Epidemiology and Infection


Changing epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Alberta, Canada: population-based surveillance, 2005–2008

J. KIMa1, C. FERRATOa2, G. R. GOLDINGa3, M. R. MULVEYa3, K. A. SIMMONDSa4, L. W. SVENSONa4a5, G. KEAYSa5, L. CHUIa2a6, M. LOVGRENa2 and M. LOUIEa1a2a7a8 c1

a1 Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

a2 Alberta Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, Alberta Health Services, Alberta, Canada

a3 Antimicrobial Resistance and Nosocomial Infections, National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

a4 Surveillance and Assessment, Alberta Health and Wellness, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

a5 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

a6 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

a7 Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

a8 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Increasing prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been reported in Canada. We report the results of a prospective surveillance of MRSA infections in Alberta over a consecutive 3-year period. A total of 8910 unique clinical MRSA isolates was analysed from July 2005 to June 2008. The incidence of MRSA infection increased over the study period and was highest in males, age group ≥85 years, and the Calgary Area. CMRSA10 (USA300) and CMRSA2 (USA100/800) were the most common PFGE strain types, representing 53·0% and 27·9% of all isolates, respectively. Significant differences were noted between MRSA strains in the source of infection and antimicrobial susceptibility. The incidence of MRSA infection in Alberta has nearly doubled in the last 3 years; this is attributed to the emergence of CMRSA10 as the predominant strain.

(Accepted August 11 2010)

(Online publication September 21 2010)


c1 Author for correspondence: M. Louie, M.D., FRCPC, 3030 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 4W4. (Email: marie.louie@albertahealthservices.ca)


This study was presented in part at the 26th International Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection in Toronto, Canada, 18–21 June 2009.