Carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Queensland Indigenous community

Vlack, Susan, Cox, Leonie, Peleg, Anton Y., Canuto, Condy, Stewart, Christine S., Conlon, Alzira, Stephens, Alex, Giffard, Philip M., Huygens, Flavia, Mollinger, Adam, Vohra, Renu, & McCarthy, James S. (2006) Carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Queensland Indigenous community. Medical Journal of Australia, 184(11), pp. 556-559.


Abstract: Objectives: To determine the prevalence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) carriage and infection among children living in an Indigenous community in Queensland. Design, Setting and Participants: Swabs for culture of S. aureus were collected from the nose, the throat and skin wounds of primary school children. Main Outcome Measures: MRSA carriage, antibiotic sensitivity, genetic relatedness, presence of the virulence factor Panton-Valentine leukocidin (pvl) and epidemiologic risk factors for MRSA carriage. Results: Ninety two of 157 (59%) eligible children were included in the study. Twenty seven (29%) carried S. aureus, 14 (15%) of whom carried MRSA. MRSA was isolated from 29% of wound swabs, 8% of nose swabs, and 1% of throat swabs. Fourteen of 15 MRSA isolates were sensitive to all non--lactam antibiotics tested. Eight children (9%) carried CA-MRSA clonal types; 6 children carried the Queensland clone (ST93), while 2 carried the South West Pacific clone (ST30). All these isolates carried the virulence factor pvl. The remaining 6 children carried a hospital-associated MRSA strain (ST5), all of which were negative for pvl. Conclusions: We have identified a high prevalence of CA-MRSA carriage in school children from a Queensland Indigenous community. In this setting, antibiotics with activity against CA-MRSA should be considered for empiric therapy of suspected staphylococcal infection. Larger community-based studies are needed to improve our understanding of the epidemiology of CA-MRSA, and to assist in the development of therapeutic guidelines for this important infection.

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ID Code: 7037
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
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ISSN: 0025-729X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (111701)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Australian Medical Association
Copyright Statement: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see link).
Deposited On: 18 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:28

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