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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Jan;33(1):61-8. doi: 10.1007/s10096-013-1929-2. Epub 2013 Aug 8.

Epidemiology of MRSA in southern Sweden: strong relation to foreign country of origin, health care abroad and foreign travel.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Helsingborg Hospital, Södra Vallgatan 5, 254 37, Helsingborg, Sweden,


All notified MRSA cases in Skåne County have been followed since 2000. We have investigated the MRSA epidemiology over time, method of acquisition, whether some spa types are more prone to spread, and/or cause more infections, and the connection between spa type and country of acquisition/origin. All cases between 2000 and 2010 were included. Infection or colonization and the presence of PVL genes were noted. The spa types of the index cases were correlated with community or healthcare acquisition, proportion of MRSA-positive household contacts, country of origin of families and country of acquisition of MRSA. The number of cases increased from 31 in 2000 to 315 in 2010. Most cases were community-acquired and the median age was 30 years. Thirty-two per cent of the MRSA cases were found because of a clinical infection. Of the household contacts 35 % were MRSA-positive. Only 24 % of the MRSA cases were both of Swedish origin and had contracted MRSA in Sweden. An association between spa type and certain regions of acquisition/origin was noted. Spa types t044, t002 and t008 were the most predominant strains. PVL-positive spa types t008, t019 and t044 caused more skin infections than the other spa types. Our results support screening for MRSA in patients with health care contacts abroad, culturing of patients with skin infections contracted outside Sweden and performing contact tracing among household members. Knowledge of spa type might give guidance in the process of contact tracing. Eradication treatment of MRSA spa types causing more skin infections may be warranted.

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