Recently-released prisoners are more likely to carry community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) than other people, according to a US study.
The research found that people who had been incarcerated less than a year before sampled were 92% more likely to carry the infection.
It also identified a pocket of 44 CA-MRSA positive patients all living in the same high-rise block, suggesting a link with overcrowded housing conditions.
Researchers studied surveillance at a hospital in Chicagofor six years and found 2,346 of 6,894 patients without healthcare-associated risk factors grew S Aureus.
Of these, 971 (41.4%) had CA-MRSA, and skin and soft tissue infections increased almost seven times over the course of the study.
Archives of Internal Medicine (2007) 167:1026-1033