AIDS Weekly (10.13.03) - Wednesday, October 22, 2003
M. Miller and colleagues at Columbia University studied 502
subjects from a community-based cohort of drug users between
February 1999 and March 2000. They found that increased
antimicrobial use by HIV patients might heighten their risk of
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.
"HIV-infected individuals, especially those with a history of
injecting drug use, are at high risk of Staphylococcus aureus
infection," the researchers noted. "Moreover, the use of
antimicrobial agents for opportunistic infections may increase
nasal colonization by antimicrobial-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus in this population and, subsequently, levels of
infection with multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in
Test results revealed that 24 percent of the subjects had
Staphylococcus aureus infections, and "only HIV infection and
homelessness were associated with Staphylococcus aureus
colonization," according to the study. Ten isolates (8
percent) were methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates were
found among 14 percent of HIV-infected subjects, vs. 3 percent
of HIV- uninfected subjects. Among those colonized and HIV-
infected, the mean number of resistant isolates was higher for
those currently reporting antibiotic use and for those with
CD4 counts equal to or less than 200/microliter.
"The increased use of antimicrobial agents in HIV-infected
individuals colonized with Staphylococcus aureus may be an
underlying mechanism that contributes to the presence of
multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the community,"
the researchers reported.
Miller and coauthors published their study, "Staphylococcus
Aureus Colonization in a Community Sample of HIV-Infected and
HIV-Uninfected Drug Users," in the European Journal of
Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (2003;22(8):463-