Methicillin-resistant and borderline methicillin-resistant asymptomatic Staphylococcus aureus colonization in children without identifiable risk factors

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Background.The recent evolution in the epidemiology of methicillin-resistant asymptomatic Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in children, whereby children without traditional risk factors for MRSA have been hospitalized in increasing numbers, prompted us to establish whether a parallel increase in "asymptomatic" MRSA colonization had occurred.Methods.We cultured the nares and perineum of 500 children attending our Pediatric Emergency Department.Results.One hundred thirty-two (26.4%) of these children were colonized with S. aureus. Eleven (8.3%) of the S. aureus isolates were MRSA; 4 (36.4%) of the 11 subjects colonized with MRSA had no risk factors. Seven (5.3%) of the 132 S. aureus isolates were borderline methicillin-resistant S. aureus (BRSA); 5 (71.4%) of the 7 subjects colonized with BRSA had no MRSA risk factors.Conclusions.These findings indicate that MRSA and BRSA isolates are circulating in the community and that MRSA isolates are no longer confined to children with frequent contact with a health care environment.

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