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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 13 (2002), Issue 4, Pages 245-250
Original Article

Epidemiology and Clinical Features of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Tariq A Madani

King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Received 23 November 2000; Revised 4 May 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence, demography and clinical characteristics of patients who were colonized or infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in 1998 at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Results of MRSA-positive cultures of clinical specimens obtained as part of investigations for suspected infections were retrieved from the King Abdulaziz University Hospital Infection Control Department's records. Charts of patients were reviewed.

RESULTS: Of 292 S aureus isolates identified, 111 (38%) were MRSA, or 6.0 MRSA isolates/1000 admissions, which represented a marked increase over MRSA prevalence in 1988 (less than 2%). Nosocomial acquisition occurred in 74.8% of isolates. All age groups were affected, but 45.9% of patients were in the 'extremes of age' group (younger than one or older than 60 years of age). The prevalence was highest in the medical ward (27%), followed by the paediatrics combined medical and surgical ward (20.7%), the outpatient department (18%), the adult surgical ward (17.1%) and the intensive care units (17.1%). Two-thirds (66.7%) of cases represented infection and the remainder represented colonization. Surgical wounds (31.1%), the chest (27%) and endovascular catheters (20.3%) were the most common sites of infection. Bacteremia occurred in 27% of patients. Local signs (68.9%) and fever (60.8%) were the most common clinical manifestations. Respiratory distress and septic shock occurred in 28.4% and 6.8% of cases, respectively. Of 74 patients with MRSA infection and 37 patients with MRSA colonization, 91.9% and 56.8% received antibiotics in the preceding six weeks, respectively (P<0.0001). The total mortality of patients with MRSA infection was 60.8%; 37.8% of deaths were the result of MRSA infection and 23% were the result of other diseases.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of MRSA is high and rapidly increasing at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, as it is worldwide. Control measures to prevent the spread of MRSA in hospitals should continue with reinforcement of hygienic precautions and development of policies to restrict the use of antibiotics.