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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 24, Issue 3, Pages e53-e56
Original Article

Clinical Characteristics of Pediatric Patients Hospitalized with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Canadian Hospitals from 2008 To 2010

Kirk Ryan Leifso,1 Denise Gravel,2 Aboubaker Mounchili,2 Sherif Kaldas,2 and Nicole Le Saux1

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Canada
2Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2013 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.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections were uncommon in children in Canada until the 1990s. Using a standardized case report form, treating physicians reported children hospitalized due to MRSA infections in Canadian hospitals through the Canadian Pediatric Surveillance Program in a 24-month period (2008 to 2010). Of 155 cases reported, 70% were ≤4 years of age and approximately one-third had an underlying medical condition. The most common clinical infections involved skin and soft tissue (69%), the lower respiratory tract (12%), and bone and joint (10%). Almost one-third had had contact with the health care environment in the previous year and 18% had a known household member with MRSA. Initial therapy with a beta-lactam alone occurred in 65%, while 22% included vancomycin. No child in this cohort died but 14% required admission to the intensive care unit. Of 143 reports of individual isolates, 93% were reported susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 63% to clindamycin and 50% to mupirocin.

The present study involved only children hospitalized with MRSA infections. It may not be representative of the children treated as outpatients nor children in selected areas of Canada where MRSA infections may be more endemic. Further targeted surveillance to identify risks and treatment practices in these populations may be important.