Nasal carriage screening of community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in healthy children of a developing country

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nosocomial Infection Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: The rapid emergence and spread of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has raised considerable public health concern in both developed and developing countries. The current study aimed to address the extent of this phenomenon in healthy preschool children of a developing country.
Materials and Methods: We conducted a prospective study from April 2013 to March 2014 on 410 healthy 2-6 years old preschool children in Isfahan, Iran. Demographic medical data and nasal samples were collected from the participating children. Isolates were identified as S. aureus and MRSA based on microbiological and molecular tests, including the presence of eap and mecA genes.
Results: The overall prevalence of S. aureus and CA-MRSA nasal carriage was 28% (115/410) and 6.1% (25/410), respectively. The identity of isolates was confirmed by molecular assay. The factors that were independently associated with nasal carriage of S. aureus were: Children crowding in day-care nurseries and income level of families. A total of 20/90 (22.2%) of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus and all 25 CA-MRSA displayed multiple drug resistance to 3–8 antibiotics.
Conclusions: The current report reflects issues and concerns that the high rate of colonization by CA-MRSA in Iranian healthy children provides obliging evidence that MRSA have established a foothold in the community and are emerging as important health threatening pathogens. It is suggested that we need more effective infection control measures to prevent transmission of nasal CA-MRSA in healthy preschool children.


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