Antibiotic Patterns for S. Aureus in Children Have Changed

Use of antibiotics that treat MRSA has increased; clindamycin use has increased most
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Since the emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections, antibiotic treatment for hospitalized children with S. aureus infections has changed dramatically, and clindamycin has become the primary antibiotic treatment for those infections, according to research published online May 17 in Pediatrics.

Joshua C. Herigon, of the University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 64,813 patients with a discharge diagnosis for S. aureus infection from 1999 to 2008 at 25 U.S. children's hospitals.

The researchers discovered that the incidence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections increased 10-fold during this period, though the methicillin-susceptible S. aureus infection rate was stable. Use of antibiotics that treat MRSA increased from 52 to 79 percent of cases of S. aureus infections, while those used to treat only methicillin-susceptible infections fell from 66 to fewer than 30 percent. Clindamycin use increased the most, from 21 to 63 percent.

"Antibiotic prescribing patterns for the treatment of S. aureus infections have changed significantly during the past decade, reflecting the emergence of community-associated MRSA. Clindamycin is now the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for S. aureus infections among hospitalized children. The substantial use of clindamycin emphasizes the importance of continuous monitoring of local S. aureus susceptibility patterns," the authors write.

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