Since 1999, the incidence of children admitted to the hospital with methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) infections has increased 10-fold, from 2 to 21 cases per 1000 admissions. The methicillin-susceptible S aureus infection rate has remained stable.
Antibiotic prescribing patterns for the treatment of S aureus infections have changed significantly during the past decade, reflecting the emergence of community-associated MRSA. Clindamycin is now the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for S aureus infections among hospitalized children. Among patients with S aureus infections, antibiotics that treat MRSA increased from 52% to 79% of cases, whereas those that treat only methicillin-susceptible S aureus declined from 66% to <30% of cases.