Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization in a department of pediatrics: A cross-sectional study

Francesco Gesualdo, Manuela Onori, Dafne Bongiorno, Floriana Campanile, Emanuela Carloni, Livia Mancinelli, Cristina Russo, Alberto Villani, Diletta Valentini, Massimiliano Raponi, Alberto E. Tozzi, Stefania Stefani

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Background: We describe methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal carriage at admission in patients admitted to a Department of Pediatrics. Methods. All patients received a nasal swab at admission. A questionnaire was administered and molecular genetics analyses were performed on all identified MRSA isolates. Results: We enrolled 785 patients, affected with both acute and chronic diseases. MRSA nasal colonization prevalence was 1.15% (CI: 0.5607%-2.093%). Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) nasal colonization prevalence at admission was 19.75% (CI 17.07%-22.64%). Only one MRSA isolate carried the SCCmec V variant; all other isolates carried the SCCmecIV variant. Five out of 9 MRSA-colonized patients had an underlying condition. Antibiotic therapy in the previous 6 months was a protective factor for both MRSA (OR 0,66; 95% CI: 0,46-0,96) and MSSA (OR 0,65; 95% CI: 0,45-0,97) colonization. A tendency to statistical significance was seen in the association between hospitalization in the 6 months prior to admission and MRSA colonization at admission (OR 4,92; 95% CI: 0,97-24,83). No patient was diagnosed with an S. aureus infection during hospitalization. Conclusions: The majority of our MRSA colonizing isolates have community origins. Nevertheless, most MRSA-colonized patients had been hospitalized previously, suggesting that strains that circulate in the community also circulate in hospital settings. Further studies should elucidate the role of children with frequent contact with health care institutions in the circulation of antibiotic resistant strains between the hospital and the community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 10 2014


  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Nasal carriage
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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