Molecular Characteristics of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis on the Abdominal Skin of Females before Laparotomy
BACKGROUND Isolation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in healthy individuals is not common in Israel. In our hospital, about 30% of MRSA isolates were SCCmec types IV and V. OBJECTIVES To identify the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients carrying MRSA SCCmec type IV or V, and to compare them with each other and with those of patients with SCCmec types I-III. METHODS We conducted a case-control study that included 501 patients from whom MRSA was isolated: 254 with SCCmec type I, II, or III, and 243 isolates from SCCmec types IV or V. RESULTS MRSA was isolated from surveillance cultures in 75% of patients and from a clinical site in 25%. The majority of our study population was elderly, from nursing homes, and with extensive exposure to health care. First, we compared characteristics of patients identified through screening. Statistically significant predictors of SCCmec V vs. IV were Arab ethnicity (OR 7.44, 95% CI 1.5-37.9) and hospitalization in the year prior to study inclusion (OR 5.7, 95% CI 1.9-16.9). No differences were found between patients with SCCmec types I-III and patients with SCCmec type IV or V. Analysis of the subset of patients who had clinical cultures yielded similar results. CONCLUSIONS SCCmec types IV and V were common in the hospital setting although rare in the community. It seems that in Israel, SCCmec IV and V are predominantly health care-associated MRSA.