The Increase In Prevalence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

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Alaleh Azhir

ASR Year 2

My Background:
Hello! My name is Alaleh Azhir. I am a junior at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. I come from Iran, and have been doing research in the Emergency Medicine field at Metropolitan Hospital. This research is about Staphylococcus aureus which is a type of pathogen and how it is becoming more resistant to methicillin, a type of antibiotic.

Research Background:
Staphylococcus aureus is a type of pathogen that can cause skin or soft body tissue infections. Methicillin is a strong type of antibiotic that has been used to destroy these type of infection. Since Staphylococcus is become more resistant to Methicillin, currently TMP/SMX, Cephalexin, Clindamycin are used instead of Methicillin. MRSA was first identified in 1961 and since then it has become a global threat, as it is a large problem all around the globe.
The hypothesis that we developed in this research is that the MRSA is becoming more prevalent and commonly found in the recent years. There has been different studies on MRSA’s population by Harvard, Kaplan etc. since it is a global threat.

We conducted a retrospective chart review of 1879 patients who were admitted to Metropolitan Hospital from 2003-2012. IRB was obtained through New York Medical College Office of Research Administration. Data regarding the patients’ age, substance abuse, type of infection, race, sex, site of specimen collection, type of antibiotic used, and the pathogen’s resistance was collected.

From1879 patients we gathered 2193 samples with different specimen. Out of 2193, 996 (45%) of them were Staphylococcus Aureus. 553 of these 996 were Methicillin resistant (over a ½). 54% were male, majority of patients (59%) were hispanic, 33% were African-American, majority were between 18 to 65 years old (78%). Patients were most frequently treated with TMP/SMX, Cephalexin, and Clindamycin. Where in the years 2003-2006 TMP/SMX and Cephalexin were used, in middle of the decade Clindamycin saw a rise in use. The proportion of Staphylococcus aurues that were resistant to Methicillin increased sharply from 29% to 62% from 2003 to 2012.

Recent studies has shown that MRSA is becoming the primary identifiable threat in causing soft body tissue infections. We saw that the population and prevalence of MRSA has significantly increased over the years. This should be taken into consideration for MRSA treatment.

Barnard Saturday Science Seminar qualifier
American Invitational Mathematics Examination qualifier
Advanced placement with distinction scholar
Part of Metropolitan Hospital Research team

Metropolitan Hospital 139. Metropolitan Hospital Center_0
Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics

For further inquiries, please contact the Advanced Science Research director, Ms. Chan, at


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