The incidence of methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) infections during this period increased 10-fold, from 2 to 21 cases per 1000 admissions, whereas the methicillin-susceptible S aureus infection rate remained stable. Among patients with S aureus infections, antibiotics that treat MRSA increased from 52% to 79% of cases, whereas those that treat only methicillin-susceptible S aureus declined from 66% to <30% of cases. Clindamycin showed the greatest increase, from 21% in 1999 to 63% in 2008.To translate, for those not used to reading scientific literature:
- a 10-fold increase in MRSA diagnoses over 10 years
- a 3-fold increase in what was not the most commonly prescribed drug, one useful for the different resistance profile of community infections
- clindamycin (used in mild and also invasive infections) eclipsing vancomycin (last-resort drug for invasive cases) as the most-used drug — which could be a sign of changes in prescribing patterns, changes in seriousness of the cases seen, or a warning that with so much use, clindamycin resistance could emerge more quickly, as happened when vancomycin came off the shelf in the 1990s and began to be used more.