Cognitive Impairment, Presence of a Wound Associated With Elevated Probability of USA100 Carriage

Nursing home residents are frequently colonized with various strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) but the intra-facility dynamics of strain-specific MRSA remains poorly understood. Batina, et al. (2017) sought to identify and quantify the associations between acquisition and carriage of MRSA strains and their potential risk factors in community nursing homes using mathematical modeling.

The data was collected during a longitudinal MRSA surveillance study in six nursing homes in South Central Wisconsin. MRSA cultures were obtained from subjects every three months for up to one year. MRSA isolates were subsequently strain-typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and their genetic similarity was established based on the Dice coefficients. Bayesian network analysis, logistic regression and elastic net were used to quantify the associations between acquisition and carriage of MRSA strains discriminated at 80 percent and 95 percent strain similarity thresholds and potentially modifiable resident characteristics including previous antibiotic exposure, comorbidity, medical devices, chronic wounds, functional and cognitive status and recent hospitalizations.

Absence of severe cognitive impairment as well as presence of a wound, device and severe comorbidity was associated with elevated probability of USA100 carriage although there was a variation based on the combination of those risk factors. Residents with severe comorbidity and cognitive status and presence of device and wound were identified as certain carriers of USA100 in our sample. Residents with a chronic wound were more likely to carry USA100 MRSA (OR = 2.77, 95% CI = 1.37–5.87). Functional status was identified as an important determinant of carriage of USA100 and USA300 strains. Comorbidity and cognitive status were the two factors associated with carriage of all clonal groups in the study (USA100, USA300 and USA1200).

The combination of Bayesian network analysis, logistic regression and elastic net can be used to identify associations between acquisition and carriage of MRSA strains and their potential risk factors in the face of scarce data. The revealed associations may be used to generate hypothesis for further study of determinants of acquisition and carriage of selected MRSA subtypes and to better inform infection control efforts in community nursing homes.

Source: Batina NG, et al. Acquisition and persistence of strain-specific methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and their determinants in community nursing homes. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2017; 17:752

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