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MRSA: We Can Overcome, But Who Will Lead the Battle?

Margreet C. Vos , MD, PhD and Henri A. Verbrugh , MD, PhD
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 26, No. 2 (February 2005), pp. 117-120
DOI: 10.1086/503507
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/503507
Page Count: 4
Subjects: Health Sciences Public Health
Find more content in these subjects: Health Sciences Public Health
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MRSA: We Can Overcome, But Who Will Lead the Battle? on JSTOR
Editorial

Abstract

EXCERPT

During the past two decades, methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become the most prevalent and important antimicrobial‐resistant pathogen, causing serious nosocomial and community‐acquired infections. This trend continues unabated today, now involving additional classes of antimicrobial agents such as glycopeptides.1 The emergence of MRSA is primarily due to the successful spread of a limited number of clones of S. aureus representing the most prevalent lineages within its population structure2 that have acquired one of the resistance‐encoding SSCmec elements. Hospitals and other healthcare institutions have been the primary sites where such strains are transmitted and are “breeding” sites where MRSA can maintain its highest reproductive rate. High rates of transmission are the consequence of patients’ increased susceptibility to acquisition combined with crowding and high rates of contact with healthcare workers (HCWs), who are considered important vectors in the chain of MRSA transmission. The continuing spread of MRSA indicates that recommended preventive strategies have been either inadequate or improperly implemented. For years, MRSA‐positive patients and HCWs have been cycled back into the community, where transmission continues, albeit at a lower rate.