There has been considerable variability in terms of MRSA control in hospitals around the world. This can perhaps be best shown if one looks at the antimicrobial resistance surveillance report published by the European CDC (latest = 2012). I have taken the liberty to copy the relevant diagram (below).

European country map of MRSA published by ECDC, 2012
European country map of MRSA published by ECDC, 2012

It can be seen that the northern European countries (mainly Holland and the Scandinavian countries) have excellent control of MRSA whereas those in southern Europe are having more difficulties.

There are two well known examples of countries that have significantly reduced the burden of MRSA disease in their hospitals. The first is Denmark. In the late 1960s, Denmark had a high burden of MRSA disease (up to 33% of all Staphylococcus aureus cultured from patient samples were methicillin-resistant), but there was subsequently a dramatic improvement that has persisted until fairly recently. I have taken the liberty to append the relevant chart from DANMAP 1999 below.

DANMAP 1999. MRSA rates from 1960s to 1998.
DANMAP 1999. MRSA rates from 1960s to 1998.

The other is UK. Again, I have appended the relevant chart (for England) below. After 2004, MRSA rates fell and have remained low since.

England MRSA rates.
England MRSA rates.

The reasons for the dramatic improvement in MRSA control (in hospitals) in these countries have been described elsewhere, but it is well worth going into detail again (in a separate post).

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