MRSA, CA-MRSA, Community-acquired MRSA, Skin and soft tissue infections, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a serious public health problem nationwide, threatening to develop into an epidemic. Many of these patients are presenting to their primary care clinics with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). The CDC has reported that in 2005, MRSA was responsible for an estimated 94,000 life-threatening infections and 16,650 deaths. The purpose of this study is to estimate the incidence of CA-MRSA within a specific family practice in Florida and to identify epidemiologic factors, classify antibiotic susceptibility patterns, and evaluate patient education in regard to disease management and prevention. This study was a descriptive, epidemiologic, three-year retrospective medical record review of all wound cultured skin and soft tissue infections that presented to a family practice between January 2007 and December 2009. Sixty-two medical records met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the study. Of these 62 SSTIs, 44 cultures grew one or more bacterial organisms. The incidence of CA-MRSA was 66% (n=29). The mean age of those with CA-MRSA was 40 years old, with a range from 7 to 90 years old. Sixty-two percent (n=18) were male and 38% (n=11) were female; additionally 69% (n=20) lived within a 10 mile radius from the family practice, while 31% (n=9) lived in a surrounding suburb. The most frequent race was Caucasian 83% (n=24), with African American at 10% (n=3) and Hispanics 7% (n=2). Risk factors associated with CA-MRSA was obesity 41% (n=10), diabetes mellitus 24% (n=7), and a previous history of MRSA infection 24% (n=7). Skin and soft tissue infections were diagnosed as either an abscess 62% (n=18), boil 24% (n=7), pustule 10% (n=3), or cellulitis 4% (n=1). CA-MRSA isolates were susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole 100% (n=29), doxycycline 93% (n=27), and rifampin 100% (n=14). Clindamycin susceptibility was 65% (n=15) with resistance at 30% (n=7) and 5% (n=1) intermediate. Both cephalexin and erythromycin were 100% resistant. Documentation in the medical record on wound care was found in 45% (n=13) of the records. The incidence of CA-MRSA SSTI was 66%, which identifies this suburban community at high risk for this bacterial infection. Risk factors associated with CA-MRSA included obesity (BMI > 30), history of previous MRSA infection, and diabetes mellitus. There were no clinical characteristics that helped distinguish MRSA infection from other bacterial SSTIs. Most SSTI were treated with incision and drainage and a susceptible antibiotic. Judicious use of antibiotics not only provides appropriate treatment, but is also critical in prevention of antibiotic resistance. Lastly, patient education in adequate hygiene is essential in preventing the spread of CA-MRSA


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date



Rash, Elizabeth


Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing



Degree Program

Nursing Practice








Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Nursing Commons