High prevalence of MRSA in household contacts

Scand J Infect Dis. 2007;39(9):764-8. doi: 10.1080/00365540701302501.


In a 6-y period, 114 household contacts connected to newly diagnosed MRSA patients screened for MRSA in the southern part of Sweden. In 22 of 51 (43%) families, 1 to 4 household contact(s) connected to a MRSA patient were positive for MRSA. In the 22 families, 42 of 60 (70%) household contacts were positive for MRSA and transmission of MRSA occurred between adult couples, parents and children, grandparent and children and between siblings. Within a family, MRSA-positive family members had in all but 1 instance identical MRSA strain genotypes (spa types) making intrafamilial spread of MRSA highly probable. MRSA transmission among household contacts may contribute to the prevalence of MRSA in the community and failure to identify MRSA in household contacts may maintain MRSA colonization in an already known MRSA patient. MRSA screening of family members living in the same household as a known MRSA patient should therefore be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / transmission
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / transmission
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Sweden / epidemiology