Journal Article

Vancomycin-Resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> in the Absence of Vancomycin Exposure

Cynthia J. Whitener, Sarah Y. Park, Fred A. Browne, Leslie J. Parent, Kathleen Julian, Bülent Bozdogan, Peter C. Appelbaum, Jasmine Chaitram, Linda M. Weigel, John Jernigan, Linda K. McDougal, Fred C. Tenover and Scott K. Fridkin

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 8, pages 1049-1055
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/382357
Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the Absence of Vancomycin Exposure

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We report findings from our investigation of the world's second clinical isolate of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA). An elderly man was hospitalized with an infected chronic heel ulcer and osteomyelitis. Before hospital admission, he received multiple courses of antibiotic therapy but, notably, no vancomycin. Numerous cultures of ulcer specimens (performed on an outpatient basis) grew methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-susceptible S. aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species. At admission, an additional culture of a specimen from the heel ulcer grew S. aureus that was identified as VRSA (minimal inhibitory concentration for vancomycin [by broth-microdilution], 32 µg/mL). Further evaluation confirmed the presence of the vanA gene mediating vancomycin resistance. To assess VRSA transmission, we performed a carriage study of 283 identified contacts and an environmental survey of the patient's home; no VRSA isolates were recovered. This case illustrates that recent exposure by patients to vancomycin is not necessary for development of vanA-containing VRSA. For clinical and public health reasons, it is essential that microbiology laboratories adequately test for vancomycin-resistance in S. aureus.

Journal Article.  4660 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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