Risk factors for colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in patients admitted to an urban hospital: emergence of community-associated MRSA nasal carriage.Clin Infect Dis 2005; 41(2):159-66CI
Surveillance cultures performed at hospital admission have been recommended to identify patients colonized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) but require substantial resources. We determined the prevalence of and risk factors for MRSA colonization at the time of hospital admission among patients cared for at a public urban hospital.
Anterior nares cultures were obtained within 48 h after admission during a 1-month period. A case-control study and molecular typing studies were performed.
A total of 53 (7.3%) of 726 patients had a nares culture positive for MRSA, and 119 (16.4%) had a nares culture that was positive for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. In multivariate analysis, risk factors for MRSA colonization included antibiotic use within 3 months before admission (odds ratio [OR], 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-5.0), hospitalization during the past 12 months (OR, 4.0; 95% CI, 2.0-8.2), diagnosis of skin or soft-tissue infection at admission (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.5-7.9), and HIV infection. A total of 47 (89%) of 53 case patients colonized with MRSA had at least 1 of these independent risk factors, in contrast to 343 (51%) of 673 control patients (OR, 7.5; 95% CI, 3.2 -17.9). Molecular typing demonstrated that 16 (30%) of 53 MRSA nares isolates (2.2% of the 726 isolates) belonged to the USA300 community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) genotype.
The prevalence of MRSA colonization at the time of patient admission was high (>7%). Limiting surveillance cultures to patients with >or=1 of the identified risk factors may allow for targeted screening. The emergence of CA-MRSA colonization represents a new, unrecognized reservoir of MRSA within hospitals, potentially increasing the risk for horizontal transmission.