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Lancet Infect Dis. 2006 Jun;6(6):335-41.

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among US prisoners and military personnel: review and recommendations for future studies.

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  • 1Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. aielloa@umich.edu


We reviewed published work examining the prevalence and risk factors for meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in two high-risk groups: prisoners and military enlistees. Significant risk factors for infection included prison occupation, gender, comorbidities, prior skin infection, and previous antibiotic use. Although characteristics such as hygiene, physical contact, and crowding were postulated as risk factors for MRSA infection, there were few epidemiological studies supporting these factors. Most studies identified were retrospective in design and only one study used prospective surveillance for MRSA colonisation among all individuals residing within a single military setting. Our results suggest that there is a high incidence of MRSA infection among individuals in prisons and military settings, but surveys that quantify the prevalence of MRSA colonisation among individuals living within these specialised settings are needed. A thorough examination of MRSA acquisition and transmission patterns in prisons and military settings could help elucidate preventive strategies in other crowded and closed settings.

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