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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)...

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:
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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.

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

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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.

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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