Antibiotics for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft tissue infections: The challenge of outpatient therapy

Amy J. Pate, Reno Giovonni Terribilini, Farzaneh Ghobadi, Alaleh Azhir, Andre Barber, Julie Marie Pearson, Hossein Kalantari, Getaw W. Hassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are becoming increasingly prevalent in both community and hospital settings. Certain strains are notorious for causing skin and soft tissue infections in patients with no established risk factors. In this article, we report our findings on the dynamic antibiotic resistance pattern of MRSA and outpatient prescription trend for skin and soft tissue infections within our community. Methods We conducted a retrospective medical record review of 1876 patients evaluated in the emergency department of an urban community hospital from 2003 to 2012. Data regarding culture isolates and associated antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic treatment, site of specimen collection, age, race, and sex were collected and analyzed. Results Analysis of 1879 culture specimens yielded 2193 isolates. In some cases, a single specimen yielded polymicrobial growth. Staphylococcus aureus represented 996 isolates (45.4%); 463 were methicillin-susceptible (21.1%) and 533 (24.3%) were methicillin-resistant. Most patients were prescribed a single- or poly-drug regimen of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, cephalexin, and clindamycin. Antimicrobial resistance analysis indicated that MRSA became increasingly resistant to the aforementioned antibiotics over time: 10% and 6% in 2012 vs 3.5% and 3.4% in 2007 for clindamycin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, respectively. Conclusion Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a particularly virulent, rapidly adaptive pathogen that is becoming increasingly difficult to combat with existing antibiotics. Care must be taken to ensure appropriate treatment and follow-up of patients with known MRSA infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-138
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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