Prevalence and predictors of MRSA, ESBL, and VRE colonization in the ambulatory IBD population

Wesley Leung, Gurtej Malhi, Barbara M. Willey, Allison J. McGeer, Bjug Borgundvaag, Reka Thanabalan, Piraveina Gnanasuntharam, Brian Le, Adam V. Weizman, Kenneth Croitoru, Mark S. Silverberg, A. Hillary Steinhart, Geoffrey C. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and aims: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients may be at increased risk of acquiring antibiotic-resistant organisms (ARO). We sought to determine the prevalence of colonization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Enterobacteriaceae containing extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL), and vancomycin-resistant enterococi (VRE) among ambulatory IBD patients. Methods: We recruited consecutive IBD patients from clinics (n = 306) and 3 groups of non-IBD controls from our colon cancer screening program (n = 67), the family medicine clinic (n = 190); and the emergency department (n = 428) from the same medical center in Toronto. We obtained nasal and rectal swabs for MRSA, ESBL, and VRE and ascertained risk factors for colonization. Results: Compared to non-IBD controls, IBD patients had similar prevalence of colonization with MRSA (1.5% vs. 1.6%), VRE (0% vs. 0%), and ESBL (9.0 vs. 11.1%). Antibiotic use in the prior 3. months was a risk factor for MRSA (OR, 3.07; 95% CI: 1.10-8.54), particularly metronidazole. Moreover, gastric acid suppression was associated with increased risk of MRSA colonization (adjusted OR, 7.12; 95% CI: 1.07-47.4). Predictive risk factors for ESBL included hospitalization in the past 12. months (OR, 2.04, 95% CI: 1.05-3.95); treatment with antibiotics it the past 3. months (OR, 2.66; 95% CI: 1.37-5.18), particularly prior treatment with vancomycin or cephalosporins. Conclusions: Ambulatory IBD patients have similar prevalence of MRSA, ESBL and VRE compared to non-IBD controls. This finding suggests that the increased MRSA and VRE prevalence observed in hospitalized IBD patients is acquired in-hospital rather than in the outpatient setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-749
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • Crohn's disease
  • Extended spectrum beta-lactamase
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Vancomycin-resistant enterococci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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  • Cite this

    Leung, W., Malhi, G., Willey, B. M., McGeer, A. J., Borgundvaag, B., Thanabalan, R., Gnanasuntharam, P., Le, B., Weizman, A. V., Croitoru, K., Silverberg, M. S., Steinhart, A. H., & Nguyen, G. C. (2012). Prevalence and predictors of MRSA, ESBL, and VRE colonization in the ambulatory IBD population. Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 6(7), 743-749.