Background: The aims of this study were to investigate the risk factors of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection among infants to establish effective infection control measures for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Methods: Data were prospectively collected from 961 infants hospitalized in a teaching hospital in Japan, from July 2002 through December 2005.
Results: Among all infants, 28 (2.9%) developed MRSA infections. Multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrated the risk factors for developing MRSA infections to include a low birth weight (odds ratio [OR], 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93-0.99), the presence of eye mucous (OR, 6.78; 95% CI: 2.87-16.01), the practice of kangaroo mother care (OR, 3.82; 95% CI: 1.11-13.13), and the MRSA colonization rate (OR, 11.12; 95% CI: 1.32-93.89).
Conclusion: The risk factors for developing a MRSA infection among infants in NICU were a low birth weight, the presence of eye mucous, the practice of kangaroo mother care, and a high MRSA colonization rate. Therefore, extra attention should be given to infants in high-risk groups demonstrating a low birth weight and the presence of eye mucous and who have undergone kangaroo mother care. As a result, the cohort isolation of infants with MRSA may therefore be an effective strategy to prevent MRSA infections.