MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that can cause a variety of serious infections. The bacterium most commonly colonizes the nostrils, although it can be found in other body sites. Most research has focused on people who are newly colonized by the bacteria and has found that they are at substantial risk of subsequent infections. The new study shows that the increased risk of infection continues, with almost a quarter of MRSA-colonized patients developing infections after a year or more has passed since the colonization was confirmed. The infections include pneumonia and bloodstream events, and some infections were linked to deaths.
"Since infection risk remains substantial among long-term carriers of MRSA, these patients should be targeted for interventions to reduce subsequent risk of infection along with patients who newly acquire MRSA," said author Susan Huang, MD, MPH.
The researchers built on their previous work in this area, which showed that one-third of new MRSA carriers in a large tertiary care medical center developed infections within the year following the first detection of colonization. But, as, Dr. Huang points out, "risks beyond the first year of carriage were largely unknown."
In this study, Dr. Huang and coauthor Rupak Datta, MPH, followed 281 patients who had been MRSA-positive for at least one year and some for more than four years. Of these, 23 percent developed an MRSA infection within the year-long duration of this study. Pneumonia was the most common infection. MRSA was identified as a contributor to the deaths of 14 of the patients.
In their paper, the authors suggest that the MRSA infection risk may be more closely tied to a hospitalization event than to the duration of carriage: "We submit that these high risks of MRSA infection among culture-positive prevalent carriers are not only preferentially detected because of hospitalization, but may in fact be incurred because of device related, wound related, and immunologic declines associated with a current illness."
"One explanation for this may be that patients who have surgical wounds or intravenous lines may allow MRSA a route of entry and invasion that would not otherwise exist," added Dr. Huang.
The authors caution that because this study was performed in a large tertiary care medical center, they may have studied a disproportionate number of critically ill patients who could be at a relatively higher risk for infection. The results may not be generalizable to all patient settings.
Dr. Huang is currently an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of California Irvine. She was an infectious diseases physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School at the time this study was conducted.
Adapted from materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society of America, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Being An MRSA Carrier Increases Risk Of Infection And Death
Published on : Thu, 3 Jul 2008
Print as PDF
The HAMILTON-C1 neo is a versatile neonatal ventilator that combines invasive and noninvasive modes with the additional options of nCPAP and high flow oxygen therapy. The integrated turbine allows it to be operated independently of a compressed air supply....
Patient Dedicated Arterial Blood Gas Analyzer Frequent measurement of arterial blood samples is an important component in the effective management of patients in the critical care environment, particularly those that are unstable. Point of care or...
Get an complete overview of your POCT setup - from one dashboard Your point-of-care-testing setup probably involves many different types of devices from various manufacturers. Radiometer's AQURE point-of-care management system can give you an overview...
Monitor vital signs of sensitive patients with reliable, smart and intuitive technology Not available in the US Sensitive patients, like neonates, require comfortable care. With transcutaneous monitoring, you can easily keep track of the oxygenation...
The technical and clinical reference standard for all B·R·A·H·M·S PCT assays. All clinical cut-offs and algorithms were developed based on B·R·A·H·M·S PCT sensitive KRYPTOR. Homogeneous immunoassay for the quantitative d