Bacterial diseases in children; Community-associated MRSA; Drug resistance in microorganisms; Infection in children; Methicillin resistance; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Nasal carriage; Pediatric; Staphylococcus aureus infections


Colonization and infection by community-associated resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus are being reported in epidemic proportions. The purpose of this study was to determine the local prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization in children and to characterize the MRSA isolates in the laboratory with regard to antimicrobial agent susceptibility patterns, and the presence of the mecA and the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. Nasal swabs were collected at two pediatric clinics from a total of 505 children during health maintenance visits. A brief questionnaire was administered to collect demographic data and pertinent medical, family, and social history. Samples were cultured onto 2 selective media for S. aureus and MRSA. Potential MRSA isolates were further evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and for susceptibility to eight antibiotics by disk diffusion. Culture results showed that MRSA was present in 15 of the 505 specimens (3.0%). Six different antimicrobial susceptibility profiles were observed among the MRSA isolates. PCR amplification results showed that all 15 MRSA isolates were positive for the presence of the mecA gene, and 10 MRSA isolates contained the PVL gene. Understanding local prevalence rates and the role of colonization in infection are needed to develop effective interventions to reduce MRSA infections.