[Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in patients in long-term care in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes of a rural district in Germany]

R Woltering, G Hoffmann, I Daniels-Haardt, P Gastmeier, I F Chaberny
Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 2008, 133 (19): 999-1003

BACKGROUND: In recent years multi-resistant pathogens, particularly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been causing increasing problems in hospitals and nursing homes. In Germany area-wide and interdisciplinary studies of prevalence of MRSA have not previously been conducted. For this reason we investigated the its prevalence in a cross-sectional study, which included patients in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes in a rural district in Germany.

METHODS AND PATIENTS: The MRSA prevalence was determined by obtaining cultures from the nose, throat and any existing skin lesions of each patient in medical institutions and nursing homes in the the Höxter district. The presence of methicillin resistance, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene were determined and and staphylococcal protein A (spa) typing was done. Potential risk factors for MRSA colonization were also determined.

RESULTS: S. aureus was isolated from 319 of 1 083 patients (614 females, 469 males; median age 68,2 years) from five hospitals, five nursing homes und three rehabilitation centers. The MRSA prevalence was 2,5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 1,7-3,7%). In hospitals the MRSA prevalence was 3,4%, in the nursing homes 2,3% and in rehabilitation centers 1,2%, without any significant difference between these three establishments. The proportion of MRSA in all S. aureus isolates was 8,5%. The PVL gene was not detected. It was found by multivariate analysis that variables independently associated with evidence of MRSA were haemodialysis (odds ratio (OR) 11,2; 95% CI 1,9-67,4) and an acute infection in the six months before hospital admission (OR 6,5; 95% CI 1,5-29,2). The spa typing showed different regional distribution of the MRSA subtypes. With 30% the spa type t003 (ST225 clone; in Germany called "Rhine-Hessen strain") occurred most frequently, followed by t032 with 22,2% (ST22 clone, also called "Barnimer strain").

CONCLUSIONS: This first regional cross-sectional study provides supportive data for MRSA surveillance in Germany and the data provide a basis for additional preventative measures.

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