Nosocomial Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea Associated with Enterotoxin-Producing Strains of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Boyce, John M.; Havill, Nancy L.
August 2005
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Aug2005, Vol. 100 Issue 8, p1828
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to present new evidence that enterotoxin-producing strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus may cause nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study that utilized standard methods to exclude other bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens as causes of nosocomial diarrhea in patients with heavy growth of methicillin-resistant S. aureus in their stool. Staphylococcal enterotoxin assays were performed on S. aureus strains recovered from patients' stools and on stool specimens from affected patients. Retrospective cohort studies compared the severity of diarrhea in patients with methicillin-resistant S. aureus-associated diarrhea with that of patients whose stool did not contain the organism and with patients colonized or infected with enterotoxin-negative methicillin-resistant S. aureus strains. RESULTS: During an 18-month period, 11 patients had nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea associated with enterotoxin-producing strains of methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Other common bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens were excluded. S. aureus strains from the 11 patients produced staphylococcal enterotoxin A, A and B, or D. Eighty-nine percent of patients had the same enterotoxin(s) in stool specimens as produced by the strain recovered from their stool. Case patients had a greater number of days of diarrhea than patients without methicillin-resistant S. aureus in their stool ( p < 0.001), or randomly selected patients colonized or infected with enterotoxin-negative methicillin-resistant S. aureus ( p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that enterotoxin-producing strains of methicillin-resistant S. aureus may cause nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Greater recognition of this disease should result in more rapid and appropriate treatment of affected patients. (Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1828–1834)


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