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Biomedica. 2014 Apr;34 Suppl 1:163-9. doi: 10.1590/S0120-41572014000500019.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus causes both community-associated and health care-associated infections in children at the Hospital Universitario de Santander.

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Grupo de Inmunología y Epidemiología Molecular, Facultad de Salud, Universidad Industrial de Santander.
Grupo PAIDOS, Facultad de Salud, Universidad Industrial de Santander.



Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a frequent cause of infection in the pediatric population. Initially, MRSA was restricted to hospitals; however, outbreaks in the community among people without health care-related risk factors have been reported worldwide. Currently, MRSA is a frequent cause of both hospital and community-associated infections.


To describe the relationships between the molecular characteristics of MRSA isolates (staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) carriage) and the characteristics of infection (the origin and localization of infection) in pediatric patients at the Hospital Universitario de Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia.


A total of 43 MRSA isolates were obtained from hospitalized pediatric patients. SCCmec typing (I-V), SCCmec IV subtyping and PVL carriage were determined and related to the clinical characteristics.


Among the MRSA isolates studied, SCCmec IVc was present in 77%, followed by 16% for SCCmec I and 2% for SCCmec IVa. Two isolates were not typeable (NT). PVL genes were carried by 88% of the MRSA isolates, including the SCCmec IVc/IVa and SCCmec I isolates. SCCmec IV caused both community-acquired infection (CAI) (47%) and nosocomial infection (HAI) (53%). SCCmec IV, PVL-positive MRSA was associated with both CAI (47%) and HAI (53%) and caused mostly SSTI and osteoarticular infection.


These findings suggest that the presence of community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) (SCCmec IV and PVL positive) causes both health care-associated infection (HCAI) and nosocomial infection (HAI) in pediatric patients in Colombia.

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