Living Conditions as a Driving Factor in Persistent Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Colonization Among HIV-infected Youth

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Abstract

Background:

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization has been linked to HIV-related sexual and social behaviors. MRSA risk factors may be different for HIV-infected children, adolescents and young adults. We investigated the association of MRSA colonization, persistent colonization and genotypes with potential risk factors among HIV-infected youth.

Methods:

For this case–control study, patients 24 years of age or younger attending 2 HIV reference centers were recruited from February to August 2012 and followed for 1 year. Nasal swabs were collected at enrollment and every 3 months. MRSA clones were characterized by staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec typing, spa typing and multilocus sequence typing. We compared MRSA colonization and persistent colonization with patient demographic and clinical characteristics.

Results:

Among 117 participants, MRSA colonization frequency (calculated for each collection based on the number of positive cultures per patient) was 12.8% at the first collection. The average MRSA colonization frequency was 10.4%. Our results showed 11.1% were persistent carriers (subjects with more than 1 positive culture in at least 3). Crowding was the only factor associated with MRSA colonization (P = 0.018). Persistent carriers had significantly higher (4.2 times) odds of living in a crowded household (95% confidence interval—1.1–16.2). We observed high genetic diversity among MRSA isolates, with t002/ST5 and t318/ST30 being the most frequent.

Conclusions:

MRSA colonization among HIV-infected youth is more closely related to living in a low-income or slum community than to HIV-related clinical factors. High genetic MRSA isolate diversity in our population suggests frequent transmission.

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