Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

A comparison of risk factors associated with community-associated methicillin-resistant and -susceptible Staphylococcus aureus infections in remote communities

G. R. GOLDINGa1, P. N. LEVETTa2, R. R. McDONALDa2, J. IRVINEa3, M. NSUNGUa4, S. WOODSa4, A. HORBALa5, C. G. SIEMENSa5, M. KHANa6, M. OFNER-AGOSTINIa7, M. R. MULVEYa1a5 c1 and the Northern Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (NARP)

a1 National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

a2 Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory, Regina, SK, Canada

a3 Population Health Unit, LaRonge, SK, Canada

a4 Northern Intertribal Health Authority, Prince Albert, SK, Canada

a5 University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

a6 Kelsey Trail Health Region, Melfort, SK, Canada

a7 Public Health Agency Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada


In this case-control study, cases [community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), n=79] and controls [community-associated methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (CA-MSSA), n=36] were defined as a laboratory-confirmed infection in a patient with no previous hospital-associated factors. Skin and soft tissue were the predominant sites of infection, both for cases (67·1%) and controls (55·6%). Most of the cases (79·7%) and controls (77·8%) were aged <30 years. Investigations did not reveal any significant statistical differences in acquiring a CA-MRSA or CA-MSSA infection. The most common shared risk factors included overcrowding, previous antibiotic usage, existing skin conditions, household exposure to someone with a skin condition, scratches/insect bites, and exposure to healthcare workers. Similar risk factors, identified for both CA-MRSA and CA-MSSA infections, suggest standard hygienic measures and proper treatment guidelines would be beneficial in controlling both CA-MRSA and CA-MSSA in remote communities.

(Accepted November 27 2009)

(Online publication January 22 2010)


c1 Author for correspondence: Dr M. R. Mulvey, National Microbiology Laboratory, 1015 Arlington St, Winnipeg, MB, R3E 3R2, Canada. (Email: Michael_mulvey@phac-aspc.gc.ca)