Study of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on the U.S./Mexico border
Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Background: El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico comprise the largest U.S./Mexico border population. Methods: Bacterial samples were collected from two hospitals in El Paso and two in Ciudad Juarez and transported to a reference microbiology laboratory in El Paso for microbial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing according to NCCLS standards. The presence of the MecA gene, and the prevalence of both the SSCmec IV element and the Panton-Valentine leukocidin were investigated by PCR in all MRSA isolates. Results: A total of 201 isolates in El Paso and 128 in Ciudad Juarez of Staphylococcus aureus were identified, of those, MRSA were significantly more prevalent in El Paso than in Ciudad Juarez [89 (44.3%) versus 10 (7.8%) respectively (p < 0.0001)]. Thirty one (35%) of MRSA strains isolated in El Paso were community associated. Conclusion: Significantly higher prevalence of MRSA infections was documented in El Paso compared to Ciudad Juarez. © 2008.