Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) has been identified in prison settings in the United States. The present study investigated two clusters of skin and soft tissue infection caused by community-acquired (CA) MRSA in a correctional facility in southern Ontario.
METHODS: Outbreak investigations were conducted by the responsible public health authority. Strain relatedness was assessed through comparison of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and antibiograms.
RESULTS: Two distinct outbreaks of CAMRSA-associated disease occurred in 2002 and 2004. Most patients presented with abscesses in the lower extremities. All isolates had identical DNA banding patterns on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. One-half of the affected inmates resided in a cellblock with one other affected inmate. No other risk factors were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: One of the first outbreaks of CAMRSA infections in a correctional facility in Canada is documented. Taken in conjunction with outbreaks elsewhere, this suggests that residence in correctional facilities may be a risk factor for CAMRSA infection.