Trends in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Hospitalizations in the United States, 2010–2014

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The Question

The study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, finds evidence that rates of severe methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus blood infections are not declining, despite an overall decline in MRSA-related infections. 

These findings contradict reported significant reductions in the incidence of invasive MRSA and hospital-onset MRSA bacteremia since 2005 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Active Bacterial Core Surveillance (ABCs) system.

Researchers calculated rates of S. aureus and MRSA-related hospitalizations from 2010 to 2014, for septicemias, pneumonias, and unspecified S. aureus infections, using inpatient records from the National Inpatient Survey (NIS) from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project of the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). The researchers found that hospitalization rates for MRSA-related skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs) decreased between 2010 and 2014, while rates for more invasive MRSA-related infections, sepsis, remained constant. The study found:

  • The rate of S. aureus septicemias increased nearly 20 percent, from 2.66 to 3.15 per 1,000 hospitalizations. The rate of Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) septicemias increased from 1.45 to 1.53 per 1,000 hospitalizations and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) septicemia increased from 1.21 to 1.61 per 1,000 hospitalizations.
  • MRSA-related skin and soft-tissue infections decreased 29 percent (from 3.8 to 3.0 per 1,000 hospitalizations). The rate of other common primary diagnoses with unspecified MRSA-related infections did not significantly change.