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Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Mar;17(3):441-8. doi: 10.3201/eid1703.100502.

Staphylococcus aureus infections in US veterans, Maryland, USA, 1999-2008.

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University of Maryland, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, 685 W Baltimore St, MSTF 336, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Trends in Staphylococcus aureus infections are not well described. To calculate incidence in overall S. aureus infection and invasive and noninvasive infections according to methicillin susceptibility and location, we conducted a 10-year population-based retrospective cohort study (1999-2008) using patient-level data in the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System. We found 3,674 S. aureus infections: 2,816 (77%) were noninvasive; 2,256 (61%) were methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA); 2,517 (69%) were community onset, and 1,157 (31%) were hospital onset. Sixty-one percent of noninvasive infections were skin and soft tissue infections; 1,112 (65%) of these were MRSA. Ten-year averaged incidence per 100,000 veterans was 749 (± 132 SD, range 549-954) overall, 178 (± 41 SD, range 114-259) invasive, and 571 (± 152 SD, range 364-801) noninvasive S. aureus infections. Incidence of all S. aureus infections significantly increased (p<0.001), driven by noninvasive, MRSA, and community-onset infections (p<0.001); incidence of invasive S. aureus infection significantly decreased (p<0.001).

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