Objective: This study evaluated the prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) nasal carriage, risk factors for nasal carriage, and antibiotic susceptibility patterns in college student athletes.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal samples and data collection forms were obtained at athletic team training rooms at 2 colleges.
Participants: The study population included 277 college student athletes older than 18 years.
Interventions: A nasal swab was obtained from each athlete after completion of a data collection form. Variables collected on the data collection form included age, sex, race/ethnicity, athletic team, recent health care exposure(s), history of CA-MRSA exposure, recent antibiotic treatment(s), sharing towels, razors or soap, nose picking, and on-campus or off-campus living.
Main Outcome Measures: Prevalence of CA-MRSA nasal carriage and antibiotic susceptibility patterns was analyzed. Risk factors for nasal carriage were also evaluated.
Results: Five positive CA-MRSA nasal carriers (4 men and 1 woman) were identified of 277 sampled; a prevalence of 1.8%. Two institutions were involved in the study. Institution 1 had 4 positive CA-MRSA nasal carriers of 124 sampled (3.2%). Institution 2 had 1 positive CA-MRSA nasal carrier of 153 sampled (0.65%). No risk factors were found to be significantly associated with positive CA-MRSA nasal carriage.
Conclusions: The prevalence of CA-MRSA nasal carriage in college student athletes in East Tennessee (1.8%) seems similar to what has been reported in the general population (1.5%).