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Modeling the invasion of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus into hospitals.
Clin Infect Dis. 2009;48(3):274-84
Date: 2009-01-28   Read: 180365

Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Feb 1;48(3):274-84

Modeling the invasion of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus into hospitals.

D'Agata EM, Webb GF, Horn MA, Moellering RC Jr, Ruan S

BACKGROUND: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has traditionally been associated with infections in hospitals. Recently, a new strain of MRSA has emerged and rapidly spread in the community, causing serious infections among young, healthy individuals. Preliminary reports imply that a particular clone (USA300) of a community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) strain is infiltrating hospitals and replacing the traditional hospital-acquired MRSA strains. If true, this event would have serious consequences, because CA-MRSA infections in hospitals would occur among a more debilitated, older patient population.

METHODS: A deterministic mathematical model was developed to characterize the factors contributing to the replacement of hospital-acquired MRSA with CA-MRSA and to quantify the effectiveness of interventions aimed at limiting the spread of CA-MRSA in health care settings.

RESULTS: The model strongly suggests that CA-MRSA will become the dominant MRSA strain in hospitals and health care facilities. This reversal of dominant strain will occur as a result of the documented expanding community reservoir and increasing influx into the hospital of individuals who harbor CA-MRSA. Competitive exclusion of hospital-acquired MRSA by CA-MRSA will occur, with increased severity of CA-MRSA infections resulting in longer hospitalizations and a larger in-hospital reservoir of CA-MRSA.

CONCLUSIONS: Improving compliance with hand hygiene and screening for and decolonization of CA-MRSA carriers are effective strategies. However, hand hygiene has the greatest return of benefits and, if compliance is optimized, other strategies may have minimal added benefit.



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