Clinical outcomes and treatment approach for community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections in Israel

E. Berla-Kerzhner, A. Biber, M. Parizade, D. Taran, G. Rahav, G. Regev-Yochay, D. Glikman

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7 Scopus citations


Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections are increasingly documented worldwide. We recently identified two major CA-MRSA clones in Israel: USA300 and t991. Here, we assessed clinical outcomes by CA-MRSA clones and the physicians’ treatment approach to CA-MRSA infections. All community-onset, clinical MRSA isolates detected during 2011–2013 by Maccabi Healthcare Services were collected and characterized phenotypically and genotypically; data were collected retrospectively from electronic medical records. Of 309 patients with MRSA infections, 64 were identified as CA-MRSA (21 %). Of the CA-MRSA infections, 72 % had skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), 38 % were Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL)+, the major clone being USA300 (n = 13, 54 %). Of PVL− isolates (n = 40, 62 %), t991 was the major clone. Age was the only predictor for PVL+ CA-MRSA infection (p < 0.001). Patients with PVL+ CA-MRSA had higher incidence of SSTI recurrences (1.061 vs. 0.647 events per patient/per year, p < 0.0001) and were more likely to have the SSTI drained (64 % vs. 21 %, p = 0.003) when compared to PVL− CA-MRSA. USA300 was more common among adults, while t991 was more common among children (p = 0.002). The physician’s referral to culture results and susceptibility were the only predictors of appropriate antibiotic therapy (p < 0.001). However, only a minority of physicians referred to culture results, regardless of subspecialties. PVL+ CA-MRSA isolates caused significantly more recurrences of SSTIs and increased the need for drainage compared with PVL− isolates. Physicians’ awareness of CA-MRSA as a cause of SSTIs in the community was suboptimal. Culturing of pus-producing SSTIs is crucial for providing adequate antimicrobials and elucidating MRSA epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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