Background Community acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is not an extension of hospital-acquired organisms into the community. There is a paucity of data with particular reference to the incidence and characteristics of community acquired MRSA in the UK paediatric population.
Aims The aim of the study was to identify the scale of the problem that staphylococcal bacteraemia (particularly MRSA) poses in the paediatric population presenting to the biggest teaching hospital in the EU (Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust) and to look at patient profiles with particular reference to intensive care unit (ICU) stay and the presence of invasive medical devices.
Methods This study was conducted by a retrospective review of microbiology data. A primary inclusion criterion was a positive blood culture result (with S aureus) in a child <16 years old. The study period was over 2 years, 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2006.
Results A total of 93 separate patients were identified within the database with a positive blood culture result for S aureus. In total, 2933 samples were recorded and analysed from these patients. One patient was an adult, five had no S aureus in blood cultures. Methicillin-sensitive S aureus (MSSA) was identified in 78 of the 87 patients. Nine patients had MRSA bacteraemia. Indwelling medical devices were present in 59 out of 88 (66%). 43/87 (50%) children had ICU care.
Conclusion S aureus (MSSA) bacteraemia rates in children were much higher than MRSA bacteraemia rates in the 2-year study period. Eight of the nine cases of MRSA were hospital acquired.