Recurring methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in a football team

Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Apr;11(4):526-32. doi: 10.3201/eid1104.041094.


An outbreak of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) occurred in a college football team from August to September 2003. Eleven case-players were identified, and boils were the most common sign. Linemen had the highest attack rate (18%). Among 99 (93% of team) players with cultured specimens, 8 (8%) had positive MRSA nasal cultures. All available case-players' MRSA isolates characterized had the community-associated pulsed-field type USA300. A case-control study found that sharing bars of soap and having preexisting cuts or abrasions were associated with infection. A carrier-control study found that having a locker near a teammate with an SSTI, sharing towels, and living on campus were associated with nasal carriage. Successful outbreak control measures included daily hexachlorophene showers and hygiene education.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Carrier State
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Football
  • Hexachlorophene / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Nasal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Recurrence
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Hexachlorophene