S. aureus Colonization Common in Pregnancy

Continued monitoring of Staphylococcus aureus infection recommended

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in vaginal-rectal cultures from pregnant women is substantial and associated with co-colonization with group B streptococcus (GBS), according to a study in the Sept. 1 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Katherine T. Chen, M.D., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues conducted a prospective surveillance study for methicillin-sensitive S. aureus and MRSA. Of 2,963 routine vaginal-rectal prenatal GBS screening cultures, 743 GBS isolates (25.1 percent) and 507 S. aureus isolates (17.1 percent) were identified.

Overall, 190 cultures were positive for GBS and S. aureus, 553 were positive for only GBS, 318 were positive for only S. aureus, and 1,902 were negative for both. Patients with GBS colonization were twice as likely as other women to also have S. aureus colonization. Fourteen of 507 S. aureus isolates were MRSA (2.8 percent), and 13 of those were found to be community-associated MRSA.

Although the authors do not advocate routine screening of pregnant women for S. aureus, "we recommend continued monitoring of both methicillin-sensitive S. aureus and MRSA infections in this population and their infants."

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