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Mortality from methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:501

Welsh surveillance data show plateau

  1. Anthony J Howard, director, Public Health Laboratory Service in Wales,
  2. Mari Morgan, senior scientist (epidemiology),
  3. David N Looker, director
  1. University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF14 4XW
  2. Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Wales, Cardiff CF14 3QX
  3. Rhyl Public Health Laboratory, Glan Clwyd District General Hospital, Rhyl, Denbighshire LL18 5UJ
  4. Department of Geriatrics, St. Joseph's Health Centre, 30 The Queensway, Toronto, ON, Canada M6R 1B5

    EDITOR—Crowcroft and Catchpole conclude from a study of death certificates that infections due to methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus are an increasing cause of mortality in England and Wales.1 That this was likely to have been the case in Wales over the period of their study, 1993-8, is supported by surveillance data, which show a large rise in bacteraemias caused by S aureus between 1991 and 1997 (figure).

    Bacteraemias due to Staphylococcus aureus reported in Wales, 1991-2001

    This can largely be attributed to increasing occurrence of methicillin resistant S aureus as a cause of these infections from 1993, although a smaller rise in methicillin sensitive S aureus bacteraemias was also recorded. The degree to which this increase in staphylococcal bacteraemias has affected outcomes in relation to the underlying clinical conditions is, however, …

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