Community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Skin Infections in a Religious Community

Epidemiol Infect. 2007 Apr;135(3):492-501. doi: 10.1017/S0950268806006960. Epub 2006 Jul 26.


In September 2004, an outbreak of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) was reported among members of a religious community. We conducted a retrospective cohort study on all 175 community members; performed a nasal carriage survey, and environmental swab testing. We identified 24 MRSA cases (attack rate 14%). In multivariate analysis, sauna use [odds ratio (OR) 19.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.7-206.1] and antimicrobial use within 12 months before infection (OR 11.7, 95% CI 2.9-47.6) were risk factors for infection. MRSA nasal carriage rate was 0.6% (1/174). Nine of 10 clinical isolates and an isolate from an administrative office within the community had the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type USA300. Targeted hygiene improvement, wound care, and environmental cleaning were implemented. We describe the first reported outbreak of MRSA SSTI in a religious community. Adherence to appropriate personal and environmental hygiene might be critical factors in controlling transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / prevention & control
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Religion
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / prevention & control