Modeling methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in hospitals: Transmission dynamics, antibiotic usage and its history
Department of Mathematics, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124-4250, USA
Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling 2012, 9:25 doi:10.1186/1742-4682-9-25Published: 27 June 2012
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is endemic in many hospital settings, posing substantial threats and economic burdens worldwide.
We propose mathematical models to investigate the transmission dynamics of MRSA and determine factors that influence the prevalence of MRSA infection when antibiotics are given to patients to treat or prevent infections with either MRSA itself or other bacterial pathogens.
Our results suggest that: (i) MRSA always persists in the hospital when colonized and infected patients are admitted; (ii) the longer the duration of treatment of infected patients and the lower the probability of successful treatment will increase the prevalence of MRSA infection; (iii) the longer the duration of contamination of health care workers (HCWs) and the more their contacts with patients may increase the prevalence of MRSA infection; (iv) possible ways to control the prevalence of MRSA infection include treating patients with antibiotic history as quickly and efficiently as possible, screening and isolating colonized and infected patients at admission, and compliance with strict hand-washing rules by HCWs.
Our modeling studies offer an approach to investigating MRSA infection in hospital settings and the impact of antibiotic history on the incidence of infection. Our findings suggest important influences on the prevalence of MRSA infection which may be useful in designing control policies.