Geographic distribution of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus soft tissue infections

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PURPOSE: The goal of this study is to look at the geographic growth patterns of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in our local region and to determine if specific geographic areas are at increased risk. METHODS: After Institution Review Board approval (132603-3), a retrospective chart review was conducted of 614 patients who underwent incision and drainage of an abscess by a single pediatric surgical practice from January 2004 to December 2008. In addition, previously published data from 195 patients who underwent incision and drainage of an abscess from January 2000 to December 2003 were reviewed. RESULTS: The most commonly cultured organism found in the pediatric population undergoing incision and drainage was S aureus (n = 388), of which 258 (66%) were methicillin resistant. This is a 21% increase from the rate of MRSA cultures identified from 2000 to 2003. Geographic information system space-time analysis showed that a cluster of 14 MRSA cases was located within a 1.44-km radius between 2000 and 2003, and 5 separate clusters of more than 20 MRSA infection cases each were identified in 3 separate cities over the 8-year time span using geographic information system spatial analysis (P value = .001). CONCLUSION: Methicillin-resistant S aureus has now become the most prevalent organism isolated from cultures of community-acquired abscesses requiring incision and drainage in the pediatric population in our local region. Significant clustering of MRSA infections has appeared in several different cities within our geographic region. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.