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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization and disease severity in atopic dermatitis: A cross-sectional study from South India

Publisher : Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology

Campus : Kochi

School : School of Medicine

Department : Dermatology

Year : 2014

Abstract : Background: Colonization by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in atopic dermatitis is little studied but has therapeutic implications. It may have a role in disease severity given the additional virulence factors associated. Aims: Our aims were to record the proportion of patients with MRSA colonization in atopic dermatitis and to ascertain if any association exists between MRSA colonization and disease severity. Methods: An observational cross-sectional study involving children aged≤12 years with atopic dermatitis attending the outpatient department of Government Medical College, Kottayam was conducted. Socio-demographic data, exacerbating factors and risk factors for hospital care-associated MRSA were documented. Extent of atopic dermatitis was recorded using a standardized scale (Eczema Area Severity Index, EASI). Skin swabs were taken from anterior nares and the worst affected atopic dermatitis sites for culture and sensitivity. Results: Of the 119 subjects recruited during the study period (November 2009-April 2011), Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from 110 (92.4%) patients and MRSA from 30 (25.21%) patients. A total of 18 patients with MRSA had risk factors for healthcare associated-MRSA. The patients whose cultures grew MRSA were found to have significantly higher EASI score when compared to those patients colonized with methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (P 0.01). Presence of Staphylococcus aureus, early age of onset, presence of food allergies, seasonal exacerbation and inadequate breastfeeding did not seem to influence disease severity. Conclusions: There is a high degree of prevalence of MRSA (25.2%) in atopic dermatitis and presence of MRSA is associated with increased disease severity. Further studies are needed to validate these findings.

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