September 01, 2011
1 min read

Research highlights rising rates, best treatments for skin and soft-tissue infections

Friedman B. Acad Pediatr. 2011;11:263-279.

Williams DJ. Pediatrics. 2011;doi:10.1542/peds.2010-3681.

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Two separate reports published online recently call attention to rising rates of skin and soft-tissue infections in pediatric populations and the best treatment options for these infections.

In the first study, Patrick S. Romano, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the UC Davis School of Medicine, and colleagues said the number of children hospitalized for skin and soft-tissue infections, mostly caused by community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, has more than doubled since 2000. That study looked at Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data from more than 40 states between 2000 and 2007 to track shifts in the reasons why children are hospitalized and outcomes of those hospitalizations.

Romano and colleagues wrote in their study that admissions for severe skin infections now rank as the seventh most common reason for hospital admission among children, up from 13th in 2000.

In a separate but related study, researchers from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said clindamycin is emerging as the preferred choice of treatment for these types of skin and soft-tissue infections.

Derek J. Williams, MD, MPH, of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving children who were enrolled in Tennessee’s Medicaid program between 2004 and 2007.

The researchers said among the 6,407 children who had a drainage procedure, only 4.7% of patients who received clindamycin had a treatment failure vs. 11.2% who received trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and 11.1% who received a beta-lactam.

Among the children who did not have a drainage procedure, 4.9% of clindamycin users, 8.8% of patients who received TMP-SMX and 5.3% of beta-lactam users failed treatment.

Both research groups said hospitalizations likely will decrease once parents are better educated to look for signs of MRSA in their children and to seek early treatment for it. Without early intervention, hospitalization becomes more likely.

Disclosure: The studies were both funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.

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