MRSA Surveillance and the New York State Emerging Infections Program

New York State became a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emerging Infections Program (EIP) site in 1997. Active, population-based surveillance for invasive disease due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is part of the Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) component of the Emerging Infections Program. Currently, 10 states participate in the Emerging Infections Program.

Objectives of MRSA surveillance conducted by Emerging Infections Program sites are:

  • To monitor the incidence and epidemiologic characteristics of healthcare-associated and community-associated invasive MRSA.
  • To determine the molecular epidemiologic patterns of healthcare-associated and community-associated MRSA.

Surveillance in Monroe County

The NYS Emerging Infections Program conducts invasive MRSA surveillance in Monroe County in collaboration with the University of Rochester. Some of the findings of MRSA surveillance in Monroe County are as follows:

  • From April 2004 – July 2007, 1,277 cases of invasive MRSA infections occurred.
  • 5% of the cases were classified as community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA)
  • 95% of the cases were classified as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA)
  • Rates of CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA are increasing:
    • CA-MRSA rates increased from 1.5 cases per 100,000 persons in 2005 to 4.6 cases per 100,000 persons in 2006.
    • HA-MRSA rates increased from 40 cases per 100,000 persons in 2005 to 55 cases per 100,000 persons in 2006.

Future Surveillance Activities

Planned MRSA activities for the Emerging Infections Program in 2008 include:

  • Continue active surveillance for invasive MRSA cases in Monroe County.
  • Continue to characterize the antibiotic resistance patterns (antibiograms) of Staphylococcus aureus detected in pediatric patients. Expand antibiograms to include adults less than 50 years.
  • Conduct a study comparing the outcomes of patients infected with MRSA strains of community origin with patients infected with health care-acquired MRSA strains.
  • Conduct a survey to assess the impact of control efforts on the rate of invasive MRSA in Monroe County hospitals.

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