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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 16, Issue 6, Pages 343-348
Original Article

Outbreaks of Infection Caused by Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Canadian Correctional Facility

Cheryl L Main,1,2 Padman Jayaratne,1,2 Allan Haley,3 Candy Rutherford,1,2 Fiona Smaill,1,2 and David N Fisman3,4

1Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
2Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
3City of Hamilton Public Health and Community Services Department, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
4Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, , USA

Received 14 July 2005; Accepted 4 October 2005

Copyright © 2005 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.


BACKGROUND: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been identified in prison settings in the United States. The present study investigated two clusters of skin and soft tissue infection caused by community-acquired (CA) MRSA in a correctional facility in southern Ontario.

METHODS: Outbreak investigations were conducted by the responsible public health authority. Strain relatedness was assessed through comparison of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and antibiograms.

RESULTS: Two distinct outbreaks of CAMRSA-associated disease occurred in 2002 and 2004. Most patients presented with abscesses in the lower extremities. All isolates had identical DNA banding patterns on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. One-half of the affected inmates resided in a cellblock with one other affected inmate. No other risk factors were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: One of the first outbreaks of CAMRSA infections in a correctional facility in Canada is documented. Taken in conjunction with outbreaks elsewhere, this suggests that residence in correctional facilities may be a risk factor for CAMRSA infection.