Community-associated MRSA on rise among kids

October 8, 2013

Although the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in adults is declining, data from population-based surveillance shows no such downturn among children.

 

Although the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in adults is declining, data from population-based surveillance shows no such downturn among children. In fact, the incidence of community-associated MRSA infections among children has risen in recent years, particularly among infants younger than 90 days of age and among black children.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 9 other metropolitan areas in the United States evaluated reports of invasive MRSA infections occurring in pediatric patients during the period 2005 to 2010.

They calculated that a total of 876 pediatric cases of MRSA infection occurred during the study time period. Almost 40% of those occurred in infants. Over 40% were community-associated; 35% were hospital-onset; and 23% were health care-associated community-onset.

Although the researchers found no significant changes in the incidence of health care-associated community-onset or hospital-onset cases in children aged older than 3 months, the incidence of invasive community-associated MRSA infection rose from 1.1 per 100,000 in 2005 to 1.7 per 100,000 in 2010.

The researchers also found that invasive MRSA infections were about 24 times as common among young infants (aged younger than 3 months) as they were among older infants and children and about 4 times more common among black children than they were among children of other races.

The investigators say the findings underscore the necessity of determining optimal pediatric prevention strategies, particularly for those children without health care risk factors, hospitalized children not requiring intensive care, and children with recent exposure to health care.

Looking at the entire US population, 30,800 fewer invasive MRSA infections occurred in 2011 than in 2005, according to a recent report.

 

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