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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Robert P. Rosenow, PharmD, OD


Objective: The prevalence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has increased worldwide the past two decades. CA-MRSA has particularly become more prevalent among athletic teams. Currently, there is limited data available regarding what is causing the rise in CA-MRSA infection rates. Recently, there was a surge of cutaneous CAMRSA infections among 30 athletes at Nicholls State University. This study analyzed the relationship between exposures and the development of infection. The goal of this study was to identify the etiology of cutaneous CA-MRSA among athletes at Nicholls State University. The data collected from this research adds to the currently available knowledge helping to determine what prevention methods are necessary and effective in stopping the spread of infection. Methods: exploratory research with a focus on epidemiology, retrospective survey Results: Twenty-four of the subjects (80%) completed the survey. 71% of those infected with cutaneous CA-MRSA were football players. A majority of the infections (66%) occurred in the fall (October-November '03). No universal exposure was identified. 60% reported that they had an area of broken skin on the part of their body where they later developed infection. 79% of cases were recognized and treated within 5 days of the onset of symptoms. 87.5% of patients were treated with oral antibiotics. 16.6% of patients were hospitalized for treatment. Conclusion: The exact etiology of the outbreak of cutaneous CA-MRSA among athletes at Nicholls State University was not identified. A number of potential causes were evaluated and noted. Prevention measures were assessed and recommendations for improvement were made.


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