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Title: Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Central Australia.
Authors: Stevens, Claire L
Ralph, Anna
McLeod, James E T
McDonald, Malcolm I
Citation: Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2006;30(4):462-6.
Abstract: To date, there has been scant information about the burden of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in Central Australia. Our aims were to determine the proportion of Staphylococcus aureus infections due to methicillin-resistant strains in Central Australia, to characterise resistance to non-beta lactam antibiotics and to correlate findings with available demographic information. We retrospectively reviewed S. aureus isolates identified by the Microbiology Laboratory of the Pathology Department, Alice Springs Hospital between September 2005 and February 2006. Multi-resistance was defined as resistance to three or more non-beta lactam antibiotics. We identified the recovery site and extended antibiotic resistance profile of each isolate. Demographic data included place of residence, discharge diagnosis and ethnicity. There were 524 S. aureus isolates: 417 (79.6%) methicillin-sensitive S. aureus, 104 (19.7%) non-multi-resistant MRSA (nmrMRSA) and 3 (0.7%) multi-resistant MRSA (mrMRSA). MRSA accounted for 7/22 (32%) invasive infections and 91/474 (19.2%) cases of staphylococcal skin infections. Aboriginal people comprised 89 per cent (93/104) of patients with nmrMRSA; 57 per cent lived in remote communities, 21 per cent in suburban Alice Springs, and 18 per cent in Alice Springs Town Camps. Six per cent (6/104) of nmrMRSA were hospital-acquired. Of the nmrMRSA isolates, 57 per cent (59/104) were resistant to erythromycin and 7 per cent (7/104) to fusidic acid. All MRSA isolates were susceptible to co-trimoxazole. In conclusion, Central Australia has high rates of community-acquired nmrMRSA and low rates of multi-resistant MRSA. Erythromycin resistance in S. aureus is also common. These findings should prompt the review of antimicrobial prescribing guidelines for the region, especially for treatment of skin and soft tissue infections.
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Journal title: Communicable diseases intelligence quarterly report
Volume: 30
Pages: 462-6
Publication Date: 2006-12
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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