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USA300 Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Emerging as a Cause of Bloodstream Infections at Military Medical Centers

  • Jeffrey Sherwood (a1) (a2), Matthew Park (a3), Paul Robben (a3), Timothy Whitman (a3) and Michael W. Ellis (a3)...

USA300 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common cause of skin and soft-tissue infection (SSTI) in military personnel. USA300 MRSA has emerged as an important cause of healthcare-associated bloodstream infection (BSI) in metropolitan centers.


To determine the prevalence, risk factors, and patient outcomes associated with USA300 MRSA BSI in military tertiary medical centers.


Retrospective case-control study.


Patients admitted during the period 2001–2009 with MRSA BSI.


Walter Reed Army Medical Center (Washington, DC) and National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) tertiary medical centers with 500 inpatient beds combined, which provide care to active duty service members and military beneficiaries.


After identifying patients with MRSA BSI, we collected epidemiological data from electronic medical records and characterized bacterial isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).


A total of 245 MRSA BSI cases were identified, and 151 isolates were available for analysis. Epidemiological characteristics for the 151 patients with available isolates included the following: mean age, 61 years; male sex, 70%; white race, 62%; and combat-wounded service members, 11%. The crude in-hospital mortality rate was 17%. PFGE demonstrated that 30 (20%) of 151 MRSA BSI cases with isolates available for analysis were due to USA300, and 27 (87%) of these 30 cases were healthcare-associated infection. USA300 was associated with a significantly increasing proportion of MRSA BSI when examined over sequential time periods: 2 (4%) of 51 isolates during 2001–2003, 9 (19%) of 47 isolates during 2004–2006, and 19 (36%) of 53 isolates during 2007–2009 (P<.001).


USA300 MRSA is emerging as a cause of healthcare-associated BSI in tertiary military medical centers.

Corresponding author
Infectious Disease Clinic, WBAMC 5005 North Piedras Street, El Paso, TX 79920 (
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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