Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Modelling, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Department of Microbiology and Infection Control, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway. Electronic address: email@example.com.
There has been a marked increase in the incidence of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) during the past decade in Norway; a country with one of the lowest prevalence rates and an active 'search-and-destroy' policy applied to hospital settings.
To characterize the trends of notification rates of community-associated (CA) and healthcare-associated (HA) MRSA in Norway, and explore the diversity and circulation of MRSA spa types within and outside healthcare settings.
A registry-based study on notified MRSA infections and colonizations was conducted in Norway between 2006 and 2015. The diversity and abundance of CA- and HA-MRSA spa types were compared using novel ecological diversity measures (Hill numbers).
During the study period, the monthly notification rate increased 6.9-fold and 1.8-fold among CA- and HA-MRSA, respectively; the increase was steeper among colonizations than infections. In both settings, the distribution of spa types was uneven, with a few dominant spa types and many singletons. The spa-type diversity of CA-MRSA was higher than HA-MRSA in terms of different types (685 vs 481), and increased during the study period. However, the diversity associated with the dominant spa types was similar and remained stable. A high overlap of spa types was estimated between the settings; spa-t002, t019 and t008 were the most common.
The present findings suggest a strong connection between CA- and HA-MRSA epidemiology in Norway. If the fast-growing trend of CA-MRSA continues in the years to come, it may challenge current guidelines and infection control of MRSA in healthcare environments.