Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains in pediatric intensive care unit

Aaron M. Milstone, Karen C. Carroll, Tracy Ross, K. Alexander Shangraw, Trish M Perl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Virulent community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus-aureus (CA-MRSA) strains have spread rapidly in the United States. To characterize the degree to which CA-MRSA strains are imported into and transmitted in pediatric intensive care units (PICU), we performed a retrospective study of children admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital PICU, March 1, 2007-May 31, 2008. We found that 72 (6%) of 1,674 PICU patients were colonized with MRSA. MRSA-colonized patients were more likely to be younger (median age 3 years vs. 5 years; p = 0.02) and African American (p<0.001) and to have been hospitalized within 12 months (p<0.001) than were noncolonized patients. MRSA isolates from 66 (92%) colonized patients were fingerprinted; 40 (61%) were genotypically CA-MRSA strains. CA-MRSA strains were isolated from 50% of patients who became colonized with MRSA and caused the only hospitalacquired MRSA catheter-associated bloodstream infection in the cohort. Epidemic CA-MRSA strains are becoming endemic to PICUs, can be transmitted to hospitalized children, and can cause invasive hospital-acquired infections. Further appraisal of MRSA control is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains in pediatric intensive care unit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this