Epidemiology and Infection


Screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in community-recruited injection drug users: are throat swabs necessary?

E. LLOYD-SMITHa1 c1, M. W. HULLa2a3, D. HAWKINSa1, S. CHAMPAGNEa2, T. KERRa2a3 and M. G. ROMNEYa1a2

a1 Infection Prevention and Control, Providence Health Care, Vancouver, Canada

a2 Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

a3 British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Providence Health Care, Vancouver, Canada


We examined and described colonization of MRSA in the anterior nares and throat from 184 community-recruited injection drug users. Thirty-seven (20%) were positive for MRSA: most (34, 92%) were carriers in the nares; while only three (8%) were carriers detected by throat swabs alone. The majority (29, 78%) of MRSA isolates were PVL positive.

(Accepted November 01 2011)

(Online publication December 13 2011)