The Nottingham Staphylococcus aureus population study: prevalence of MRSA among the elderly in a university hospital

Hori, S., Sunley, R., Tami, A. & Grundmann, H., Jan-2002, In : Journal of Hospital Infection. 50, 1, p. 25-29 5 p.

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  • The Nottingham Staphylococcus aureus population study

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A prevalence survey of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in elderly patients (65 years and older) three weeks after admission to a university hospital was performed. Risk factors associated with hospital MRSA carriage were determined. The design was a cross-sectional patient-based study and all adult wards at the University Hospital Nottingham (1600 beds) were included. Three hundred and forty-two elderly individuals (65 years and older) were enrolled into the study on day 21 after admission. One hundred and twenty patients [35.08% (95% confidence intervals 29.93-40.25%)] carried S. aureus. MRSA was isolated from 54 patients. The MRSA prevalence was 158/1000 (95% CI 119-197/1000 patients). Independent risk factors for MRSA carriage in the hospital were exposure to ampicillin [adjusted odds ratio 4.1 (95% CI 1.28-13.14)] and ciprofloxacin [17.1 (95% CI 2.91-99.90)]. Forty-one MRSA isolates (75.9%) belonged to the epidemic type EMRSA 15, seven isolates to EMRSA 16 (12.9%) and six isolates were sporadic strains as determined by genetic typing. It can be expected that among this defined risk group, between 187 and 331 patients carried MRSA on discharge in the year 2000. MRSA carriage is frequent and detected in only 15% of actual carriers amongst elderly patients by routine clinical investigations three weeks after admission. The only significant risk factor identified by multivariate logistic regression was antibiotic chemotherapy. The repeated finding of a strong association between MRSA colonization and previous ciprofloxacin exposure demands attention and indicates that fluoroquinolones should be used prudently in institutions where MRSA is endemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2002


  • Aged, Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use, Carrier State/epidemiology, Cross Infection/drug therapy, Female, Fluoroquinolones, Hospitals, University, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Methicillin Resistance, Risk Factors, Staphylococcal Infections/drug therapy, Staphylococcus aureus/drug effects, United Kingdom

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