Characterization of community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections in children

Peter N. Johnson, Robert P. Rapp, Christopher T. Nelson, J. S. Butler, Sue Overman, Robert J. Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Limited data exist concerning characteristics of community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections (CA-SAI) in central and eastern Kentucky. OBJECTIVE: To describe the incidence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections from January 1, 2004 through December 31,2005, compare the number of CA-MRSA infections between years, and contrast treatment interventions and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of CA-SAI. METHODS: A concurrent and retrospective study was conducted in 125 patients less than 18 years of age with CA-SAI admitted to the hospital-clinic based on criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data on demographics, length of stay, antibiotic therapy, and antibiotic susceptibilities were collected. RESULTS: Seventy patients were included for analysis (CA-MRSA. n = 51: community-acquired methicillin- susceptible S. aureus [CA-MSSA], n = 19). No statistically significant differences were noted between the number of CA-MRSA infections and the total CA-SAI (9/15 in 2004 vs 42/55 in 2005: p = 0.15). Approximately 75% of patients with CA-SAI were admitted to the hospital with no significant difference in length of stay. Ninety percent of CA-SAI were skin and soft tissue infections. There was a significant difference between groups with cutaneous abscesses (CA-MRSA, n = 37 vs CA-MSSA. n = 6: p = 0.002). Greater than 95% of all isolates were susceptible to vancomycin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Half of CA-MRSA patients received inappropriate antibiotic therapy with β-lactam antibiotics or clindamycin without confirmatory disk diffusion test. Twenty-five (49%) patients with CA-MRSA received surgical debridement (S/D) and/or incision and drainage (I/D) with concomitant antibiotic therapy. Four patients with CA-MRSA were rehospitalized for subsequent infections: all 4 received appropriate antibiotic therapy. CONCLUSIONS: A noticeable increase in CA-MRSA infections with cutaneous abscess between 2004 and 2005 was noted. In patients receiving inappropriate antibiotic therapy, treatment success was attributed to concomitant S/D and I/D. Further analysis should focus on the impact of antibiotic therapy alone or in combination with S/D and I/D on the incidence of subsequent CA-MRSA infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1367
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Kentucky
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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