Pediatric neck abscesses: No increase in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Avital Fellner, Tal Marom, Limor Muallem-Kalmovich, Nathan Shlamkovitch, Ephraim Eviatar, Tzilia Lazarovitch, Jacob Pitaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction Recent studies from Western countries showed an increased incidence rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from pediatric neck abscesses cultures. We sought to examine the microbiology and antibiotic susceptibility of such samples over a 10-year period, and particularly of Staphylococcus aureus (SA), in order to determine whether a similar trend exists in our institution. Methods A retrospective chart review of children ≤18 years that underwent needle aspiration or surgical drainage of neck abscesses, including suppurative lymphadenitis, retropharyngeal abscesses, and parapharyngeal abscesses was conducted between 1/1/06–31/12/15. Results Sixty-two children were identified with a male predominance (34, 55%). The median age was 2 years. There were 37 (60%) suppurative lymphadenitis, 15 (24%) parapharyngeal abscess, and 10 (16%) retropharyngeal abscess cases. Twenty-nine (47%) children received antibiotic treatment prior to admission, most commonly β-lactam agents. Of them, 15 (52%) had positive cultures, including 7 (47%) with SA. On admission, 45 (73%) children had already received amoxicillin-clavulanate. Of those who did not improve, 16 (26%) received ceftriaxone and clindamycin. Twenty-one (38%) cultures were negative. The most common isolated bacteria were SA in 13 (24%), Streptococcus pyogenes in 7 (13%), and Streptococcus viridians group in 9 (16%). Of the SA isolates, there was only 1 (8%) case of MRSA; however, there were 4 (31%) clindamycin-resistant SA isolates. Conclusion Unlike previously published data, there was no increase in MRSA incidence at our institution. However, the high prevalence of clindamycin-resistant SA was in line with previous reports. These findings should be considered when starting empirical therapy in pediatric neck abscesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotics
  • Children
  • MRSA
  • Neck abscess
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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