Objective: The authors had for aim to describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics, and the treatment of patients presenting with skin and soft tissue infections due to Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) producing Staphylococcus aureus in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais (NPDC) region, North of France.
Methods: We included patients presenting with PVL producing S. aureus infection from seven hospitals in the NPDC region, between February 2004 and April 2008. We retrospectively collected patient data using a standardized questionnaire. The features of patients presenting with skin and soft tissue were then analyzed.
Results: PVL producing S. aureus was isolated from 64 patients. Fifty-four patients presented with skin and soft tissue infections. The mean age of patients was 23.8 years (63% male patients). The mean number of persons living with the infected patient was 4.5 (vs. 2.5 in NPDC). The lesions were abscesses with inflammatory signs in 64.8% of the cases (20% were necrotic). Among the patients, 70.3% carried a methicillin resistant strain. Antibiotics per os were used for 83.3% of patients; the first-line antibiotics were considered inadequate in 53.3% of the cases. Among the patients, 83.3% underwent surgery. Fourteen out of 38 patients with available data had been exposed to antibiotic therapy during the three months before hospital management.
Conclusion: Recent exposure to antibiotics and living with a high number of persons are reasons to suspect a PVL producing S. aureus infection in patients with skin abscess.
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