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Management of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in children.


In recent years, community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has emerged as a pathogen in children without established risk factors, and its prevalence in the United States is increasing. Although many CA-MRSA infections are mild, primarily involving the skin and soft tissues, the organism can cause serious, invasive, and life-threatening infections. To provide a comprehensive review of the epidemiology, clinical features, therapy, and prevention of CA-MRSA infections in children, we performed MEDLINE (1966-January 2006) and Cochrane Library searches, and reviewed abstracts for relevance to S. aureus infections. Only articles pertaining to CA-MRSA infections in pediatrics were closely examined. As a genetically distinct pathogen, CA-MRSA is generally susceptible to multiple non-beta-lactam antimicrobials. The optimal treatment for CA-MRSA infections in pediatric patients has not been well studied. Common antibiotics used include clindamycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, vancomycin, and rifampin. Rational empiric antimicrobial therapy for infections caused by S. aureus requires consideration of the possibility of methicillin resistance. The local prevalence and susceptibilities of CA-MRSA, severity of infection, and individual risk factors should be considered in selecting treatment.

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