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A comparison of phenotypic properties of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from burned children and other patient groups

Edwards-Jones, Valerie and Childs, Charmaine and Foster, Howard A. (1996) A comparison of phenotypic properties of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from burned children and other patient groups. Burns, 22 (5). pp. 384-389. ISSN 0305-4179

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Abstract

This study aimed to determine whether strains of Staph. aureus isolated from children on our paediatric burns unit were different from strains isolated from other patient groups. Of particular interest was the incidence of toxin production amongst the different patient groups and the potential association with toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Wound isolates of Staph. aureus were collected from three patient groups: (1) hospital inpatients, (2) community patients and (3) patients from a regional burns unit. One hundred isolates were collected from each group (n = 300). Each isolate was tested for enterotoxin and TSST-1 production, phage type, antibiogram and tryptophan dependence. The results were compared, to determine whether there were any differences between the isolates from each of these patient groups. There were some variations in antibiotic sensitivity patterns and phage type of the isolates between the different patient groups but there was no significant difference in the incidence of toxin production, which was an important observation. The 100 isolates collected from this burns unit were derived from 58 patients. The colonization patterns of the Staph. aureus showed that 12 patients were colonized by more than one isolate and that these were a mixture of toxin-positive and toxin-negative strains. The medical records were examined for evidence of TSS; there was a higher incidence of toxic episodes in the patients colonized with strains which produced TSST-1 toxin.

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