The majority of MRSA colonized children not given eradication treatment are still colonized one year later. Systemic antibiotics improve the eradication rate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can cause endogenously derived infections and be a source of transmission to other people. Neither colonization time of asymptomatic MRSA colonization nor the effect of treatment aiming at MRSA eradication in children has been thoroughly investigated. Methods: Two hundred ninety-three children <18 years in the mandatory follow-up program for MRSA-carriers in Malmö, Sweden were evaluated. Samples from the throat, nares, perineum and skin lesions from each child were screened for MRSA with a PCR-based broth enrichment method. PVL presence and spa-type were evaluated in a majority of cases. The sampling was repeated approximately every 6 month after initial detection. When three consecutive sets of negative samples during at least a 6-month period were obtained, the MRSA was considered permanently eradicated. MRSA eradication treatment given, on clinical grounds during follow-up, was noted. Results: One year after detection 62% of the untreated children were still MRSA positive and after 2 years 28%. MRSA throat colonization and having MRSA positive household contacts significantly prolonged the observed colonization time. Topical MRSA eradication treatment was successful in 36% of cases and in 65% if systemic antibiotics were added. Presence of PVL correlated with shorter observed colonization time in the older age group and with increased eradication success among throat carriers. Conclusion: MRSA throat colonization and having MRSA positive household contacts prolongs the time of MRSA colonization in children. Systemic antibiotics enhance the effect of MRSA eradication treatment.


External organisations
  • Växjö Central Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infectious Medicine


  • Carrier, Children, Colonization time, Eradication treatment, MRSA, Risk factors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-696
JournalInfectious Diseases
Issue number9
Early online date2018 Apr 23
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 2
Publication categoryResearch