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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Dec;60(6):1310-5. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in invasive isolates from southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.

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  • 1Infection Control Unit, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida MSD05, Malta.



Efforts aimed at curtailing the ever increasing spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) require effective information of its epidemiology. However, knowledge about the situation in southern and eastern countries of the Mediterranean is incomplete since reports have been sporadic and difficult to compare.


Over a 36 month period from 2003 to 2005, the ARMed project collected more than 5000 susceptibility test results of invasive isolates of S. aureus from blood cultures routinely processed within participating laboratories servicing 62 hospitals situated in Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.


Overall, the median MRSA proportion was 39% (interquartile range: 27.1% to 51.1%). The highest proportions of MRSA were reported by Jordan, Egypt and Cyprus, where more than 50% of the invasive isolates were methicillin-resistant. Considerable variation was identified in the proportion of MRSA in hospitals within the same country.


It appears that most of the countries in the Mediterranean region are experiencing a surge in MRSA infections. This requires a greater focus to identify relevant drivers of resistance and implement effective practices in order to address them, especially improved infection control and antibiotic consumption practices.

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