Capital Health Nova Scotia surveillance of community associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aurues
LE3 .A278 2010
Bachelor of Science
Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram positive spherical pathogen which is responsible for a wide variety of infections, including nosocomial infections, skin and soft tissue infections, and necrotizing pneumonia. The advent of penicillin type drugs in the 1940’ s brought about a novel method of S. aureus infection treatment, however, by 1961 S. aureus isolates were confirmed to be resistant to this form of antibiotic. Termed Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( MRSA), this new superbug quickly established itself as a highly drug resistant opportunistic pathogen with a tendency to prey on the sick and immune compromised. Originally believed to be a hospital-associated pathogen, a more aggressive and virulent strain of this superbug was isolated from the community in 1981. Since the discovery of this community associated MRSA ( CA- MRSA), CA- MRSA strains have been popping up all over the world in an increasing and alarming fashion. The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of CA- MRSA among all MRSA isolates collected within the Capital Health Nova Scotia region in order to survey the rapid growth of this highly virulent pathogen. Four hundred and eighty six isolates of MRSA were collected from January 2008 – September 2008 and were tested for the Panton Valentine Leukocidin ( PVL), a common CA- MRSA indicator, using the Polymerase Chain Reaction. The isolates that tested positive for PVL were then typed using Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis ( PFGE) to determine their specific strain. This data collection provides important information to the further understanding of the epidemiological patterns of CA- MRSA. The results of these tests showed that 12.14% of all MRSA isolates in the Capital Health Nova Scotia region are CA- MRSA. These findings show an increase in the percentage of CA- MRSA in this ix region. Furthermore, these findings highlight that the extremely high rate of CA- MRSA ( 21%) previously found in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia ( District 8) is not consistent with the Capital Health region. Future research is important to determine the reason for the high rate in Cape Breton, as well as to continue monitoring the quickly growing virulent pathogen.
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