Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the diabetic foot clinic: a worsening problem

Diabet Med. 2003 Feb;20(2):159-61. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-5491.2003.00860.x.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetic Foot / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Foot / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Wound Infection / drug therapy
  • Wound Infection / microbiology