Eleven-Year Surveillance of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections at an Academic Health Centre


Staphylococcus aureus


Introduction. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important human pathogen associated with nosocomial and community infections. There is a continual focus on the epidemiology of this public health threat owing to the increase in its spread and rapid development of resistance.

Aim. We aimed to describe the clinical presentations of MRSA infections at an academic health centre by demonstrating the time trend of antibiotic resistance.

Methodology. We retrospectively reviewed cases during an 11-year period (from January 2009 to December 2019) with positive cultures for MRSA from various clinical sites in King Fahad Hospital of the University, to understand their clinical and microbiological profiles. Screening and colonisation samples were excluded.

Results. A total of 1338 MRSA isolates were identified, with an increasing trend from 5.2% to 14.5% during 2009–2019. Skin and soft tissue samples were the most common source (52.4%) of MRSA infections. Vancomycin activity remained stable against MRSA, and only one isolate showed resistance to linezolid (<1%). A significant reduction in susceptibility to clindamycin (p = 0.003), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (p = 0.001), and rifampin (p <0.0001) was detected over the study period.

Conclusion. MRSA infections still represent a significant burden on healthcare systems. Our data support the need for constant local and regional surveillance to devise relevant protocols to manage MRSA infections. Empirical therapy needs to consider the changing antimicrobial susceptibility trends among MRSA isolates.



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