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The study was presented at the recent Pan Celtic Dublin 2016 meeting, which focused on ‘Antimicrobial resistance (AMR): Global threats and challenges in diagnosis treatment and prevention’. The study, carried out by researchers at the National MRSA Reference Laboratory, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, notes that prisoners have previously been identified as a high-risk group for CA-MRSA due to overcrowding and sharing of facilities, with prevalence rates as high as 40.4 per cent reported in American prisons.
In the study, nasal and throat swabs were collected from 200 volunteer prisoners between September 2015 and March 2016, along with clinical data relating to age, ethnicity and previous health conditions.
“Among the inmates, 36.5 per cent were found to carry S.aureus in one or more sites, with MRSA recovered from only 0.5 per cent spa typing found in 56 types which were assigned to 20 clonal complexes (CCs) by microarray analysis, with CC30 and 45 predominating.
“Phenotypic resistance exhibited among isolates included resistance to ampicillin (74.7 per cent) erythromycin (7.2 per cent), fusidic acid (10.8 per cent), aminoglycosides (1.2 per cent) and tetracycline (1.2 per cent), with the associated resistance genes for these also detected using the DNA microarray, 19.4 per cent of isolates were susceptible to all agents tested.”
Meanwhile, HSE Director General Mr Tony O’Brien told the meeting that the challenge of antimicrobial resistance is partly “why an increase in our capital budget is one of the things I will be arguing for strongly when the National Capital Mid-Term Review arises next year”. He said he “will probably be able to use some of the things discussed at this conference as part of my tool kit” during these review discussions.
The Pan Celtic Dublin 2016 meeting was organised by the Irish Society of Clinical Microbiologists and the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine.