Research Articles

Threat of MRSA to Otherwise Healthy Athletes

Longitudinal Assessment of Colonization With Staphylococcus aureus in Healthy Collegiate Athletes

Published: Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, June 2016


Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of skin infections and colonization with S. aureus increases the risk of infection. Athletes are at a higher risk for infections causes by S. aureus. This study examines the colonization rates of athletes at Vanderbilt University.


Contact-sport athletes have a S. aureus colonization rate range of 32%-62%, as compared to the lower occurrence range in non-contact sport athletes (18%-53%). For MRSA, the total colonization rate ranges for contact-sport athletes ranged from 8-29%, with football players reaching high of 31% colonization.