Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Epidemiology and Infection



PubMed ID



Cambridge University


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research


Bloomfield, L. E., Coombs, G. W., Tempone, S., & Armstrong, P. K. (2020). Marked increase in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, Western Australia, 2004–2018. Epidemiology & Infection, 148, Article e153.


© 2020 World Scientific Publishing Company. This study presents enhanced surveillance data from 2004 – 2018 for all community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) specimens collected in Western Australia (WA), and describes the changing epidemiology over this period. A total of 57,557 cases were reviewed. Annual incidence rates increased from 86.2 cases per 100,000 population to 245.6 per 100,000 population (IRR = 2.9, CI95 2.7 – 3.0). The proportion of isolates carrying Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-associated genes increased from 3.4% to 59.8% (χ2 test for trend 7021.9, p0.001). The emergence of PVL-positive, “Queensland CA-MRSA” (ST93- IV) and “WA 121” (ST5-IV) accounted for the majority of increases in CA-MRSA across the study period. It is unclear why some clones are more prolific in certain regions. In WA, CA-MRSA rates increase as indices of temperature and humidity increase after controlling for socioeconomic disadvantage. We suggest climatic conditions may contribute to transmission, along with other socio-behavioural factors. A better understanding of the ability for certain clones to form ecological niches and cause outbreaks is required.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.