ASM Microbe

ASM Microbe

June 07, 2017
2 min read

Infection control drives down MRSA rate in US

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NEW ORLEANS — Infection control helped drive down the MRSA rate in the United States between 2009 and 2015, according to a researcher who presented findings from the AWARE surveillance program.

The AWARE program monitors resistance to Teflaro (ceftaroline fosamil, Allergan), which was approved by the FDA in 2010.

Photo of Helio Sader
Helio S. Sader

“Rates [of MRSA] are going down. Infection control is probably the main reason,” Helio S. Sader, MD, PhD, senior director for microbiology and surveillance at JMI Labs, which conducted the study, told Infectious Disease News. “We have to keep doing surveillance to follow this and detect any change. But it’s good news.”

Sader and colleagues tested 19,036 clinical Staphylococcus aureus isolates from 42 medical centers in 30 U.S. states for susceptibility to ceftaroline fosamil and comparators between 2009 and 2015. The isolates were mainly from skin/soft tissue (50.8%), respiratory tract (21.7%) and bloodstream (20.0%) infections, they said.

According to the results, the MRSA rate varied from a high of 47.2% in 2009 to a low of 43.6% in 2015. Recent data showed that it further decreased to 42.2% in 2016, according to a press release.

Sader and colleagues observed stable rates of susceptibility to ceftaroline fosamil for all S. aureus strains (98.6% in 2009 and 98.7% in 2015) and for MRSA (97.1% in 2009 and 97% in 2015). Resistance to other antibiotics such as levofloxacin, clindamycin and erythromycin also showed some decrease during the same period, whereas susceptibility to ceftaroline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline remained stable, according to the researchers.

“Infection control is the main factor that affects MRSA rates and antibiotic use plays a less important role,” Sader said. “Once you can control the dissemination of this organism in a hospital, the rate goes down.”

Sader explained that, although it has gone down, the MRSA rate in the U.S. is high compared with most European countries.

He said if we become complacent in our infection control practices then he would not be surprised if MRSA rates in the U.S. start going up again. As MRSA is very clonal, even with our best infection control efforts, the appearance of a new clone may lead to increasing rates.

“Nothing surprises me in antimicrobial resistance,” Sader said. – by Gerard Gallagher


Sader H, et al. Antimicrobial susceptibility trends among Staphylococcus aureus from US hospitals: Results from 7 years of the Ceftaroline (AWARE) Surveillance Program (2009-2015). Presented at: ASM Microbe; June 1-5, 2017; New Orleans.

Disclosure: Sader works for JMI Labs. Please see the full study for a list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.