Community associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has become a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in the US. We developed an age-structured compartmental model to study the spread of CA-MRSA at the population level and assess the effect of control intervention strategies. We used Monte-Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) techniques to parameterize our model using monthly time series data on SSTIs incidence in children (#19 years) during January 2004 -December 2006 in Maricopa County, Arizona. Our model-based forecast for the period January 2007– December 2008 also provided a good fit to data. We also carried out an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis on the control reproduction number, Rc which we estimated at 1.3 (95% CI [1.2,1.4]) based on the model fit to data. Using our calibrated model, we evaluated the effect of typical intervention strategies namely reducing the contact rate of infected individuals owing to awareness of infection and decolonization strategies targeting symptomatic infected individuals on both Rc and the long-term disease dynamics. We also evaluated the impact of hypothetical decolonization strategies targeting asymptomatic colonized individuals. We found that strategies focused on infected individuals were not capable of achieving disease control when implemented alone or in combination. In contrast, our results suggest that decolonization strategies targeting the pediatric population colonized with CA-MRSA have the potential of achieving disease elimination.
Wang X, Panchanathan S, Chowell G (2013) A Data-Driven Mathematical Model of CA-MRSA Transmission among Age Groups: Evaluating the Effect of Control Interventions. PLoS Comput Biol 9(11): e1003328. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003328
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