It is estimated that close to 132 000 patients contract infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusIn German hospitals, each year.
The total incidence of nosocomial MRSA infections in Germany has stabilized after a substantial rise in the 1990s. Important risk factors for the acquisition of CA-MRSA include travel to high-prevalence areas, such as the United States, and close contact with people who are infected with CA-MRSA. The identification of individual areas with an increased prevalence of CA-MRSA in Europe does, however, make the occurrence of CA-MRSA increasingly likely.
The zoonotic transmission of MRSA is increasingly gaining in importance. The pathogen is widespread in different species of livestock and easily transmits to humans who are in direct contact with those animals. In domestic animals and pets, MRSA has been confirmed in individual cases, but thus far no exact data are available for Germany.
The new potential transmission routes present new challenges for prevention and control of MRSA. Several national research consortia already contribute to this objective, for example on MRSA in animal reservoirs.