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Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Carriage in a College Student Athlete Population

Rackham, Daniel M PharmD*; Ray, Shaunta' M PharmD, BCPS†‡; Franks, Andrea S PharmD, BCPS†‡; Bielak, Kenneth M MD‡; Pinn, Tanika M MD‡

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - pp 185-188
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181dba80d
Original Research

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%).

From the *Department of Pharmacy, The University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, Tennessee; †Department of Clinical Pharmacy, The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, Knoxville, Tennessee; and ‡Department of Family Medicine, The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Submitted for publication August 27, 2009; accepted February 12, 2010.

Supported by The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Research Fund & The University of Tennessee Medical Center, Department of Pharmacy Research Fund.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Shaunta' M. Ray, PharmD, BCPS, Department of Pharmacy, University of Tennessee, 1924 Alcoa Highway, Box 117, Knoxville, TN 37920 (e-mail: smray@uthsc.edu).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.