In a 22-month period, strains of Staphylococcus aureus resistant to methicillin and multiple aminoglycosides (designated MARS) were recovered from 108 inpatients with nosocomial infections at a hospital in the midwestern United States. Sixty-six of these patients were staying in a burn unit, and 42 were on other hospital wards. Among the patients with burns, MARS were recovered from the burn wounds of 64%; 32% of the patients with burns had MARS bacteremia. The patients without burns were age-matched with patients with nosocomial infections caused by antibiotic-susceptible strains of S. aureus. Patients from whom MARS were isolated had a longer mean hospital stay (79.6 days vs. 36.9 days; P <0.01), developed infection later (26.5 days vs. 13.5 days after admission; P <0.01), and had received antibiotic therapy before infection more often (81% vs. 38% of patients; P <0.01) than patients in the comparative population. Types of infection and incidences of death and bacteremia were similar in the two groups. Antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus may cause serious infections and significant mortality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Received for publication February 21, 1978, and in revised form August 14, 1978. This study was supported in part by a grant from the Schering Corporation. We are indebted to Dr. Bertram Woolfrey and Mr. Charles Quall of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, St. Paul-Ramsey Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota, for providing the bacterial isolates used in this study and to Dr. Theodore Eickhoff for reviewing the manuscript. This paper was presented in part at a seminar at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, September 25, 1977,and at the Seventeenth Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, New York, New York, October, 1977. Please address requests for reprints to Dr. Kent Crossley, Department of Medicine, St. Paul-Ramsey Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101.