Epidemiology and Infection

Short Report


Prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization outside the healthcare environment

S. MALIKa1 c1, P. VRANKENa2a3, M. SILIOa1, R. RATARDa3 and R. VAN DYKEa1

a1 Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, New Orleans, LA, USA

a2 Office of Workforce and Career Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

a3 Louisiana Office of Public Health, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, New Orleans, LA, USA


Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections are increasingly recognized in persons without established risk factors. Population-based prevalence studies of CA-MRSA colonization in persons without risk factors are relatively limited. Subjects aged 2–65 years were enrolled from a student recreation centre, public office building, and out-patient clinics. Persons or close contacts with a history of hospitalization, nursing-home residence, surgery, emergency-department visit, or healthcare employment during the previous year and persons with chronic debilitating illness, indwelling catheter, or surgical device were excluded. Swabs of anterior nares were obtained. Demographic and clinical information was collected. During January–June 2005, three (1·2%) of 259 subjects were colonized with MRSA. All three subjects were adults enrolled at the recreation centre. Healthy persons living in households without recent exposure to healthcare environments were at low risk for MRSA colonization. Studies from other geographic locations are needed to elucidate differences in prevalence of CA-MRSA.

(Accepted January 22 2009)

(Online publication March 04 2009)


c1 Author for correspondence: S. Malik, M.D., 518 Durham Street, Bastrop, LA 71220, USA. (Email: shahzadmalik@hotmail.com)