Hospital-based studies have determined high rates of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Indigenous populations. However, there is a paucity of community-based data. We obtained 20 years (1993-2012) of data on S. aureus isolates (N = 20 210) collected from community clinics that provide services for Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia. Methicillin resistance increased from 7% to 24%, resistance to macrolides remained stable at ~25%, and there was a slight increase in resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. The increase in methicillin resistance is concerning for the Indigenous communities represented by this data, but it is also of significance if virulent MRSA clones emerge and spread more widely from such settings.
Tong, S., Varrone, L., Chatfield, M., Beaman, M., & Giffard, P. (2015). Progressive increase in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Indigenous populations in northern Australia from 1993 to 2012. Epidemiology and Infection, 143(7), 1519-1523. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268814002611