Clinical Features and Genotyping Analysis of Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections in Taiwanese Children

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Background:Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infection in children without health care-associated risk factors has emerged. To evaluate the clinical features and genotyping analysis of CA-MRSA in children in Taiwan, we conducted this study.Methods:Between July 2000 and June 2001, 198 episodes of S. aureus infection were identified in 191 children hospitalized at Chang-Gung Children's Hospital. The medical records of these children were retrospectively reviewed. The MRSA clinical isolates from each episode of infection, if available, were collected for pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type determination.Results:Among the 198 episodes of S. aureus infection, MRSA accounted for 47% of 114 CA infections and 62% of 84 hospital-acquired (HA) infections, respectively. Among 54 CA-MRSA infections, 32 episodes (59%) occurred in children without risk factors. Similar to HA-MRSA isolates, these CA-MRSA isolates were also multiresistant, with a high rate of resistance to clindamycin (93%) and erythromycin (94%), but 91% of them were susceptible to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Superficial soft tissue infection was the most common presentation, accounting for 65% of CA-MRSA infections. All 54 children with CA-MRSA infection recovered without sequelae, though 63% of 35 children with superficial soft tissue infection were treated with in vitro nonsusceptible antibiotics. Of the 83 clinical isolates (40 CA, 22 with no identified risk) available for analysis, 6 genotypes with 30 subtypes were identified. Three major PFGE patterns were identified, accounting for 94% of the isolates (92.5% for CA isolates, 95% for HA isolates). Type IV SCCmec was carried by 25 and 40% of CA and HA isolates, respectively.Conclusion:In Taiwan, MRSA was prevalent among pathogens of CA infections in children, and these CA isolates were multiresistant and genetically associated with HA isolates. In an area with a high prevalence of methicillin resistance, for children with putative S. aureus infection, even community-acquired, a glycopeptide-containing regimen should be considered for initial empirical therapy in the case of serious infection.

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