Analysis of Invasive Community-Acquired Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Infections During a Period of Declining Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections at a Large Children’s Hospital

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The epidemiology of community acquired (CA) Staphylococcus aureus infections is changing in the United States. We investigated the current epidemiology of S. aureus infections at Texas Children’s Hospital.


Patients with CA-S. aureus skin and soft tissue and invasive infections were retrospectively identified from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2014. Invasive CA-MSSA isolates were characterized by pulsed field gel electrophoresis, Spa typing, agr type and presence of lukSF-PV (pvl) genes. Medical records were reviewed. Statistical analyses included Fisher exact, χ2 for trend and Wilcoxon tests.


CA-MRSA infections decreased by 60.4% (1461–578 infections) from 2007 to 2014 (P < 0.0001), while CA-MSSA infections averaged 550 infections annually. Invasive CA-MRSA infections decreased by 67.2% from 61 to 20 infections (P < 0.0001); invasive CA-MSSA averaged 44 infections annually. Among 296 invasive CA-MSSA isolates, 74 (25%) isolates were USA300 and 88 (30%) were pvl+. USA300 declined among invasive CA-MSSA over time (P < 0.008). Musculoskeletal infections were most common (242/296, 82%); 52/242 (21.5%) isolates were USA300 and 62/242 (25.6%) pvl+. All 18 isolates from musculoskeletal infections with deep venous thrombosis and/or septic shock were pvl+ and 16/18 (88.9%) were USA300. Pneumonia isolates were mainly USA300 (8, 66.7%) and pvl+ (11, 91.7%).


MSSA now cause the majority of invasive CA-S. aureus infections at our institution. Molecular analysis of invasive CA-MSSA isolates suggests strain diversity with USA300 on the decline and that disease presentations are to some extent strain specific. Changes in the CA-S. aureus epidemiology may, in part, be related to changes in immunity to the USA300 clone in the general population.

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