Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonization and risk factors for infection among military personnel in a shipboard setting

Jennifer A. Curry, Jason D. Maguire, Jamie Fraser, David R. Tribble, Robert G. Deiss, Coleman Bryan, Michele D. Tisdale, Katrina Crawford, Michael Ellis, Tahaniyat Lalani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Staphylococcal skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), especially those due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are an important public health issue for the military. Limited data exist regarding the prevalence of S. aureus colonization in the shipboard setting. We conducted a cross-sectional, observational study to determine the point prevalence of S. aureus colonization among military personnel onboard a naval vessel. Asymptomatic active duty personnel completed a survey for risk factors associated with colonization and SSTIs. Culture specimens were obtained from the anterior nares, pharynx, groin, and perirectal regions. MRSA isolates underwent testing for antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors, and pulsed-field type. 400 individuals were enrolled, 198 (49.5%) of whom were colonized with S. aureus, with MRSA identified in 14 participants (3.5%). No significant risk factors were associated with MRSA colonization. USA800 was the most common colonizing MRSA strain in the cohort and was detected in 10 participants (71%). Two participants (14%) were colonized with USA300 MRSA. In this firstreportofS. aureus epidemiology in a shipboard setting, we observed high rates of S. aureus and MRSA colonization. Longitudinal studies are needed to document the incident rates of S. aureus colonization during shipboard deployment and its impact on SSTI risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-529
Number of pages6
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume181
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2016

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