(HealthDay News) – In contrast to decreasing incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in adults, no significant reductions in health care-associated MRSA infections, and increasing incidence of community-acquired MRSA infections, have been reported in children, according to research published online Sept. 23 in Pediatrics.

Martha Iwamoto, MD, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed data from population surveillance for 2005–2010 to assess patterns in the incidence of invasive MRSA infections in children.

The researchers found 876 pediatric cases of MRSA infection, which were community-associated (42%), hospital-onset (35%), or health care-associated community-onset (23%); 340 of the cases (39%) occurred in infants. The incidence of invasive community-associated MRSA infection showed a modeled yearly increase of 10.2%, from 1.1 infections per 100,000 children in 2005 to 1.7 infections per 100,000 children in 2010. Estimated incidence of invasive MRSA infections per 100,000 children in 2010 was higher in infants younger than 90 days than in older infants and children (43.9 vs. 2) and in black children than in children of other races (6.7 vs. 1.6).

“These findings underscore the need for defining optimal strategies to prevent MRSA infections among children, especially children without health care risk factors, hospitalized children outside of the ICU, and children with recent exposure to health care,” the authors write.

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