A new study has shown that HIV-infected patients are at an increased risk for community acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections.
In the study, researchers at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and Rush University Medical Center found that the incidence of CA-MRSA in the Chicago area was six-fold higher among HIV-infected patients than it was among HIV-negative patients.
Using electronic data, the study authors retrospectively studied HIV-infected patients with CA-MRSA who received medical care during the period of 2000 to 2007 in the regional Cook County Health and Hospitals System. Researchers used patients' zip codes to examine where the cases were distributed geographically.
Overall incidence of CA-MRSA increased significantly for all populations in Cook County from the first period (2000- 2003) to the second period (2004-2007). The incidence increased four-fold from 61 cases to 253 cases per 100,000 HIV-negative patients and nearly four-fold from 411 cases to 1474 cases per 100,000 HIV-infected patients, respectively.
"HIV does not cause CA-MRSA, but our study shows an association between HIV and CA-MRSA. The next steps are to find out what is going on in the community to cause these infections," said study author Dr. Kyle Popovich, an infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center.
"We believe the risk may be amplified by overlapping community-based social networks of high-risk patients," Popovich added.
The study has been published in the April 1 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.