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Infectious Diseases - Microbiology - Ophthalmology - Physiology

Staphylococcus aureus Ocular Infection: Methicillin-Resistance, Clinical Features, and Antibiotic Susceptibilities
Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Author: Chih-Chun Chuang et al.

by Chih-Chun Chuang, Ching-Hsi Hsiao, Hsin-Yuan Tan, David Hui-Kang Ma, Ken-Kuo Lin, Chee-Jen Chang, Yhu-Chering Huang


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is an important public health issue. The study aimed to determine the prevalence of ocular infections caused by MRSA and to identify the clinical characteristics and antibiotic susceptibility of ocular MRSA infections by comparing those of ocular methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) infections.

Methodology/Principal Findings

The medical records of the patients (n?=?519) with culture-proven S. aureus ocular infections seen between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2008 in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital were retrospectively reviewed. Two hundred and seventy-four patients with MRSA and 245 with MSSA ocular infections were identified. The average rate of MRSA in S. aureus infections was 52.8% and the trend was stable over the ten years (P value for trend ?=?0.228). MRSA ocular infections were significantly more common among the patients with healthcare exposure (P?=?0.024), but 66.1% (181/274) patients with MRSA ocular infections had no healthcare exposure. The most common clinical presentation for both MRSA and MSSA ocular infections was keratitis; MRSA and MSSA caused a similar disease spectrum except for lid infections. MRSA was significantly more resistant than MSSA to clindamycin, erythromycin and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (all P<0.001).


We demonstrated a paralleled trend of ocular MRSA infection in a highly prevalent MRSA country by hospital-based survey. Except for lid disorder, MRSA shared similar spectrum of ocular pathology with MSSA. Since S. aureus is a common ocular pathogen, our results raise clinician’s attention to the existence of highly prevalent MRSA.