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Study IDs Risk Factors For Fatal MRSA

by Charles Bankhead, MedPage Today ,  MedPageToday.com | 2012-06-21

The risk of death from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia increased significantly with age, nursing home residence, and organ impairment, according to a retrospective review of 699 episodes of MRSA.

Severe bacteremia also predicted an increased mortality risk, but the MRSA strain was not predictive. Consultation with an infectious disease specialist was associated with a significantly lower mortality risk.

The review also raised questions about the approach to heteroresistant vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (hVISA) strains -- apparently susceptible strains of MRSA that harbor subpopulations of vancomycin-resistant colonies -- as reported in the July issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

MRSA bacteremia has a high mortality of 30% to 35% in most studies. However, predictors of fatal MRSA bacteremia have not been clearly delineated, providing impetus for the investigation by Pastagia and colleagues.

Investigators examined medical records associated with 699 episodes of MRSA bacteremia involving 603 patients, including 65 patients who were hospitalized two or more times. Additional data came from hospital databases and frozen MRSA specimens.


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