Although high rates of clinical infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been reported in HIV-infected adults, data on MRSA colonization are limited. We enrolled HIV-infected adults receiving care at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Swabs from each participant's nares and groin were cultured with broth enrichment for S. aureus. Of 600 HIV-infected adults, 79 (13%) were colonized with MRSA and 180 (30%) with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. MRSA pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types USA300 (n=44, 54%) and USA500/Iberian (n=29, 35%) predominated. Inclusion of groin swabs increased MRSA detection by 24% and USA300 detection by 38%. In multivariate analysis, MRSA colonization compared to no MRSA colonization was associated with a history of MRSA clinical infection, rarely or never using condoms, and contact with prisons and jails. In summary, the prevalence of MRSA colonization was high in this study of HIV-infected adults and detection of USA300 was enhanced by groin culture.
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