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Mil Med. 2006 Sep;171(9):830-2.

Skin lesions in barracks: consider community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection instead of spider bites.

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Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside 92521, USA.


Recent outbreaks of mysterious skin lesions on multiple personnel at several military facilities were initially blamed on spiders. Requests were made for pest inspection and control to remedy the situation. Greater scrutiny of the situation led to a hypothesis that instead of spiders, an infectious outbreak of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) should be investigated as the etiology. Subsequent culturing of the lesions on personnel at one facility confirmed this bacterial etiology. Barracks, as well as other close quarter military living conditions, are ripe environments for the establishment, persistence, and spread of CA-MRSA. Military medical personnel should consider CA-MRSA as a more likely etiologic agent than spider bites for cutaneous eruptions in which there are multiple lesions on one person or multiple patients with similar lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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