Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice


The molecular and clinical factors associated with biofilm-forming methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are incompletely understood. Biofilm production for 182 MRSA isolates obtained from clinical culture sites (2004 to 2013) was quantified. Microbiological toxins, pigmentation, and genotypes were evaluated, and patient demographics were collected. Logistic regression was used to quantify the effect of strong biofilm production (versus weak biofilm production) on clinical outcomes and independent predictors of a strong biofilm. Of the isolates evaluated, 25.8% (47/182) produced strong biofilms and 40.7% (74/182) produced weak biofilms. Strong biofilm-producing isolates were more likely to be from multilocus sequence typing (MLST) clonal complex 8 (CC8) (34.0% versus 14.9%; P = 0.01) but less likely to be from MLST CC5 (48.9% versus 73.0%; P = 0.007). Predictors for strong biofilms were spa type t008 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 4.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21 to 17.1) and receipt of chemotherapy or immunosuppressants in the previous 90 days (aOR, 33.6; 95% CI, 1.68 to 673). Conversely, patients with high serum creatinine concentrations (aOR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.72) or who previously received vancomycin (aOR, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.002 to 0.39) were less likely to harbor strong biofilm-producing MRSA. Beta-toxin-producing isolates (aOR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.89) and isolates with spa type t895 (aOR, 0.02 95% CI, <0.001 to 0.47) were less likely to produce strong biofilms. Patient outcomes also varied between the two groups. Specifically, patients with strong biofilm-forming MRSA were significantly more likely to be readmitted within 90 days (aOR, 5.43; 95% CI, 1.69 to 17.4) but tended to have decreased 90-day mortality (aOR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.12 to 1.06). Patients that harbored t008 and received immunosuppressants were more likely to have strong biofilm-producing MRSA isolates. Clinically, patients with strong biofilm-forming MRSA were less likely to die at 90 days but five times more likely to be readmitted.