Objectives: The relationship between community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) nasal colonization and subsequent infection in children is unknown. We sought to define risk factors for skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) in community children. Methods: A prior study measured S. aureus nasal colonization prevalence for 1300 community children. To detect subsequent SSTI in these children or a household member, surveys were administered 6 and 12 months following enrollment. Results: SSTIs were reported by 56/708 (8.1%) respondents during the initial 6-month interval. SSTI developed in 6/26 (23%) initially colonized with MRSA, 16/194 (8%) with methicillin-sensitive S. aureus colonization, and 34/474 (7%) not colonized with S. aureus (MRSA vs. not MRSA, univariate analysis, p = 0.014). In multivariable analysis, factors associated with SSTI included history of SSTI in the child during the year preceding enrollment (p < 0.01) and SSTI in household contacts during the follow-up interval (p < 0.01); MRSA nasal colonization approached statistical significance (p = 0.08). Conclusions: In the current era of community MRSA transmission, SSTI is a disease of households, with recurrences in index cases and occurrences among household contacts. Children with MRSA colonization may be at risk for subsequent SSTI. Further study of MRSA transmission dynamics in households and preventive strategies should receive high priority.
- Community-associated Staphylococcus aureus
- Methicillin resistance
- Practice-based research network
- Skin and soft tissue infection