HOUSTON -- (Sept. 25, 2006) -- An antibiotic-resistant bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasingly a cause of muscle infections in children, said Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) researchers in a report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The report appears online at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CID/journal/contents/v43n8.html in the October 15, 2006, issue.
"We had noticed an increase in the number of muscle infections," said Dr. Pia Pannaraj, a post-doctoral fellow in the department of pediatrics' section of infectious diseases at BCM. She said that in recent years, she and her colleagues at Texas Children's Hospital had started to see a case of the MRSA muscle infection every month. In the cases she studied, the infection was acquired in the community, she said.
"I think it is important for parents to be aware that this bacterial infection can exist," she said. "They should seek care from their child's primary physician if there are symptoms of such an infection, such as a child limping or if there is redness or swelling in an extremity."
Houston, in particular, has a high rate of MRSA infections. More than 75 percent of community-acquired staphylococcal infections treated at Texas Children's Hospital are MRSA (resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat these infections in the past), she said. The rate of such infections is increasing nationwide.
In surveying patient records, Pannaraj and her colleagues found that in 60 percent of the 45 previously healthy children with the muscle infections called myositis and pyomyositis, the cause was a form of bacteria either Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. The infections occurred between 2000 and 2005. Fifteen of the 26 S. aureus infections tested were methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) forms of the
Contact: Kimberlee Barbour
Baylor College of Medicine