Comparison of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia to other staphylococcal species in a neonatal intensive care unit.Eur J Pediatr 2007; 166(4):319-25EJ
Hospital acquired infections including staphylococcal species are common in neonatal intensive care units. Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) was recently observed in our unit. The clinical and laboratory characteristics of all neonates with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia during an 11-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Three groups of patients were compared: 1. Patients with CA-MRSA defined as MRSA-resistant only to beta-lactams, but sensitive to all other antibiotic groups and carried SCCmec IV. 2. Patients with multi-drug-resistant (MDR)-MRSA and 3. Patients with MSSA (methicillin-sensitive S. aureus). Forty-three neonates with documented S. aureus bacteremia were included. Of these 41 were preterm babies. Eleven infants had CA-MRSA, 20 had MDR-MRSA and 12 had MSSA bacteremia, the Panton-Valentine-Leukocidine gene (pvl-gene) was not present in any of these strains. Risk factors, clinical manifestations and laboratory tests were similar in all three groups studied. Although neonates infected with CA-MRSA were more premature and had more related diseases, the mortality rate was similar in all groups (9.1% in the CA-MRSA group). Skin infections, osteomyelitis or pneumatocele were not observed more frequently in the CA-MRSA group. We did not find significant differences in risk factors or outcomes in neonates in the three groups. One possible explanation for this observation is that the CA-MRSA outbreak strain did not contain the pvl-gene, which has been suggested to be a significant virulence factor.