A Population Based Study of Seasonality of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: Implications for the Spread of CA-MRSA

Xiaoxia Wang, Sherry Towers, Sarada Panchanathan, Gerardo Chowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is currently a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) in the United States. Seasonal variation of MRSA infections in hospital settings has been widely observed. However, systematic time-series analysis of incidence data is desirable to understand the seasonality of community acquired (CA)-MRSA infections at the population level. In this paper, using data on monthly SSTI incidence in children aged 0-19 years and enrolled in Medicaid in Maricopa County, Arizona, from January 2005 to December 2008, we carried out time-series and nonlinear regression analysis to determine the periodicity, trend, and peak timing in SSTI incidence in children at different age: 0-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-14 years, and 15-19 years. We also assessed the temporal correlation between SSTI incidence and meteorological variables including average temperature and humidity. Our analysis revealed a strong annual seasonal pattern of SSTI incidence with peak occurring in early September. This pattern was consistent across age groups. Moreover, SSTIs followed a significantly increasing trend over the 4-year study period with annual incidence increasing from 3.36% to 5.55% in our pediatric population of approximately 290,000. We also found a significant correlation between the temporal variation in SSTI incidence and mean temperature and specific humidity. Our findings could have potential implications on prevention and control efforts against CA-MRSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere60872
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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