Home Hygiene & Health
The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

Colonization with Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus among a Sample of Homeless Individuals, Ohio

This study documents the prevalence of S. aureus and MRSA colonization among a population of homeless individuals. Although the S. aureus colonization prevalence in this sample is similar to prior population estimates, the prevalence of MRSA colonization (25.6%) was much higher than has been previously reported for individuals in other community settings (1%–2%). On the basis of these findings, the rate of MRSA colonization among the homeless may be 10–20 times higher than the rate among the general population. This finding is different from the 2.8% prevalence rate found in a study of the urban poor conducted in San Francisco in 1999–2000. The authors conclude that identification of specific risk factors and broad intervention to improve the living conditions of high-risk populations may be an important aspect of MRSA prevention control activities. Interventions might include improved individual hygiene, decontamination of colonized individuals, cleaning and improved sanitation of shelters, and coordinated community efforts to address homelessness as a public health problem. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. August 2009;30(8):801-3.

Author: Landers TF, Harris RE, Wittum TE, Stevenson KB

Published: 01/08/2009

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology