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Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in cystic fibrosis
  1. L S Miall,
  2. N T McGinley,
  3. K G Brownlee,
  4. S P Conway
  1. Regional Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Children's Day Hospital, St James's University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK
  1. Dr MiallLawrence{at}


BACKGROUND Methicillin resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is increasingly found in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

AIMS To determine whether MRSA infection has a deleterious effect on the clinical status of children with CF.

METHODS Children with MRSA in respiratory cultures during a seven year period were identified and compared with controls matched for age, sex, and respiratory function. Respiratory function tests, anthropometric data, Shwachman–Kulczycki score, Northern chest x ray score, intravenous and nebulised antibiotic therapy, and steroid therapy were compared one year before and one year after MRSA infection.

RESULTS From a clinic population of 300, 10 children had positive sputum or cough swab cultures for MRSA. Prevalence rose from 0 in 1992–1994 to 7 in 1998. Eighteen controls were identified. Children with MRSA showed significant worsening of height standard deviation scores and required twice as many courses of intravenous antibiotics as controls after one year. They had significantly worse chest x ray scores at the time of the first MRSA isolate and one year later, but showed no increase in the rate of decline in chest xray appearance. There was a trend towards lower FEV1 and FEF25–75 in children with MRSA. There were no significant differences between the two groups with respect to change in weight, body mass index, or Shwachman score. There was no significant difference in prior use of steroids or nebulised antibiotics.

CONCLUSION MRSA infection in children with CF does not significantly affect respiratory function, but may have an adverse effect on growth. Children with MRSA require significantly more courses of intravenous antibiotics and have a worse chest x ray appearance than controls.

  • cystic fibrosis
  • MRSA
  • methicillin resistantStaphylococcus aureus

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