Objectives: To describe the culture results of cutaneous infections affecting otherwise healthy children presenting to two pediatric emergency departments (EDs) in the southeastern United States and southern California.
Methods: Medical records of 920 children who presented to the pediatric EDs with skin infections and abscesses (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes 680.0-686.9) during 2003 were reviewed. Chronically ill children with previously described risk factors for community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) were excluded. Data abstracted included the type of infection; the site of infection; and, if a culture was obtained, the organism grown, along with their corresponding sensitivities.
Results: Of the 270 children who had bacterial cultures obtained, 60 (22%) were CA-MRSA-positive cultures, most cultured from abscesses (80%). Of all abscesses cultured, CA-MRSA grew in more than half (53%). All CA-MRSA isolates tested were sensitive to vancomycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, rifampin, and gentamicin. One isolate at each center was resistant to clindamycin. The sensitivities at both institutions were similar.
Conclusions: The authors conclude that CA-MRSA is responsible for most abscesses and that the pattern of CA-MRSA infections in these geographically distant pediatric EDs is similar. These data suggest that optimal diagnostic and management strategies for CA-MRSA will likely be widely applicable if results from a larger, more collaborative study yield similar findings.