Transmission Dynamics for MRSA With Injection Drug Users

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterial pathogen resistance to antibiotics including methicillin. The resistance first emerged in 1960 in a healthcare setting only after two years of using methicillin as a viable treatment for methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA leads to infections in different parts of the body including the skin, bloodstream, lungs, or the urinary tract.

Wagner and Agusto (2018) report that a deterministic model for MRSA with injection drug users is designed. The model incorporates transmission of MRSA among non-injection drug users and injection drug users (IDUs) who are both low-and high-risk users. A reduced MRSA transmission model with only non-IDUs is fitted to a 2008-2013 MRSA data from the Agency for Healthcare and Research and Quality (AHRQ). The parameter estimates obtained are projected onto the parameters for the low-and high-risk IDUs subgroups using risk factors obtained by constructing a risk assessment ethogram. Sensitivity analysis is carried out to determine parameters with the greatest impact on the reproduction number using the reduced non-IDUs model. Change in risk associated behaviors was studied using the full MRSA transmission model via the increase in risky behaviors and enrollment into rehabilitation programs or clean needle exchange programs. Three control effectiveness levels determined from the sensitivity analysis were used to study control of disease translation within the subgroups.

The sensitivity analysis indicates that the transmission probability and recovery rates within the subgroup have the highest impact on the reproduction number of the reduced non-IDU model. Change in risk associated behaviors from non-IDUs to low-and high-risk IDUs lead to more MRSA cases among the subgroups. However, when more IDUs enroll into rehabilitation programs or clean needle exchange programs, there was a reduction in the number of MRSA cases in the community. Furthermore, MRSA burden within the subgroups can effectively be curtailed in the community by implementing moderate- and high-effectiveness control strategies.

The researchers say MRSA burden can be curtailed among and within non-injection drug users and both low-and high-risk injection drug users by encouraging positive change in behaviors and by moderate- and high-effectiveness control strategies that effectively targets the transmission probability and recovery rates within the subgroups in the community.

Reference: Wagner R and Agusto FB. Transmission dynamics for Methicilin-resistant Staphalococous areus with injection drug user. BMC Infectious Diseases. 201818:69