Aims: To determine if there has been a change in the prevalence of pathogenic organisms in foot ulcers in diabetic patients in 2001 compared with our previous study in 1998.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of wound swabs taken from infected foot ulcers in diabetic patients attending the outpatient clinic in the Manchester Foot Hospital over a twelve-month period. A total of 63 patients with positive wound swabs were identified.
Results: Gram-positive aerobic bacteria still predominate (84.2%) and the commonest single isolate remains Staphylococcus aureus (79.0%) which is higher than we previously reported. MRSA was isolated in 30.2% of the patients which is almost double the proportion of MRSA-affected patients three years ago. This did not appear to be related to prior antibiotic usage. There was no increase in hospitalisation because of MRSA infection.
Conclusions: The problem of MRSA continues to increase despite the precautions taken to prevent MRSA spread. There is a need for a multi-centre study looking into the prevalence of MRSA in diabetic foot ulcer and how this can be reduced in the diabetic foot clinic.