Background: The virulence, antimicrobial resistance, and prevalence of S. aureus underscores the need for up-to-date and extensive insights regarding antimicrobial susceptibility trends. One approach to meet this need is analysis of clinical laboratory-based surveillance data.
Methods: Data from The Surveillance Network-USA (TSN), an electronic surveillance network that collects microbiology data from 300 clinical microbiology laboratories across the United States, were used as the source for analysis that included prevalence of S. aureus in clinical specimens, MRSA and multi-drug resistance phenotype rates and trends according to patient location, geographic distributions, and specimen source.
Results: S. aureus was the most prevalent species isolated from inpatient specimens (18.7% of all bacterial isolates) and the second most prevalent (14.7%) from outpatient specimens. In March 2005 MRSA rates were 59.2%, 55%, and 47.9% for strains from non-ICU inpatients, ICU, and outpatients, respectively. This trend was noted in all nine US Bureau of Census regions and multi-drug resistance phenotypes (resistance to > or = 3 non-beta-lactams) was common among both inpatient MRSA (59.9%) and outpatient MRSA (40.8%). Greater than 90% of multi-drug resistant MRSA were susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, linezolid, and vancomycin.
Conclusion: Prevalence of MRSA among both inpatient and outpatient specimens continues to increase with multi-drug resistance as a common phenotype. Continued emergence of outpatient MRSA that exhibit multi-drug resistant phenotypes has important implications for developing and evolving outpatient treatment guidelines.