Hospitalised children colonised, but not sick, with MRSA are at considerable risk of developing full-blown infections, say US researchers online in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
They studied 3,140 children admitted to a paediatric intensive care unit over three years.
Screening found 153 arrived at the hospital already colonised with MRSA.
Compared with non-carriers, these patients were nearly six times more likely to develop invasive MRSA infections after discharge and eight times more likely to develop them while still hospitalised.
The authors said: “Mitigating this risk is a serious priority.”