Journal Article

Global Implications of the Emergence of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> in Indigenous Populations

Steven Y. C. Tong, Malcolm I. McDonald, Deborah C. Holt and Bart J. Currie

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 46, issue 12, pages 1871-1878
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/588301
Global Implications of the Emergence of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Indigenous Populations

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The emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Australia may have been facilitated by conditions in socially disadvantaged populations—particularly, remote Australian Aboriginal communities. The appearance of community-associated MRSA was first noticed in Australia during the early 1980s; subsequently, several genetically diverse strains have independently emerged from geographically distinct regions. Molecular and epidemiological studies support the role of genetic transfer of resistance determinants (SCCmecIV) in this process. Conditions in Aboriginal communities—namely, domestic crowding, poor hygiene, and high rates of scabies, pyoderma, and antibiotic use—have facilitated both the clonal expansion and de novo emergence of strains of community-associated MRSA. Combating the worldwide emergence and spread of community-associated MRSA may require novel community-level control strategies targeted at specific groups, such as remote Indigenous populations.

Journal Article.  5518 words.  Illustrated.

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

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