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Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Sep;16(9):1419-27. doi: 10.3201/eid1609.091802.

Illicit drug use and risk for USA300 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections with bacteremia.

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


To assess the association of illicit drug use and USA300 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia, a multicenter study was conducted at 4 Veterans Affairs medical centers during 2004-2008. The study showed that users of illicit drugs were more likely to have USA300 MRSA bacteremia (in contrast to bacteremia caused by other S. aureus strains) than were patients who did not use illicit drugs (adjusted relative risk 3.0; 95% confidence interval 1.9-4.4). The association of illicit drug use with USA300 MRSA bacteremia decreased over time (p = 0.23 for trend). Notably, the proportion of patients with USA300 MRSA bacteremia who did not use illicit drugs increased over time. This finding suggests that this strain has spread from users of illicit drugs to other populations.

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