Background: Whether community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) genotypes (e.g., USA300) are a major cause of bloodstream infections (BSIs) and health care-associated infections has been poorly defined.
Methods: Consecutive MRSA isolates recovered from patients with BSIs were prospectively collected at an urban public hospital. Molecular typing studies were performed. Prevalence and risk factors for the MRSA USA300 genotype were assessed.
Results: One hundred thirty-two cases of MRSA BSI were documented over 7.5 months in 2004 (incidence, 6.79 per 1000 admissions); 116 isolates were available for genotyping. Characteristics of the 116 evaluable cases included: a mean age 47 years; 62% were male, 82% were African American, and 22% were HIV seropositive. The crude in-hospital mortality rate was 22%. In 107 cases (92%), there was contact with a health care facility within the year prior to infection, and a nosocomial infection (defined as positive blood culture results obtained >48 h after admission) occurred in 49 cases (42%). PFGE demonstrated that 39 (34%) of the 116 isolates were the MRSA USA300 genotype; 34 (29%) were USA100; 42 (36%) were USA500; and 1 (1%) was USA800. MRSA USA300 accounted for 28% of health care-associated BSIs and 20% of nosocomial MRSA BSIs. In multivariate analysis, isolation of the USA300 genotype was associated with injectiondrug use (OR, 3.67; 95% CI, 1.10-12.28) and skin and soft tissue infection (OR, 4.26; 95% CI, 1.08-16.84). Patients who resided in long-term care facilities (OR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01-0.82) and those who were treated with antimicrobials in the prior year were less likely to have MRSA USA300 genotype recovered (OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.02-0.49).
Conclusions: MRSA USA300 genotype, the predominant cause of community-associated MRSA infections in our area (Atlanta, GA), has now emerged as a significant cause of health care-associated and nosocomial BSI. MRSA USA300 as a nosocomial pathogen presents new challenges to infection control programs.