In order to determine the prevalence of methicillin (meticillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization among adults in community settings in Taiwan and identify its risk factors, we conducted the present study. For a 3-month period, we enrolled all adults who attended mandatory health examinations at three medical centers and signed the informed consent. Nasal swabs were taken for the isolation of S. aureus. For each MRSA isolate, we performed multilocus sequence typing, identification of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec, tests for the presence of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin gene, and tests for drug susceptibilities. Risk factors for MRSA colonization were determined. The results indicated that the MRSA colonization rate among adults in the community settings in Taiwan was 3.8% (119/3,098). Most MRSA isolates belonged to sequence type 59 (84.0%). Independent risk factors for MRSA colonization included the presence of household members less than 7 years old (P <0.0001) and the use of antibiotics within the past year (P = 0.0031). Smoking appeared to be protective against MRSA colonization (P <0.0001).
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