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BACKGROUND: Nasal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization is of public health concern due to increased risk of developing invasive infections and the therapeutic challenges. This concern is more among the vulnerable group. We determined the prevalence and associated risk factors of MRSA nasal carriage among children in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria.
METHOD: We conducted a hospital-based, cross-sectional study among 300 children attending the outpatient clinic of a tertiary hospital recruited through systematic sampling technique. An interviewer-administered, structured questionnaire was used to obtain sociodemographic characteristics and exposure factors. Nasal swabs samples were collected and inoculated on mannitol salt agar and subcultured on nutrient agar to isolate Staphylococcus aureus. We used the conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique to detect the presence of mecA gene for MRSA. We calculated the prevalence, prevalence odds ratio to determine risk factors for MRSA acquisition at 5% level of significance.
RESULTS: The median age was 1.7 years (6 months-16 years). Males accounted for 60.7%, and 75% of the participants were under 5 years. Staphylococcus aureus colonization was found in 36.3% of the participants while 5.3% of the participants had MRSA identified by detecting the mecA gene. History of recent surgery in the last six months was the only independent predictor of nasal MRSA colonization among the participants (aOR=12.5; 95%CI: 2.7-50.0.)
CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of MRSA colonization observed among the children in this study suggests the need to consider screening children with history of previous surgery as infection control and prevention intervention for MRSA.