MRSA: Number of Infections Still Increasing in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Martha Iwamoto, MD, MPH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Iwamoto: We have been successful in decreasing invasive MRSA infections among infants younger than 3 months, mostly due to declines in hospital –onset infections in NICUs. However, more needs to be done among pediatric patients older than 3 months, especially those in the community settings and without recent healthcare exposures.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Iwamoto: We were somewhat surprised because national trends show dramatic declines in invasive healthcare-associated MRSA infections among adult patients.  However, unlike adults, we found no significant changes in incidence of serious healthcare-associated MRSA infections among children 3 month – 17 years.  In addition, number of infections among children in the community setting without recent healthcare exposures is increasing.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Iwamoto: Clinicians should be aware that invasive MRSA infections outside of the acute care settings are increasing among children. Although the reasons for the observed increase are unknown, clinicians should educate patients on MRSA prevention in community settings.

Clinicians can also take steps to reduce MRSA in healthcare settings, where rates of invasive MRSA infections among infants older than 90 days has remained stable over the last 6 years, by reinforcing CDC’s evidence-based recommendations, including: performing hand hygiene, using contact precautions when caring for patients with MRSA, recognizing previously colonized patients, and rapidly reporting MRSA laboratory results.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Iwamoto: CDC is moving forward with a study across EIP sites to understand what other determinants of health such as healthcare access or income level can explain some of the racial disparities we are observing.  Prevention research for the unique needs of pediatric settings is needed.

Citation:

Trends in Invasive Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections Martha Iwamoto, Yi Mu, Ruth Lynfield, Sandra N. Bulens, Joelle Nadle, Deborah Aragon, Susan Petit, Susan M. Ray, Lee H. Harrison, Ghinwa Dumyati, John M. Townes, William Schaffner, Rachel J. Gorwitz, and Fernanda C. Lessa

Pediatrics peds.2013-1112; published ahead of print September 23, 2013, doi:10.1542/peds.2013-1112