Epidemiology and Infection

Short Report

No evidence of colonization with community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in HIV-1-infected men who have sex with men

M. GIULIANIa1a3, B. LONGOa4, A. LATINIa1, G. PRIGNANOa2, M. MONACOa3, A. DE SANTISa2, G. IMPARAa1, G. PALAMARAa1 and A. PANTOSTIa3 c1

a1 Unità Operativa Complessa di Dermatologia Infettiva, Istituto Dermatologico S.Gallicano (IRCCS), Rome, Italy

a2 Laboratorio di Microbiologia, Istituto Dermatologico S.Gallicano (IRCCS), Rome, Italy

a3 Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

a4 Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

SUMMARY

To assess the prevalence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) colonization in HIV-1-infected men who have sex with men (MSM), a cross-sectional study was conducted on 104 persons attending a large STI/HIV unit in Rome, Italy in the period June 2007–June 2008. Swabs obtained from both anterior nares and S. aureus isolates were characterized by phenotypic and genotypic methods. A total of 24 individuals (23·1%) were colonized with S. aureus but none carried MRSA. No statistically significant association between colonization with S. aureus and behavioural, clinical, virological or immunological characteristics was identified. This study indicates a lack of circulation of CA-MRSA in HIV-1-infected MSM in Italy and underscores large epidemiological differences between the USA and a European country, so that only locally conducted epidemiological studies can provide insight into the local circulation of CA-MRSA in general and selected populations.

(Accepted December 30 2009)

(Online publication January 29 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr A. Pantosti, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy. (Email: annalisa.pantosti@iss.it)

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