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Community-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: what are we missing?
  1. Y Maeda,
  2. B C Millar,
  3. A Loughrey,
  4. M McCalmont,
  5. Y Nagano,
  6. C E Goldsmith,
  7. P J Rooney,
  8. J E Moore
  1. Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  1. Dr John E Moore, Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7AD, Northern Ireland, UK; jemoore{at}

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Community-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is emerging as an organism of important clinical significance, particularly as a cause of skin lesions in young healthy adults, with none of the usual risk factors for the acquisition of MRSA. The first report of infection in the UK with this organism was in the British sporting community in 1996, when the infection was observed in five members of a British rugby team.1 Since then, however, reports of such infections have not been frequent within the UK, although in the USA, CA-MRSA infections are continuing to emerge within various sporting disciplines, particularly those involved in contact ball sports. CA-MRSA has now emerged as an important public health issue in the USA since 2000. Affected individuals are often young adults suffering from severe soft tissue infections. Furthermore, in the USA, a particular PFGE clonal type, namely CA-MRSA USA 300, has emerged a significant public health problem, with many outbreaks due to this clone.2 Many community outbreaks have been reported in the USA, but so far, there are few reports of cases in the UK.

Unlike most hospital strains of MRSA, CA-MRSA …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Funding: This work was supported financially by a kind charitable donation given by the wife and family of and in memory of the late Mr John (Jackie) McCaughern, for the purposes of pursuing microbiological investigations into the sources and transmission of bacteriological aetiological agents of infection.