A study was conducted by researchers to determine MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) colonization in asymptomatic athletes to estimate the risk for subsequent MRSA infection. About 1% of the population carries MRSA on their skin. They can also have the bacteria in their nasal cavity, on the groin or under arm area. The bacteria can be present without the person knowing or having an active infection, but a small wound or breaking of the skin can cause the infection to spread quickly. A person can have the bacteria for years and not know it, then inadvertently transfer it to others.

Certain groups of people that have more physical contact with others are more likely to transfer or contract MRSA. Athletes are a vulnerable group for this infection. From the groups of athletes studied, 6% of them had MRSA colonization. When just looking at athletes in the United States, the number increased to 8%. When narrowing the scope to collegiate athletes the percentage increased to 13%. The athletes most likely to contract MRSA participated in the following sports: Wrestling 13%, football 8%, basketball 8%.

The risk to athletes, who are already documented as having MRSA colonization, of developing an infection within 3 months of the documentation is 95%. After the athlete is decolonized, the reciprocal happens and the percentage of athletes developing a MRSA infection decreases 95%.

The conclusions reached after the compilation of research which was studied is that the number of athletes with MRSA colonization is comparable to people with chronic illness. Collegiate athletes’ MRSA colonization is twice that of people in intensive care units. Athletes who are colonized have greater than a seven times increase of developing a MRSA infection within 3 months.

The bottom line: It is urgent that infection control and decontamination protocols be implemented to keep our athletes healthy! Check out what iGuard has to offer. www.iguardppc.com


Styliani Karanika, Tori Kinamon, Christos Grigoras, and Eleftherios Mylonakis  Colonization With Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Risk for Infection Among Asymptomatic Athletes: A Systematic Review and Metaanalysis Clinical Infectious Diseases 2016 : ciw240v2-ciw240.