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BACKGROUND: Nasal colonization of Staphylococcus aureus is a risk factor for the pathogen transmission and the development of infections. Limited information is available on the prevalence and molecular characteristics of S. aureus colonization in pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional, island-wide study was conducted in 2011. Nasal swabs were collected from pediatric ICU patients at six tertiary hospitals in Taiwan. RESULTS: Of 114 patients enrolled in total, nasal colonization of S. arueus was detected in 30 (26.3%) of them, among whom 20 (17.5%) with methicillin-resistant S. arueus (MRSA). The ST59/SCCmec IV and V clones were most common and accounted for 45% of MRSA isolates, followed by ST239/SCCmec III (25%) and ST45/SCCmec IV (20%) clones. Three ST59 MRSA isolates carried the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin genes. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicated a high prevalence of S. arueus and MRSA nasal colonization among pediatric ICU patients in Taiwan. Identification of epidemic clones warrants the implement of infection control measures to reduce colonization and prevent the dissemination of MRSA in hospitals.

Original publication




Journal article


Antimicrob Resist Infect Control

Publication Date





Molecular typing, Nasal colonization, Pediatric intensive care unit, Prevalence, Staphylococcus aureus