HealthDay News — Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is now taking up residence in people’s homes, according to study findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers have found evidence that people’s homes are “major reservoirs” of the USA300 MRSA strain — the most prevalent community-associated MRSA strain across the United States.
Bacteria taken from people living in the same home were genetically very similar, whereas there was more genetic variability between samples from different households, Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, MD, PhD, of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues reported.
“What our findings show is [MRSA] also endemic in households,” Uhlemann told HealthDay. The implication is that “we can’t just treat the person with the infection. We have to attempt to remove the (MRSA) colonization from the home.”
The results are based on findings from 161 New York City residents who contracted infections from 387 different CA-MRSA isolates between 2009 and 2011. The researchers analyzed the genetic makeup of MRSA samples from those patients, and took swabs from a comparison group of people the same age that had not fallen ill to see if they harbored S. aureus bacteria.
They also tested other members of each patient’s household and their social contacts, and took samples from household surfaces to hunt for S. aureus contamination.
“Our study provides an important framework for molecular epidemiological investigations into the transmission of opportunistic pathogens that colonize and infect communities,” the researchers wrote.