Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft tissue infections: Can we anticipate the culture result?

Maskit Bar-Meir*, Tina Q. Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This prospective study was designed to evaluate predictors of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) due to community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). Consecutive patients who were hospitalized with S aureus SSTI were enrolled. CA-MRSA infection was diagnosed in 76% of the children. MRSA SSTI was associated with black race (P =.0001) and with infection involving the lower trunk (P =.008). Only 21% of the patients in this study had S aureus colonization in their nares, and in 3 cases there was discordance between the nares and the infection site cultures. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the risk factors examined were limited in their ability to predict CA-MRSA infection. Given the high prevalence of MRSA in our community and the inability of nasal cultures to reliably predict CA-MRSA infection, empirical antibiotic therapy active against CA-MRSA and contact isolation of patients are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-438
Number of pages7
JournalClinical pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010


  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcal skin infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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