSA bloodstream infection annually; during 2013 to 2016, the decline slowed. There was no significant change in hospital-onset MSSA; community-onset MSSA infections increased slightly by 3.9 percent per year from 2012 to 2017.
In the second report, Makoto Jones, M.D., from the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Healthcare System, and colleagues examined clinical microbiology data for patients admitted to an acute-care Veterans Affairs medical center (VAMC) from 2005 through 2017. All VAMCs had initiated a multifaceted MRSA prevention program by 2007. The researchers observed a 43 percent decrease in S. aureus infections overall. This decrease was mainly due to a 55 percent decrease in MRSA compared with a 12 percent decrease in MSSA. There were decreases of 66 and 19 percent in hospital-onset MRSA and MSSA infections, respectively. During 2008 to 2017, acquisition of MRSA colonization decreased 78 percent.
"The significant reduction in S. aureus infection observed across VAMCs, driven primarily by a decrease in MRSA infection rates, offers important insights that can inform national S. aureus prevention strategy," Jones and colleagues write.