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Volume 40, Number 4, August 2007

Necrotizing fasciitis in a medical center in northern Taiwan: emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the community


Yu-Tsung Lee, Jung-Chung Lin, Ning-Chi Wang, Ming-Yieh Peng, Feng-Yee Chang
Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

Received: May 30, 2006    Revised: July 30, 2006    Accepted: August 12, 2006   

 

Corresponding author:

Dr. Feng-Yee Chang, Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, No. 325, Section 2, Cheng-Kung Road, Neihu, Taipei 114, Taiwan. E-mail: fychang@ndmctsgh.edu.tw This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 



 

Background and purpose: 

Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a rapidly progressive life-threatening infection. It is located in the deep fascia, with secondary necrosis of the subcutaneous tissues requiring urgent surgical and medical therapy. Staphylococcus aureus is, historically, a very uncommon cause of NF, but we have recently noted an increasing number of these infections being caused by community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA).

 



 

Methods:

The medical records of 53 patients diagnosed with NF between January 2001 and December 2005 were reviewed. A standardized instrument was used to abstract information from the medical records of each patient.

 



 

Results:

S. aureus monomicrobial infection accounted for 37.7% (20/53) of the causal organisms noted. Of the 20 strains of S. aureus, 8 were methicillin-sensitive S. aureus and 12 were MRSA. In the 12 patients with MRSA infection, 7 had CA-MRSA. All patients with NF caused by CA-MRSA had no serious coexisting conditions or risk factors. All CA-MRSA isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and vancomycin in vitro. All were cured after surgical intervention and medical treatment.

 



 

Conclusion:

For patients with severe invasive NF caused by CA-MRSA, glycopeptides may be prescribed as an empirical treatment until susceptibility results. The prognosis of NF caused by CA-MRSA was good after adequate surgical and antimicrobial treatment.

 



 

Key words:

Community-acquired infections; Fasciitis, necrotizing; Methicillin resistance; Staphylococcus aureus


 



 

J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2007;40:335-341.