Emergence of MRSA clone ST22 in healthy young adults in the community in the absence of risk factors

A M Mollaghan, B Lucey, A Coffey, L Cotter
Epidemiology and Infection 2010, 138 (5): 673-6
One thousand adults aged between 18 and 35 years were investigated for nasal colonization with community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). Each volunteer completed a questionnaire to assess the presence or absence of risk factors for hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) carriage. All MRSA isolated were characterized by microbiological and molecular methods. A S. aureus carriage rate of 22% and a MRSA carriage rate of 0.7% were observed. Analysis of the questionnaires revealed 121 individuals with HA-MRSA risk factors. Subsequently two MRSA infections with associated risk factors were excluded from calculation of the true carriage rate and an adjusted rate of 0.57% (5/879) was established. All seven MRSA isolates expressed the genotypic profile ST22-MRSA-IV, were PVL negative, agr type 1, and differed only by their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. ST22-MRSA-IV (EMRSA-15) has shown worldwide spread in the hospital setting but has not been previously documented in isolation in the community.

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