Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in community-recruited injection drug users: are throat swabs necessary?

  • E. LLOYD-SMITH (a1), M. W. HULL (a2) (a3), D. HAWKINS (a1), S. CHAMPAGNE (a2), T. KERR (a2) (a3) and M. G. ROMNEY (a1) (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 13 December 2011

We examined and described colonization of MRSA in the anterior nares and throat from 184 community-recruited injection drug users. Thirty-seven (20%) were positive for MRSA: most (34, 92%) were carriers in the nares; while only three (8%) were carriers detected by throat swabs alone. The majority (29, 78%) of MRSA isolates were PVL positive.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr E. Lloyd-Smith, Infection Prevention and Control, Providence Health Care, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada.(Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.ME Milloy , Recent incarceration linked to cutaneous injection-related infections among active injection drug users in a Canadian setting. Journal of Community Health 2010; 35: 660666.

2.ED Charlebois , Population-based community prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the urban poor of San Francisco. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2002; 34: 425433.

3.E Lloyd-Smith , Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is prevalent in wounds of community-based injection drug users. Epidemiology and Infection 2010; 138: 713720.

5.EG Girou , Selective screening of carriers for control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in high-risk hospital areas with a high level of endemic MRSA. Clinical Infectious Diseases 1998; 27: 543550.

6.MD Sanford , Efficient detection and long-term persistence of the carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Clinical Infectious Diseases 1994; 19: 11231128.

7.D Mertz , Throat swabs are necessary to reliably detect carriers of Staphylococcus aureus. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2007; 45: 475477.

8.GE Bignardi , B Lowes . MRSA screening: throat swabs are better than nose swabs. Journal of Hospital Infection 2009; 71: 373374.

9.P Nilsson , T Ripa . Staphylococcus aureus throat colonization is more frequent than colonization in the anterior nares. Journal Clinical Microbiology 2006; 44: 33343339.

11.RH Deurenberg , The molecular evolution of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2007; 13: 222235.

14.AE Hidron , Risk factors for colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in patients admitted to an urban hospital: emergence of community-associated MRSA nasal carriage. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2005; 41: 159166.

15.E Lloyd-Smith , Determinants of hospitalization for a cutaneous injection-related infection among injection drug users: a cohort study. BMC Public Health 2010; 10: 327.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *