MRSA infections decline in military personnel

A decline of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus occurred among the more than nine million active and non-active military personnel between 2005 and 2010, according to a recent study by the Department of Defense.

The research was conducted by Michael L. Landrum of the San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. The research found that the overall incidence rate dropped from 62 percent in 2006 to 52 percent in 2010, MedicalNewsToday reports.

MRSA has become a growing problem in recent years, particularly in hospital patients. An infection can begin during surgery from an IV point or around an artificial limb.

The study looked into the incidence rate of S. aureus bacteremia, skin and soft tissue infections and the proportion caused by MRSA. SSTIs have become a major health issue for the U.S. military as the number of MRSA infections has grown.

The study found that while MRSA incidence has dropped, the number of SSTI and S. aureus bacteremia cases continue to remain elevated. Landrum concluded that successful treatment and prevention strategies are necessary to prevent the infections.

"These observations, taken together with results from others showing decreases in the rates of health care-associated infections from MRSA, suggest that broad shifts in the epidemiology of S aureus infections may be occurring," Landrum said, according to MedicalNewsToday. "Additional studies are needed to assess whether these trends will continue, which prevention methods are most effective, and to what degree other factors may be contributing."