MSSA infections more common than MRSA infections in hospitalized infants

Invasive methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus causes more infections and deaths in hospitalized infants than methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to an article in JAMA Pediatrics, meaning measures to prevent staph infections should include MSSA in addition to MRSA.

Researchers from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., compared demographics and mortality of infants with MRSA and MSSA at 348 neonatal intensive care units in hospitals across the country.

They identified 3,888 infants who had 3,978 invasive S. aureus infections. Those infections were more commonly caused by MSSA, which accounted for 2,868 infections or 72.1 percent, as opposed to MRSA, which caused 1,110 infections (27.9 percent).

Additionally, more infants with invasive MSSA infections died before discharge than infants with invasive MRSA infections.

"Consideration should be given to expanding hospital infection control efforts targeting MRSA to including MSSA as well," the study concludes. "Future studies to better define the relationship between MSSA colonization and subsequent infection will help to clarify the importance of such interventions for preventing MSSA disease."

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