It's unclear why these seasonal and age preferences for infection with methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA) occur, says Eili Klein, Ph.D., lead author on the study and a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences.
But he says that increased use of antibiotics in the winter may be one of the reasons. The winter strain that infects seniors at a greater rate is generally acquired in the hospital and resistant to more antibiotics. On the other hand, the summer strain of MRSA, which is seen with growing frequency in children, is largely a community-transmitted strain that is resistant to fewer antibiotics.
"Overprescribing antibiotics is not harmless," Klein notes. "Inappropriate use of these drugs to treat influenza and other respiratory infections is driving resistance throughout the community, increasing the probability that children will contract untreatable infections."
In fact, the study found that while MRSA strains exhibit a seasonal pattern, overall MRSA infections have not decreased over the last five years, despite efforts to control their spread.
A report on the study, which used sophisticated statistical models to analyze national data for 2005-2009, appears today in the online issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
As the researchers report, hospitalizations from infections tied to MRSA doubled in the United States between 1999 and 2005. The ballooning infection numbers were propelled by MRSA acquired in community settings, not hospital or other health care settings, as had been the case prior to 1999.
Specifically, the study found that a strain of MRSA typically seen in community settings is more likely to cause infection during the summer months, peaking around July/August. The authors' data analysis showed children were most at risk of becoming infected with this strain, typically from a skin or soft tissue wound or ailment.
In fact, in examining data for one year — 2008 — the research team found that 74 percent of those under the age of 20 who developed an infection with MRSA had a community-associated MRSA infection.
Meanwhile, the health care-associated MRSA strain, which is typically seen in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care settings, was found to be most prevalent in the winter months, peaking in February/March. Patients aged 65 or older are more likely to acquire a MRSA infection from this strain.
"Our analysis ... shows significant seasonality of MRSA infections and the rate at which they affect different age groups," write the authors of the report titled "The changing epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the United States: A national observational study."
Klein said additional research on seasonal patterns of MRSA infections and drug resistance may help with developing new treatment guidelines, prescription practices and infection control programs.
Other authors on the paper include Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, D.C., and David L. Smith of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Read the abstract: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/02/28/aje.kws273.abstract
Media Inquiries:Mark Guidera
Mark Guidera | EurekAlert!
Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine
20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine